Thinking of scrapping your old car? Here's what you need to know and do
There comes a time in most relationships when you realise you have to move on.
With an older car it might start with frequent breakdowns, repeatedly heavy repair bills or a major fault like a head gasket failure that means the car has come to the end of the road.
But when it comes to moving on from a knackered old motor, there's a lot of conflicting advice out there. For example, there's the possibility of using it as a part-exchange with a dealer when buying your next car.
However, that can mean getting less than the car is worth, as the dealer will have to cover the cost of shifting it.
A more straightforward option is the scrapyard (or Authorised Treatment Facility, as they're called these days).
Approximately 160,000 cars a year are scrapped in Ireland, most of them between 10-16 years old. Scrap prices were low in the late 1990s and early 2000s and there was a rise in abandoned vehicles as motorists had to pay to have them taken off their hands.
Now, although scrap prices have been on a downward trend for a while, you could get around €70 on average but it could be up to €150, depending on the type of car.
But when scrapping your car it's important to make sure you're using a reputable company for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, to ensure that your car is recycled in line with Irish Government regulations. These days, it's not just about extracting the value of the scrap metal - there is an official target of 95pc for car recycling.
The regulations are there to ensure that hazardous materials such as oil, tyres and batteries are disposed of correctly and don't end up damaging the environment.
You should only scrap your car at a scrap car recycling centre with an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) licence - the licence requires businesses to invest substantially in the necessary equipment and buildings to deal with the cars properly. It's a criminal offence to recycle a scrap car without an environmental permit. Only scrap car recycling centres with ATF licences are able to issue an Certificate of Destruction (CoD) for a vehicle
Unfortunately, despite the government's efforts there are still unlicensed operators throughout Ireland who will readily accept scrap vehicles.
Ways to spot these include companies that only give out mobile numbers, those with badly constructed, out-of-date websites and those that don't issue genuine Certificates of Destruction, instead offering fraudulent ones called a Destruction Certificate, Certificate of Disposal or something similar.
The importance of getting a genuine CoD is vital to ensure the admin side of parting company with your old motor is handled correctly. Most of us know how important it is to get the paperwork sorted properly when selling a car.
The same principle applies when scrapping your car, but in this instance the Department of Transport (DoT) in Shannon needs to be informed using the CoD. "If the customer drops the car off at our recycling centre the certificate can be issued while they wait," explains Peter Kinsella at his Red Cow ATF, a member of CarTakeBack's network. "Alternatively we can send it to you in the post or it can be sent directly by the Department if they were notified electronically."
These days many things in life have been made more convenient by the internet and car scrapping is one of them. In the past, motorists have had to phone around several scrap car recyclers or fill in forms on websites and wait for companies to reply.
But some offer the option of a swift online service. "When customers enter their postcode and the registration number of the car they'd like to scrap at www.CarTakeBack.ie they get an instant online quote," explains manager Alison Price. "The quotes are valid for seven days so customers don't have to accept if they're not quite ready."
They claim to be the only company in Ireland currently offering this service.
You can also drop off your car at the recycling centre or use the free collection service - ideal for cars without tax, insurance or an NCT certificate.
If there's a minimum of three complete months road tax left on your car, you can get a refund for any full months that remain.
You will need to get the Form RF120 signed/stamped at a Garda Station, and present it, along with the Certificate of Destruction at your local motor tax office.
It's also important to call your car insurers and let them know your car has been scrapped. They'll generally give you the option of either transferring any funds you hold with them towards insuring your next vehicle, or giving you a refund for any unused months.
* The CarTakeBack operation has just begun in Ireland. It is an international scrap car recycling company operating throughout the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The company claims to find motorists the best price for their old car and can arrange for cars to be collected and delivered to their local recycling centre.
It says all its recycling centres have environmental permits issued by the relevant authorities. That ensures all hazardous materials - such as oils, batteries and tyres - are removed in line with government regulations.
You can check out all the details on www.cartakeback.ie or (1800 844 389).
Top tips when scrapping
Only use a scrap car recycling centre that's a registered Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) - as required by law
Only ATFs can issue a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) for your car .
Only ATFs can issue a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) for your car - this is required to notify the Department of Transport (DoT) in Shannon that you are no longer legally responsible for the vehicle
Avoid dodgy dealers. Ways to spot them include adverts only containing mobile numbers and badly constructed websites. They'll often offer an unrealistically high price for your car - only to drop it dramatically on collection
If the car can't be moved, or you don't want the inconvenience of driving it to the scrapyard, use a company that offers a free collection service