We all dread it. Its almost a year since the car went for it’s last MOT. We try to avoid it, but can‘t. It‘s just the way it is. So, we drive into the garage and we are greeted by the smell of oil and sweat, the sound of a cheesy radio station echoes around the premises while spanners clunk and drills whirl. An overweight car mechanic, who has survived on a diet of cheeseburgers and coffee for the past 20 years, struggles out from underneath the truck he’s working on and rubs his oily hands on his already oil soaked cover alls. He takes one look at your car and makes the inevitable sucking sound through his teeth that seems to be written in the big book of car mechanics phrases and sounds:
“That’s gonna cost ya, pal!”
Of course it is. Anything automotive is going to cost, especially if you are driving a car more than 8 years old! This is when you are faced with the decision: Do I blow my money and hope that this old rust bucket lasts until next MOT? or do I just grit my teeth and bin it?
Sometimes binning it is the best long term option. If you do decided to scrap your old car, don’t be tempted to take it the a vehicle breaker just be offered £200 for it. Try some of these top tips. All you need is a little time and space in your back garden. A little mechanical knowledge would help, but it’s not essential.
1. Is the road tax still valid? Many people don’t realise that when you are no longer using a car on the road, you are entitled to a refund on the remaining duty on your road fund licence. Accompany the tax disc with the valid form to the DVLA’s office and you will receive a cheque in the mail about a week later.
2. Are the tyres still legal? If so, take them off and keep them for your next car. If you don’t fancy that idea, there are loads of road users out there looking for part worn cheap tyres.
3. How’s the upholstery? If you have car has leather interior, again, loads of car owners are looking for a cheaper option when it comes to tarting up their precious metal. You should advertise leather seats etc. in the local paper.
4. Break the engine. Easier said than done, I know. But a few hours taking common parts off the engine, cleaning them up and selling them is a fantastic way to make money. You could get up to £40 for a starter motor alone!
5. Take off all exterior fittings like side mirrors and lights. They fall into the same category as engine parts and are always sought after.
6. Interior items such as indicator and light switches are actually worth good money. Check out the prices of such things at a dealership and you’ll see what I mean. I was able to sell a set of indicator and light switches for an old Rover on eBay for £25!
7. Once your confident you’ve got the most profitable parts off the car, strip the rubbish out: Dashboard, door fascias, centre consoles etc. etc. Dispose of these items at your local recycling centre for free.
8. Providing you have space to keep your carcass outside for a while, fill it up with metal. Tins, cans, scrap metal. Clean them out, remove the labels and chuck them inside the car and fill it up. Make sure its only scrap metal you’re throwing in there.
9. If your able to deliver the carcass to your local metal recycling plant, they will pay on the weight off what you have delivered. You can expect a good payment from them. If you’re unable to deliver the carcass to the plant, many of them offer a pick up service, but this will reduce you payment quite a bit.
If you have the time to spare and the interest in this kind of thing, then it could prove to be a neat little earner for you. Advertising spare parts in local newspapers and on sites such as eBay will ensure you get a far better return for your scrap car.