There are times when a car simply isn't useful to anyone anymore. Sometimes, it's just too old to run properly and isn't worth fixing, while other times, it's been seriously damaged by an accident or a weather event and would cost more to fix than replace. In these cases, you aren't just stuck with an old lump of metal that used to be a car. You can sell the car to a scrap metal yard or another business that will separate it into useful metal pieces and trash the rest. And rather than having to pay for this service, you could end up with some cash in your pocket.
Other Options for Getting Rid of an Old or Damaged Car
Though it is possible to scrap your car in South Africa, it isn't necessarily the best choice. If you have the time and need the money, it makes sense to weigh your options first. It could be that your car isn't actually damaged beyond the point of usefulness, and some ambitious mechanic out there might want to buy it to see if it is possible to fix it up and get it running again. You may also be able to find a buyer if your car is popular amongst collectors. It could also be that someone is willing to buy your car to salvage its usable parts.
When to Scrap
Though there are other options, these may not be the best options. Ultimately, the smartest choice is the option that is easiest and gives you the best value. Selling a damaged car can be time consuming and, unless you have a particularly desirable car, may not end up being a successful endeavour. It is also possible that selling for scrap will end up being the most lucrative choice. The exact cost of a scrapped car depends on a wide variety of factors, including the current market price for certain metals and the make, model, size and weight of the car, so it is difficult to give even a rough estimate of how much one might make from scrapping a car without knowing those specifics. However, scrap yards may be able to give a quick estimate of what they are likely to pay for your car. If your hunk of metal is a common economy car, opting to scrap is likely the best choice.
Legal Concerns for Scrapping
It is perfectly legal to scrap a car, but there are a few things you'll have to do before scrapping the car. The exact steps may vary depending on what part of South Africa you live in. In some areas, the local government requires you to fill out an application requesting the the vehicle is deregistered. You may need to pay some associated costs, but it is likely that you will recoup these costs when you sell the car for scrap. Deregistering the vehicle before taking it to the scrap yard is a good idea even if it isn't legally required where you live. That way, anything that happens to the car after you sell it isn't your responsibility.
Preparing to Sell
Once you've looked into any legal concerns, you can actually sell the car for scrap. There are a few things to consider, though. For one, some scrap yards may ask you to quote a price. This can be difficult to do accurately, but remember that a car that is so damaged that it's scrapworthy isn't likely to carry the same book value as an undamaged version of the same make and model. Also remember that asking for more than you expect to get puts you in a good bargaining position. Don't go too high, or you may not actually succeed in selling your car. Have an ideal price in mind, but also be aware that you'll need to draw the line somewhere as far as low offers go.
There are a few pieces of information you will need to know before you can sell your car to a scrap yard. Buyers may want to know things like the condition of the car's mechanical parts such as the engine, the condition of the interior and the severity of accident damage, if any accident damage is present. They may also want to know specific things, like when it was first registered. Most of them will also want to see some kind of registration papers or proof of ownership.
Selling for Scrap Summary
If you decide that there's no better option for getting rid of your hunk-of-junk old car, selling for scrap is a viable and legal option. You may need to take some steps before approaching the sale, including having an idea for the lowest price that's acceptable to you and gathering some knowledge about the car to provide to the seller. You should also deregister the car before relinquishing it to the scrap buyer. This may be a legal requirement where you live, but even if it isn't, it's still a good idea.