By James Broughton, November 8, 2022
The price of scrap metal has never been higher, and with the global economy in a state of flux, more and more people are looking to unload their old cars for a quick buck. But what happens to all those scrap cars? Where do they go? And what impact does the scrap car market have on the environment? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the scrap car market and explore some of the issues surrounding scrap car removal.
Defining Scrap Cars
As the name suggests, scrap cars are simply cars that are no longer roadworthy and are therefore scrap metal. In most cases, scrap cars are sold to scrap yards or recycling plants where they are dismantled and the usable parts are recycled. The metal is then sold to foundries and smelters where it is melted down and made into new products.
Cars can end up scrapped from accidents when declared write-offs. In contrast, with finance agreements, a car will have a salvage value that is more than the scrap value.
A Huge Market for Scrap Cars
The scrap car market is a huge industry that is estimated to be worth billions of pounds each year. In the UK alone, there are over 8 million scrap cars on the roads and this number is growing every year. With so many scrap cars around, it’s no surprise that the scrap car market is big business.
With the market so huge, many motor traders will want a piece of the action and it is keeping many in work in a struggling economy with bills forever increasing.
However, the scrap car market is not without its problems. One of the biggest issues facing the scrap car market is environmental pollution. Every year, millions of tonnes of scrap metal are melted down and made into new products. It has to be said, though, that the same scrap car market also recycles car parts, which saves them from having to be made from scratch, which would otherwise pollute the environment.
It is not considered a waste when scrapped cars have a use beyond being a complete car. This in itself is an environmentally friendly approach because we now recycle all kinds of products and packaging. We just have to be mindful not to add to pollution if we can avoid it, with climate change a hot topic at the moment.
The scrap car market also has a social impact. In many cases, scrap cars are sold to scrap yards or recycling plants by people who can no longer afford to keep them on the road. This often happens when people lose their jobs or have financial difficulties. As a result, scrap cars often end up in the hands of low-income families who may not be able to afford to properly maintain them. This is less likely, though, when second-hand parts are more available through the scrapping of vehicles. Fewer parts available would drive their prices up.
If it was not for the recycling of old cars, driving may well become unaffordable for some. The market for older cars and parts is something to be thankful for in a world of divided riches. A business can be made for lots of people in these kinds of diverse situations and unstable economic conditions.
We can conclude that in many ways the scrap car market is a win-win situation for many. Car owners are making some money out of their old cars that are no longer roadworthy in their current states. Garages will buy them and put them back into driveable and nice aesthetic condition. Many motor traders are making money from the second-hand car part market. This includes, in particular, those who run scrap yards. Then the environment can benefit from the recycling element of the old car parts being made use of.
Finally, those who cannot afford new vehicles can make use of a second-hand car market that has reasonably cheap car parts available to keep them on the road.