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Getting rid of an old car: Scrap vs. Sell (which one is right for you)

Post Date: 22nd June 2018


If you are thinking of getting rid of your old car you may have a decision on your hands of where it goes. Depending on the age of the vehicle, you might be thinking about either scrapping the car, or selling it. The question is, which one is right for you?

Both options have their merits, so we have written up a mini-guide that will help you decide. Read on to find out whether you should be scrapping or selling your car, and what you should know when going down either route.

When should you scrap or sell your car?

The indication of when to scrap or sell a car usually comes about in the following circumstances:

You are thinking of buying another car

 You have paid off a finance deal on your old car

 Your old car has become faulty or has broken down

Any of these options will normally result in you needing to dispose of your old car, preferably when you can also get money for it which will go towards the new car.

Taking into account the vehicle’s age and the faults it has picked up (including not being able to even start), you might be interested in either selling or scrapping the old vehicle. Below we have summarised what the best option is for you.

Selling your old car

A big possibility for those wanting to get money for their old car to go towards a new model, is selling the old car. Selling is usually a preferred option for drivers who have an old car that is still in good condition and could quite easily be purchased as a second-hand car by another person.

You might also be simply at the end of an old finance deal on the old car, which usually means the car is yours to own. If you have looked after the car while it has been in your possession and not put over 60,000 miles on the clock, you will likely find yourself in a good position to be able to sell it, especially if it has an up-to-date MOT and doesn’t need any repairs.

If you feel this is the case, you have a number of options when thinking of selling your car:

 Part-Exchange – if you are going to be purchasing a new car then part-exchanging is usually offered in conjunction with the sale. You can get some money off a new finance deal or even the price of the car outright if you choose this option, making it cheaper for you in the long run when paying off the new car

 Sell Privately – you can often get the most amount of money for selling privately, since you can name your price and not become constricted by only being offered a minimum price for a part-exchange. Whilst it can be the most lucrative, unfortunately a sale is not guaranteed

 Sell Online – another option for those looking to sell their car is to sell it online through a car buying website. The market is quite saturated so there are many options for owners thinking of selling this way. Unfortunately, even though you are practically guaranteed a sale (unless there are any outstanding faults with the car), you are likely to get the least amount out of the three options as you will be offered the bare minimum for the vehicle

The only time you won’t be able to sell your old car is if it is still under a finance agreement. In this situation you will need to pay off the remaining finance and settle the agreement before you can continue to sell the car.


Selling your care is quick and easy to do, and is ideal for those who have a vehicle that is still in good condition. However, while selling your car seems like the most obvious option at the time and you can guarantee a sale in most instances, you will usually be offered the bare minimum for the vehicle. This is so the person or dealership who have bought it can still turn a profit by selling it for a higher price.

Scrapping your old car

If you are not in a position to sell your car because of the age or condition of the vehicle, you might find that scrapping it is a lot easier in your position. You will be able to still get money for the vehicle but it will not be as much as selling it, simply as the vehicle will be in a worse condition and will quite possibly be at the end of its life.

The first step is finding a scrapyard or breaker such as Dronsfields to help you dispose of the vehicle. You can either get in touch with our team or fill out the simple enquiry form with all of your information, along with some details about the car, and we will get back to you asap.

If you are thinking of scrapping your car, here are a few details to consider:

 Take forms of ID with you – when scrapping a car you will need to prove your identity against the details of the car and your details will be stored for up to 3 years. Best of using photo ID such as a passport or driving licence, as well as a proof of address such as a utility bill

 Inform the DVLA – once your car has been scrapped you will receive a CoD (Certificate of Destruction) which you will need to send on to the DVLA. Failure to do so will mean you are still liable for the car

 Get a Refund on insurance and tax – after declaring the car has been scrapped with the DVLA, get in touch and ask for a refund on your tax, along with asking your insurer for a refund on your remaining car insurance


Scrapping a car is the ideal option for an owner whose car is either in poor condition or has simply come to the end of its life. When the cost of repair is more than the price you will get for it by disposing of it, it is simply easier to scrap the vehicle. Do not expect a huge amount of money, but you will still be able to put that towards the price of a new car if required.
If you would like any further advice regarding scrapping a vehicle, get in touch with the expert team at Dronsfields today.

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