No-one wants to buy a used car only to discover that the vehicle is destined for the scrapyard. Aside from leaving you out of pocket, buying a scrapped car could put you and other drivers at risk!
Knowing the signs of subpar repair work can help you avoid this pitfall. However, you should bear in mind that this is not a foolproof defence against scrap car scams.
If you want definitive confirmation whether a reputedly roadworthy car has been scrapped, there is another method at your disposal. In this guide, we will explain how to run a scrapped car check to find out whether a ‘used’ car is what it seems to be before you buy!
A ‘scrapped’ car is a vehicle that was deemed too damaged to be repaired to roadworthy condition and has been legally taken off the road. A reputable scrapyard will destroy all vehicles that are sold to them as ‘scrap’ (although certain salvageable parts may be recovered for use as spares).
A HPI check can retrieve key information about your car, such as whether:
A HPI check costs around £10. If you are considering buying a used car, running a HPI check on the vehicle can give you the peace of mind that it has never been scrapped.Check car has been scrapped with HPI
Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do if you find out your car has previously been scrapped. This is why it's so important to check this information before buying a vehicle.
If you discover that you have bought a scrapped vehicle, you should contact the dealer or seller. You cannot insure it (or legally drive it on the roads) as it will no longer be listed on the DVLA’s database.
There are a few scrapped car scams that you should be aware of:
To avoid falling afoul of scrap car scams, you should:
On a related note, if you intend to scrap your car, you should take your vehicle to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) and request a Certificate of Destruction (COD) to confirm that the vehicle has been destroyed and will not be returned to the roads.
If you ‘scrap’ your car with an unscrupulous dealer, there is always the risk they will attempt to pass it off as a used car instead of destroying it. (This could cause further problems for you, because any criminal activity linked to the car could potentially be traced back to you.)
No, you should never knowingly buy a scrapped car. They cannot legally be insured or used on the roads as they are no longer on the DVLA’s system.
A COD is a document that confirms a vehicle has been removed from the roads and destroyed. It also confirms that the vehicle has been disposed of correctly and is therefore no longer the owner’s responsibility.
After you notify the DVLA that you’ve scrapped your car, it can take up to one month for them to update their database. However, it will not usually take this long.