Scrapping vs. Salvaging – What’s the Difference?

Scrapping and Salvage

What is the difference between scrapping and salvaging cars is a common question. Let’s unravel some of the facts surrounding the difference between salvage vehicles and scrap vehicles and why one can be worth more than the other.

What is a salvage car?

A salvage car has been involved in an accident or damaged to the extent that the insurance company has deemed it a total loss and unfit for use on the road. In most scenarios, the cost of repairs to make the vehicle road-worthy again outweighs the value of the vehicle so the owner needs to then dispose of it. 

The insurance company will often send the vehicle to a salvage company such as Cash For Cars who specialise in salvage cars. Salvage cars are usually less than 10 years old meaning their parts are in a better condition to be fixed or stripped out for resale. Salvage cars can be made road-worthy again with investment and knowledge and can prove a cost effective buy for many. 

Salvage cars are broken down into different categories.

Salvage Category B - Breaker

 

Category B Breaker (not repairable) – cannot return to the road but can be dismantled for parts.

Salvage Category C - Repairable

 

Category C (Repairable) – the estimated cost of repairing the damage exceeds the market valuation of the vehicle as defined by the insurer/owner.

Salvage Category D - Repairable

 

Category D (Repairable) – the estimated cost of repairing the damage is less than the market valuation of the vehicle as defined by the insurer/owner.

Salvage Category S - Repairable Structural

 

Category S (Repairable Structural) – a vehicle that has sustained damage to any of the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.

Salvage Category N - Repairable Non Structural

 

Category N (Repairable Non-Structural) –  a vehicle that has not sustained damage to the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.

What is a scrap car?

A scrap car is often referred to as an end of life vehicle. Scrap cars are beyond repair and cannot be returned to the road but parts of the vehicle still intact are of value to buyers. Despite the car reaching the end of its life, it may contain a part that a buyer already repairing a vehicle is looking for. 

Scrap cars have usually been involved in an accident, failed their MOT or simply come to the end of its life. Scrapping a car can lead to a positive environmental impact as it will be stripped throughout and materials can often be used to make something different for other vehicles. 

Scrap cars will go through a disposal process as a registered Authorised Treatment Facility. Registered ATFs abide by strict waste standards and government recycling regulations. 

Is there a difference in price between scrap and salvage cars?

The price you will be paid depends on the condition of the vehicle. A salvage car will often command more money as it carries with it the possibility of being made road-worthy again. However, this does not apply if the cost of repairs amounts to more than what you paid for it. The price of a scrap vehicle depends on its age, the weight and size of the scrap car and its condition. A large vehicle will come with a higher price tag as it has more metal available for scrap. 

So what is the difference between scrap and salvage vehicles?

A salvaged vehicle has the potential to become road-worthy again.

A scrap car has reached the end of the road, will be removed and sold for scrap metal prices. 

What’s the difference between scrap and salvage for buyers?

As a buyer, if you’re looking at a salvage vehicle, you’re looking at one with good parts in it which could even take to the road again. This can be seen as a great investment purchase. 

A scrap car only focuses on the weight of the vehicle which will determine what you as a buyer will pay for the scrap or make from selling the vehicle. 

What should I do to scrap or salvage a vehicle? 

Cash For Cars is perfectly positioned to assist you with your vehicle and can advise on which route to take. You will receive a quote within seconds without the hassle of haggling. Whether your vehicle is scrap or salvage, reach out to Cash For Cars and we can get you started on your journey of disposing of your vehicle. 

A salvage car has been involved in an accident or damaged to the extent that the insurance company has deemed it a total loss and unfit for use on the road. In most scenarios, the cost of repairs to make the vehicle road-worthy again outweighs the value of the vehicle so the owner needs to then dispose of it.

The insurance company will often send the vehicle to a salvage company such as Cash For Cars will specialise in salvage cars. Salvage cars are usually less than 10 years old meaning their parts are in a better condition to be fixed or shipped out for resale.

Assumptions

When providing a quote for your vehicle we make the following assumptions:

1.    You have the registration certificate (V5C) for it.

2.    You have at least one copy of each key needed to unlock and start your vehicle.

3.    Your vehicle has all of its major parts.

4.    Your vehicle has no major damage.

5.    Your vehicle starts and drives.

6.    You have provided an accurate mileage reading for your vehicle.

7.    Your vehicle has not been used for rental, private hire, driving tuition or as an emergency vehicle.

8.    Your vehicle has a current MOT.

9.    Your vehicle has never been categorised by an insurance company as a write-off.

10. Your vehicle has a full service history.