How to find out if a car has been scrapped?

What is a scrapped vehicle check?

One should know how to find out if a car has been scrapped, to see if it has been damaged beyond repair or not, it is not easy to check if a car has been scrapped with bare observation, this needs to be checked with a verified source, since buying a used car that was set for scrapping could be risky.


There are 2 types of write offs:


Statutory - A statutory write off is one where the vehicle cannot be repaired and must be salvaged and scrapped.


Repairable - When the car’s repair costs exceed the market value of the car itself, it can be fixed but at a cost higher than you might have expected.


How to find out if a car has been scrapped is a resourceful thing that you can easily use to buy a good used car, and avoid unnecessary expenses while you still can. Learn more about scrapped and written off vehicles.

Statutory write off

A Statutory write off means would mean the car’s end, it just can’t be brought back to the road and it is pointless to repair a vehicle that had been damaged structurally, since it can’t be brought back to life under manufacturer’s standards.

Repairable write off

The car can be repaired but at a higher cost than current market value, you could make profits out of this, since some classic cars are hard to repair and have expensive spare parts; but if you make it into a fully functioning car, it can sell for more than you ever imagined.

What happens after Car Scrapping?

Once your car is scrapped you will receive a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) i.e. when your vehicle has been scrapped by an ATF (Authorised Treatment Facility). The ATF will notify DVLA about the car scrapping. Place the CoD document safely so that you can prove the vehicle was scrapped.

Informing DVLA about the car scrap

You will receive a letter from DVLA within four weeks to confirm that the vehicle’s identification and to know if the vehicle has been scrapped along with the fact that you’re no longer responsible for it.


Damages incurred by personal means (by you), means that you still have to pay your taxes, or at least declare it as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). SORN must be renewed annually until it has been taken to an ATF, otherwise you would no longer own the vehicle in question.


Want to inform DVLA about the scrap? Check here!

how to find out if a car has been scrapped

What to do before buying a used car?

Knowing how to find out if a car has been scrapped can be quite useful, you can check the details of the used car via a free vehicle history check, it helps with a lot of useful data that you would have to otherwise collect from different data sources.

Things to know while scrapping a vehicle

Custom Registrations: What to do?


When you have a private registration on a car that you want to scrap, transfer the registration or retain it before you end up scrapping the car. If your car has been written off then you must inform your insurance company to hold the car from disposing until the registration has been done.


Obtain “letter of no interest” from your respective insurance company to ensure there is written evidence of consent to transfer or retain the registration number. Do get a copy of the report to confirm the vehicle’s details from the inspection engineer.


What to do when you want to scrap the car?


Notify DVLA using your registration certificate to tell them that you would be scrapping the car. Call up an ATF for further advice on how to scrap, sometimes they can pick up the car for you which may be of charge.


You will receive a letter within 4 weeks from DVLA to confirm vehicle identity and if it has been scrapped, along with that it will also confirm that you are no longer responsible for the car.


Total Loss Payment and what it means


In the situation where your insurers have decided to statutory write off your vehicle, the vehicle will be expected in return for a “total loss payment”. You need to complete a V5C/3 which means ‘Notification of sale or transfer’ section on your registration document and send it to DVLA. The insurance company will be waiting for the remainder of the registration certificate.


In some cases insurers handle the whole process of completing and sending the V5C/3 form on your behalf, so you should just write to the DVLA in case they have removed your name from the records, it is always good to double check. You should provide DVLA with details of the vehicle transfer date and company details of your insurers along with their address.


You will receive a letter within 4 weeks from DVLA to confirm vehicle identity and if it has been scrapped, along with that it will also confirm that you are no longer responsible for the car.

How can you find out if your old car has been scrapped?

How to find out if a car has been scrapped by using the reg number of the car can help you obtain MOT records, tax due dates, vehicle specifications along with a lot of other crucial data. When a car is set for scrapping it means that the car was totaled off and not road worthy at all.


Find out more than just your used car’s scrapped status with a scrapped vehicle check and get other crucial data like outstanding finance, written-off details, number plate change and colour change among many others.

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