Scrap Car or Salvage Car – What is the Difference?
One of the most common questions we (Remove My Car) are asked is: what is the difference between a scrap car and a salvage car? We can understand why people outside the industry find this a bit confusing, so we will try and make it clearer for you.
Scrap Cars are generally end of life vehicles (ELVs) that are ten or more years old. This isn’t a strict rule, and there are some notable exceptions, but by and large, scrap cars of that age don’t really have parts worth re-using. The entire car will be sent for disposal and recycling. As you would expect, scrap cars are worth less than ELVs with parts that can be salvaged. If you are shopping around for prices, you may find it more difficult to sell a scrap car due to its lower value – some dealers prioritise cars with salvageable parts. The Peugeot 106 below would be classed as a scrap car.
Salvage Car is a term used to describe a scrap car that can be made roadworthy again or has parts that can be sold. Salvage cars are usually, but not always, less than ten years old. There are many dealers that specialise in spare parts for certain models of car and so will have a greater interest in certain cars. The BMW below is one car we purchased as a salvage vehicle
What Happens to Cars that have Parts for Salvage?
If your car can be repaired or has parts that can be salvaged, it will be sold to either a:
Dealer who can make the car roadworthy without making a loss. They will then sell it on as a used car. Specialist breaker who can dismantle the car and then sell the parts on
Dealer who sells the car on to a specialist car breaker.
Any cars that have no salvage value will be disposed of at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). As we only use registered ATFs, you can be sure that the scrap parts will be disposed of, and recycled, legally and correctly. The registered ATFs have to meet strict recycling and waste standards that are set by government agencies.
What Happens to ELVs that are Scrapped?
Cars that are too old or damaged to have any salvage value are also known as End of Life Vehicles (ELVs). When you sell an ELV to Remove My Car, one of our registered ATF members will collect your vehicle and take it away for disposal and recycling. They will depollute, recycle and dispose of the ELV in accordance with regulations.
How to Tell if Your ELV is a Scrap Car or Salvage Car
You would need scrap industry knowledge to know for certain whether your end of life vehicle (ELV) is a scrap car or salvage car. But as a rule of thumb, you can use the 10 year rule – older than 10 means scrap car, younger means salvage car. However, there are certain cars that do have salvage value beyond the 10 year limit, such as classic cars and rare cars.
If you have a car that has extra salvage value, you will find that many instant online quotes are too low. This is simply because they have to cover the worst case scenario, which is that your car has no salvageable parts due to wear and tear, damage, rust etc. But there is a way to get the price your car is really worth: the RMC auction.