Scrap Car or Salvage Car – What is the Difference?

Something people are often confused about is what the difference is between a salvage car and a scrap car. Let’s try and clear things up a bit…

A scrap car is what may also be called an End of Life Vehicle or ELV. These are usually more than 10 years old and don’t have any parts that are worth reusing.

If you choose to scrap your car, the entire car will be sent for disposal and subsequent recycling. If your car is a scrap car, it will be worth less money than a salvage car and this may make it more difficult to sell.

This is because many dealers don’t want cars that have no salvageable parts and will offer them lower profit margins.

What Happens with a Salvage Car?

If your car is a salvage car that can be repaired or has parts that could be sold, it could be sold to either a dealer who can make it roadworthy again or a specialist car breaker who will dismantle the car and sell whatever parts they’re able to.

Car Salvage is for cars which can be made roadworthy again or that have good parts that could be sold. Salvage cars are usually less than 10 years old, which means their parts are in better condition and more likely to be able to be sold or fixed allowing the car to get back on the road.

There are loads of car dealers out there who specialise in spare parts for certain models or makes of cars, so if your car falls into this category and you wish to sell it for parts, it’s worth seeking out this type of dealer.

What Happens to End of Life Vehicles That Are Scrapped?

Vehicles that are either too old or too damaged to have any salvage value should be disposed of at an Authorised Treatment Facility or ATF.

Registered ATFs must meet strict government recycling and waste standards. At Gp Metals you can rest assured that once your ELV has been collected, it will be disposed of and recycled legally and correctly.

How to Tell if Your Car is Scrap or Salvage

To be sure whether your car is suitable for scrap or salvage, you’d need to have some scrap industry knowledge. For a guideline though, you should consider whether your car is over 10 years old or under.

If it’s over 10 years old, it’s likely going to be a scrap car, and if it’s under 10 years old and isn’t badly damaged, it’s most likely going to be fit for salvage.

This isn’t always a hard and fast rule though, as certain types of cars have salvage value even after 10 years of age, for example classic and rare cars.