Seven steps to safely scrapping your car

It’s a sad day when it’s no longer economical to repair your car and you have to send it off to the Great Car Park in the Sky – via the local scrapyard (or scrap car recycling centres, as they’re known these days). But what’s the best way to go about it and how can you avoid the pitfalls?

Move with the times
Thankfully the days of having to nurse your ailing motor to the scrap yard and enter into negotiations with the owner are over. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s motorists
often had to pay to have the car taken off their hands. But now most of them will be able to get money for their scrap vehicle – though it’s important to use a reputable company that complies with government regulations on car recycling and which will deal with the paperwork side responsibly. is part of an international scrap car recycling company and offers customers a choice between dropping off their old car or making use of their free collection service – so it’s ideal for cars without tax, insurance or an NCT certificate.

Get an instant quote

It’s no longer necessary to phone around several scrap car recyclers or fill in forms on websites and wait for companies to reply. Now there’s the opportunity to go online. ‘When customers enter their postcode and the registration number of the car they’d like to scrap on the website they get an instant online quote,’ explains manager Alison Price. ‘Our quotes are valid for seven days so customers don’t have to accept if they’re not quite ready. Motorists can also get a quote by using the online chat service or phoning 1800 844 389.’ is the only company in Ireland currently offering this service. Prices at the moment average between €70-100 and payment is by cash or cheque when you hand over the keys.

Get the paperwork sorted

Most of us know how important it is to get the paperwork sorted properly when selling a car. If legal ownership isn’t transferred correctly, you remain responsible for the vehicle including paying its tax – and could end up being fined. And if the car falls into the wrong hands and ends up racking speeding and parking fines – it’s your doormat they’ll be plopping onto! The same principle applies when scrapping your car. When a car is scrapped the Department of Transport (DoT) in Shannon needs to be notified using a Certificate of Destruction (CoD), which can only be issued by scrap car recycling centres, known as Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs).

‘All’s recycling centres are ATFS and registered with the government,’ explains manager Alison Price. ‘If the customer drops the car off at the recycling centre this can be done while they wait. Alternatively your certificate will be sent to you in the post by the recycling centre, or directly by the Department of Transport if they were notified electronically.’ As long as you use a reputable company and receive a genuine CoD there’s no need for you to contact the DoT in Shannon yourself. Sometimes the car is in a condition where it can be repaired and returned to the road rather than scrapped. In this instance can guide you through the legal paperwork.

Don’t get done by dodgy dealers 

It’s important to avoid dodgy dealers when scrapping your car – they’ll be nothing but trouble. They can offer unrealistically high amounts for your scrap car – but then drop their offer dramatically on collection. There’s also the risk of negligence or dishonesty when dealing with your car paperwork. Dodgy dealers may not provide a genuine Certificate of Destruction – you could be offered a fraudulent one, maybe called a Certificate of Disposal or Destruction Certificate or something similar. That means you’re still legally linked to your old car and could be stung with government fines for it. Signs to watch out for include companies that only give mobile numbers and badly constructed, out of date websites full of spelling mistakes.

Remember recycling

We’re all so used to separating out our household rubbish so that paper and glass can be recycled and other items can be properly disposed of. It’s even more important to make sure that scrap cars are disposed of correctly. If not, hazardous materials such as oil and batteries can end up damaging the environment. You should only scrap your car at a recycling centre with an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) Licence – the license requires businesses to invest substantially in the necessary equipment and buildings required to recycle cars properly. It’s actually a criminal offence for someone to recycle a scrap car without an environmental permit. Unfortunately despite the government’s best efforts to prosecute, there are still unlicensed operators throughout Ireland who will readily accept scrap cars.

Reclaim motor tax and insurance

If there’s a minimum of 3 complete months of road tax left on your car, motorists can get a refund for any complete months that remain. You will need to get the Form RF120 signed/stamped at a Garda Station, and present it, along with the Certificate of Destruction at your local motor tax office. It’s also important to call your car insurers and let them know your car has been scrapped. They’ll generally give you the option of either transferring any funds you hold with them towards insuring your next vehicle, or giving you a refund for any unused months.

Don’t dismantle unless you know what you’re doing

Some motorists prefer to sell off parts such as tyres and batteries individually and then negotiate directly with a scrapyard for the remainder. This can be tricky however as many scrapyards only accept vehicles that have all their essential parts. It’s a strategy best left to experienced amateur or professional mechanics. If you don’t fit into this category then don’t attempt it – you’re unlikely to get a better price than you would selling to an online site.

Be in with a chance to win a car

Customers who scrap their car through are put in a prize draw to win a new car – the current prize is a Mitsubishi Space Star worth €12,000. Full terms and conditions here link to competitions page