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How a Scrap Car is Processed

You may or may not have experience with scrapping your car, but either way, an insight into the process can be interesting and also useful to know if you do ever decide to recycle your vehicle. There are also more steps to the process than many people think, which definitely go beyond the common conceptions of crushing them into a cube or shredding them whole.

Here at Craddock Metal Recycling, we have 75 years of experience in the metal recycling industry, so we know a thing or two about scrapping cars. We have decided to use this expertise to guide you through how a scrap car is processed in our latest blog post below.

Battery Removal

First and foremost, we will go ahead and remove the battery of a vehicle as they need to be dealt with sensitively. If this component remains in good, working order, we may look to sell this onto a new owner for continued use. When a battery cannot be re-used, it will be separated into its different components and recycled as far as possible.

Tyre Removal

The tyres are usually removed to be recycled next. Again, if they are in good condition and (in this case) remain roadworthy, they will be resold as part-worn tyres to extend their use further. If they cannot be resold, they will be recycled.

Historically, recycling tyres has been a tenuous and difficult process that often meant they would find their way to landfill. However, with advances in processing technology, tyres are more commonly being shredded, ground, or crumbed to be reused in a completely new way.

Hazardous Material Removal

As is true with tyres and batteries both, the hazardous materials of a vehicle – naturally – have to be dealt with responsibly. This requires the use of a dedicated depollution centre, aptly staffed with specially-trained professionals that know how to dispose of these materials safely. This can include dealing with lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and more – which can be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment – so especial care and precaution is taken at all times.

The liquids of the vehicle are also removed and taken care of at this stage. This includes things such as engine oil, brake fluid, etc. These may have to be disposed of, but recycling centres will do their best to recycle them and this often means reusing them in the vehicles used on site.

Parts Removal

The larger parts of cars that can be reused, resold, or need to be individually recycled are the next parts to be processed. This can include things like the glass from the windows and windscreen as well as the bumpers and plastic fascia.

Oftentimes, recycling centres will look to restore these parts and resell them to keep them in circulation for people who have a vehicle that is the same model as that being scrapped.


Finally, the remains of the vehicle itself will be processed and recycled. At this point, the car is essentially a shell with some seats (if these haven’t been removed for reuse), but there are many components that make up a car so there is still value to be extracted.

This ‘shell’ will be shredded and then separated into the different types of material to make recycling them more manageable.

Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle

And that’s it. It may sound simple, perhaps because it was a quick rundown, but that is a hard and fast guide as to when happens to your car when you scrap it. There is a lot of effort that goes into making sure every last material can be repurposed, recycled, or reused and that is the overarching goal of any metal recycling facility.

Craddock Metal Recycling

When you go to scrap your car, it’s essential that you seek out an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). Luckily, here at Craddock Metal Recycling, we are just that having been recognised and authorised by the DVLA.

Therefore, if you’re looking to scrap your car in the Redditch, Birmingham, and Stratford area, contact us by calling 01527 66866 or filling out our simple contact form.