Every year, more than 25 million tons of old car material is recycled. In the United States alone, there are more than 8,000 scrap merchants. So if you're planning to ditch your car then you have plenty of options.
But there is a lot to do before you scrap a car. Failing to do this properly could mean that you lose money when recycling your car. And failing to comply with state guidelines could even land you in trouble with the law!
Not familiar with how to junk a car in Atlanta?
Not to worry, you're in the right place! Read on to find out everything you need to know about scrapping a car in Georgia's capital!
1. Get Your Paperwork in Order
Whether you're sending it to a new home or simply junking a car, you need to make sure you have the right paperwork in order before you can do anything. Any legitimate scrap merchant will need to see your paperwork before buying your car.
You will need your vehicle registration document or V5C from your vehicle's logbook to prove that you are the car's rightful owner. This demonstrates that you are entitled to sell the car on for scrap. It also prevents anyone else from selling it on without permission.
Once you have sold your car make sure that you hold onto the V5C/3 slip from your logbook. This is a yellow slip which confirms the sale. You should also make sure that you get a receipt from your chosen scrap merchant.
2. Check It Over for Personal Belongings
Most people aren't familiar with what happens to a car at the scrapyard. Essentially, the process involves ripping your car apart.
The scrapyard crushes the metal parts that are suitable for recycling. They then shred the remain non-recyclable parts before disposing of them. As you can image, there's not much to look at once the process is complete!
So you don't want any of your personal belongings getting caught up in this process. It's highly unlikely that you'll get them back if you leave them in the car.
3. Check Your State License Plate Laws
When you get rid of your car you must make sure that you deal with your license plates in the proper way.
Until you unregister your plates, they remain linked to your name. This means you'll be the first port of call for anything relating to a vehicle using them.
Different states have different laws regarding what you should do with your old license plates. In Atlanta, you must not pass your license plates on to a buyer. Instead, you should cancel them with the Department of Driver Services before you cancel your car insurance.
4. Remove Any Valuable Metals Before You Scrap a Car
You can simply scrap your old car to get rid of it. Or you can learn how to scrap a car and make some money back.
Removing valuable metals from your old car is an important part of this. You can recycle most of the metal used in your car and this means it has a certain amount of value. Selling these metals individually might make you more money than selling your car as a whole:
- Platinum (found in your catalytic converter)
- Iron or steel (found in the bodywork and engine of your car)
- Copper (found in your car's wiring, radiator, engine, and alternators)
- Aluminum (found in your car's wheel rims, cylinder heads, engine, and radiator)
While removing these parts might seem like a lot of effort, they can fetch a high price. In 2018, platinum's market value reached a massive $28,960 per kilogram!
5. Do Your Research into Local Scrapyards
Check out a couple of scrapyards before deciding where to take your old car. You want to make sure you find a merchant who will deliver on your deal.
Visiting a scrapyard in person will give you a good idea of how much business it does. If there are lots of cars there and lots of activity then you know it's a booming business. But anywhere too quiet might be struggling.
6. Explore Your Other Options
How to salvage a car doesn't just have to be about selling it to a scrap merchant.
If your car is showing signs that it's ready for junking, take the time to consider your options. These include:
- Donating it to a charity, which will sell it on for parts and keep the profit.
- Donating it to a local engineering school for teaching purposes.
- Turning it into a local art project.
- Using it to create a local wildlife habitat (it's a little known fact but junk cars make excellent reef structures!)
These options might not make you money but they'll put your car to good use.
7. Cancel Your Car Insurance
For obvious reasons, you won't need your car insurance for this vehicle anymore. And forgetting to cancel your insurance could result in you pouring money down the drain. So make sure to set a reminder.
But remember, in Atlanta, you should only cancel your insurance after you've canceled your license plates.
8. Check Your Dealer Has a License
Any legitimate scrap merchant should have a license. This certifies that they will dispose of your car in the proper manner and adhere to the necessary safety regulations.
When picking a scrapyard to recycle your car, make sure to ask about this. If a merchant has a license they won't mind you asking about it. So this is a great way to find out any dodgy dealers.
9. Certify the Weight of Your Vehicle
Most dealers give you a price for your car based on its weight.
This is because the weight of your car tells them roughly how much steel or iron your vehicle contains. The more there is of this, the more money they'll make off recycling it. So the heavier a car is, the more they'll offer you for it.
But to ensure you get a fair deal, make sure that their scrapyard has a certified weighing scale. Some dodgy dealers tamper with their measures to make a car seem lighter than it actually is.
This means that they offer you much less than your car's actual value and, consequently, make a huge profit.
10. Use Up Any Remaining Gasolene
This might not seem like the most important thing to do when getting rid of your old car. But don't let your valuable gas go to waste in the scrapyard.
If your car isn't running anymore then you can still get the gas out using a siphon system. Simply collect it in a can and keep it in your garage for emergencies.
11. Organize Your Transportation
If you're dropping your car off at the scrapyard, make sure you plan ahead. If you drive the car there you need to plan how you're going to get home. You certainly won't be driving your car back out!
A lot of scrap yards are on the edge of town. So always check your public transport options before going in. Or arrange a lift home if necessary.
Some scrap yards offer a towing service for cars. Before booking your car in make sure that this doesn't come at an extra cost.
12. Shop Around for Quotes
Get in touch with a couple of dealers to find the best quote for your vehicle. This helps you to find the best deal for your car and it gives you an idea of your car's market value.
If you get multiple offers in the same range then you know you're getting a fair deal. And this will highlight any dealers who try to undercut you.
13. Remove Any Electrical Items
If your car has any electric gadgets fitted then you can remove these and sell them on for a profit. Things to take out and sell include:
- Fitted GPS software
- Smart technology
- Stereos or radios
- Handsfree dialing devices
If you don't remove these then a scrap merchant will simply shred them with the other non-recyclables.
14. Keep an Eye Out for Potential Scams
We've already mentioned a few things to look out for when choosing a legitimate scrap yard. But keep an eye out for any of the following – they might suggest that you're being scammed:
- Additional charges, such as an extra towing charge
- Taking too long to get back to you with a quote
- Any delay in payment
- Claiming your car has no value
- Numbers that don't add up
- Not being thorough with important paperwork
- Not having a license
And finally always remember, if a deal sounds too good it probably is.
15. Make Sure to Get Your Certificate of Destruction
Once you hand your car over to a scrap yard they must issue you with a Certificate of Destruction or CoD. Do not leave the scrapyard without this!
This legally confirms that you have handed your car over. It means that you are no longer responsible for what happens to the car. So make sure you keep this document in a safe place in case you need it in the future!
Now You're Ready to Scrap a Car!
If you're going to scrap a car in Atlanta then keep these fifteen rules in mind and you won't go far wrong.