Car recycling: What is there to consider?

Car recycling is usually the last stop in a car's life. In this way, valuable raw materials can be recovered and new products can be made from them. In many cases, individual parts or entire assemblies are also dismantled because they are still functional. This means that they can be used for longer, which is good for our environment. But there are some important points to consider if you want or need to get rid of your old car.

The reasons for scrapping a car

There are some situations that make car disposal necessary. For example, if you are involved in an accident with your car, which causes major damage to your vehicle, it can quickly happen that repairs are no longer worthwhile. In this case one speaks in the vernacular of an economic total loss. In addition, the damage can of course also be so severe that repair is not only uneconomical, but also no longer possible. Ultimately, this also has the consequence that you can no longer use your car. In addition to accidents, the ravages of time can also mean that a vehicle reaches the end of its life. This is usually related to a due main inspection, in which the vehicle's roadworthiness is denied. Even if even major defects can often be eliminated, this is usually no longer useful, especially with older vehicles. So it makes sense to get as much out of the old vehicle as possible and to send it to vehicle recycling. You can then invest any proceeds in the down payment for another vehicle.

A vehicle that is no longer registered or that is no longer allowed to be driven due to a long-expired TÜV should not be parked on public roads. Even if your vehicle is obviously so damaged that it can no longer be considered safe to operate, it must not simply be parked somewhere. Such vehicles are then at least classified as „traffic obstruction“ scored. If your vehicle is no longer registered or has no number plates at all, the fine for parking in public traffic is around 60 euros. However, it is usually worse that there is even a point in the Flensburg traffic offender file. Incidentally, there is a risk of an increase in the fine if it can be assumed that you wanted to dispose of your end-of-life vehicle illegally.

How much does it cost to scrap an old car?

First of all, the question arises as to what costs you have to reckon with if you have your car scrapped. The fact is that as the owner of an end-of-life vehicle, you are obliged to have it properly disposed of if it can only be classified as waste. There is a corresponding ordinance that regulates that only certain companies may accept end-of-life vehicles for disposal. As a consumer, you can of course choose which company is allowed to dismantle and dispose of your car. In urban areas in particular, you often have a wide range of recycling depots to choose from. A little-noticed alternative is that the vehicle manufacturer has to take back vehicles of its own brand free of charge. He is then responsible for disposing of the vehicle himself at his own expense.

What costs you have to reckon with is of course entirely dependent on which company you hire. It can be roughly said that some of the so-called car recyclers are willing to pay you money for the disposal of your old car. Conversely, you will have to pay more for the disposal of the old car at a scrap yard. The estimated costs are around 100 to 200 euros plus vehicle collection.

What do you have to consider when you scrap a car?

As already described, old car disposal may only be carried out by licensed companies. You should definitely pay attention to this. This is the only way you will receive a corresponding certificate of recycling, which you need. This proof is also required in the event of a final deregistration. Speaking of de-registration: Some recyclers offer to de-register your end-of-life vehicle for you. In some cases there is not even an additional fee for this. Nevertheless, you must have enough trust, because theoretically you are responsible for everything that happens to your vehicle up to de-registration. In any case, please note that you must also hand over the registration certificates. If you want to be on the safe side, we recommend that you deregister your vehicle yourself. If you go to your responsible registration authority, you should take the official number plates and registration certificate parts I and II (formerly: vehicle registration document and vehicle registration document) with you on a corresponding certificate of destruction.

What happens when a car is scrapped?

A lot has happened in the area of ​​responsibility for our environment, especially in the last few decades. That’s why cars don’t end up in the scrap press as a whole – on the contrary, attempts are made beforehand to dismantle assemblies that can still be used, or at least to separate the recyclable materials. The recyclers generally benefit from being able to resell individual parts at a profit. First of all, all technical liquids are removed and properly disposed of. The next step is to dismantle the individual parts as completely as possible. These are then either offered for sale or disposed of separately. Vehicle models for which original spare parts are no longer available are of particular interest. At the very end, all that is usually left is the metal body, which is then compressed in the scrap press. It is also interesting in this context that vehicle manufacturers are legally obliged to take disposal and recycling into account when designing and producing their vehicle models. At least 95% of the car's weight must be disposable and at least 85% recyclable.


Disposal of a car does not have to be complicated or expensive. In any case, it is advisable to compare different options with each other, because under certain circumstances you can still get a small amount of pocket money for your scrap vehicle or at least benefit from free disposal. Incidentally, this is also possible via your vehicle manufacturer. However, you should note that there were no changes to the car that required registration, otherwise you do not want to have to take it back free of charge.

A tip from CarTipsandmore:

The tires used often become unusable over the course of the car's life. In such a situation, the question often arises: „Where are used tires disposed of?“ For a fee, which is usually only small when you buy new tires, your garage will usually take them back and feed them into the recycling cycle. Alternatively, you can often dispose of used tires at your local recycling center. In some cases, at least for a small number, this is even possible free of charge. There are also some upcycling projects that can be implemented with old tires.

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