Disposing of Old Cars Responsibly

Do you know how to responsibly dispose of your car? Say it fails its MOT or becomes unroadworthy, would you know what to do with it? Anyone who owns a car has a legal duty to properly dispose of that vehicle when it reaches the end of its life. But it may not be as simple as you might think. There are regulations that must be adhered to. This is to ensure that any toxic substances within the vehicle do not cause pollution in the ground or waterways.

I had a friend whose car failed its MOT, there was damage to the chassis, and it would have cost more to fix than the car was worth. So, she decided to scrap it and then found out that it wasn’t quite as straightforward as she thought. In the past, you could just ring the scrapie and they’d come round and collect the car and take it away. These days, the scrap merchant must be properly registered and licensed, and if they do decommission old vehicles, they should be registered as Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs).

Scrapped vehicles should be taken to an ATF so that all pollutants can be safely removed and properly disposed of. This will be mostly liquids – transmission fluid, engine oil, fuel, coolant, etc. but also, items such as the battery. Any spare parts that can be salvaged or reconditioned can be sold to DIY car enthusiasts, mechanics, or professional garages to be reused. The scrap metal can then be bundled into type and sold for recycling.

My friend found a local scrap merchant whose business was also a registered ATF, so she rang them up and arranged for her car to be taken to the scrapyard. She had to inform the DVLA that the vehicle was off the road and that it was scrapped – failure to do this can result in a large fine. Once she had completed the official paperwork and handed the logbook over to the ATF, her responsibility for the car was finished. The car was now the property of the scrap dealer, and it was up to them to make sure that every part of it was properly dealt with and either recycled or disposed of correctly.

Finding a Local Scrap Car Collection Service

If you don’t know how to find an AFT scrap merchant, my first port of call would be to your own mechanic. He knows which scrap metal dealers are trustworthy, who is registered, and who to avoid. If you have a game mechanic, ask. If you don’t, ask friends, family, or colleagues if they have used a licensed scrap merchant that they would recommend. Recommendations are always a good place to start because a good experience is going to be far more pleasurable. Plus, with your legal obligation to dispose of the scrapped car, you need to be sure that the scrapie you deal with is genuine. You don’t want to risk large fine months or even years down the line due to incorrect or unsubmitted paperwork.