Are British roads becoming scrap yards?

13 May 2018


Old bangers or abandoned vehicles are making their way back to the roads. More car owners have abandoned their old or end-of-life vehicles on the roads than previous years. Data suggests that over 400 councils disclosed that the number of vehicles accounted as abandoned has almost tripped from about 40,876 in 2012 to about 147,616 in 2016.

Drivers that abandon their end-of-life vehicles on the roads generally failed to explore trade-in options at an earlier stage.

Here are a few reasons why drivers choose to abandon their end-of-life vehicles on British roads 

1) Cost savings from engaging in Part-Exchange deals: Some car owners tend to keep their vehicles longer than normal due to an anticipated cost for a part-exchange deal. A good part exchange deal could come in a variety of scenarios. Firstly, if you bought your car via a Hire Purchase (HP) finance scheme and you’ve come to the end of the contract, the full part exchange value could go towards the new vehicle. On the other hand, if you are on a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP), the trade-in value of your car could offset the deposit for your new vehicle. Several car manufacturers and dealers are introducing compelling part exchange offers which will not cost you an arm and a leg.

2) The perceived cost of scrapping an old car: A common reason why other car owners choose to abandon their cars after a complete run-down is the anticipated cost a proposed scrapping could cost. Scrapping your old car will not usually cost you anything but could earn you some cash. In addition to getting something for your old banger, you can also be left with a great feeling of contributing towards a sustainable environment. As authorised treatment facilities or scrap yards usually have a license from the environment agency or Scottish environment protection agency.  This ensures your car and that of other owners is properly resold or recycled to prevent battery acids, gearbox oil and engine parts from harming the environment.

3) The perceived logistics of scrapping an old car or trade-in: Owners of run-down vehicles may feel contacting a scrap yard to ascertain a value and completing a sale of an old vehicle might be too complex for consideration. On the other hand, first-time car owners may assume it is easier to abandon their old banger than contact multiple car dealers for trade-in options. It is quite easy to check the scrap value of your car and contact a buyer than you can imagine. In addition, buy-back schemes are not usually as complex as anticipated.

After exploring a few reasons why people abandon their end-of-life vehicles it is important to understand what is considered an abandoned vehicle.

Determining an abandoned vehicle 

How do you determine that a vehicle is abandoned? Here are some conditions that have to be met:

  • The car is immobile or has been stationary for a considerable period of time
  • The vehicle has a missing number plate
  • There is an evidence the vehicle has suffered some degree of burn.
  • The car has no vehicle tax and has no custodian or owner on the DVLA’s database.
  • The value of the car has been fully utilised and they have deteriorated as flat tyres, broken windows or missing parts are evident.

British roads are not designed to be scrap yards for abandoned vehicles. Owners of run-down vehicles can easily explore trade-in options or sell these vehicles to a local scrap dealer.