In the UK about 2.2 million vehicles come to the end of their lives each year, either by fire, abandonment, recovered by the DVLA, or scrapped. Currently 95% of an end of life vehicle is recycled.
As the last owner you can surrender your vehicle for recycling.
Local companies that will collect your car free
What happens next
Vehicles are taken to the Authorised Treatment Facility.
At an Authorised Treatment Facility the first stage is to remove all potentially hazardous liquids; petrol, air conditioning gases, oils, coolants, transmission and suspension fluids are drained and stored in specially designed tanks. Specialist recycling takes care of wheels, batteries, airbags, mercury switches and LPG tanks. The steel from the exhaust and the precious metals platinum, rhodium and palladium from the Catalytic converter can be recovered when it is replaced.
Tyres can be ground down into a crumb which is used in sports and play surfaces, brake linings, landscaping mulch, carpet underlay, absorbents for wastes, shoe soles and even be recycled in road asphalt. Rubberised asphalt can result in fewer ruts, potholes and cracks in the surface. In 2000 a crumb road was laid near Battle in East Sussex. Wheel weights and rims separated and the rim is crushed using a specialised wheel crusher.
What is left of the vehicle is stored on racks awaiting the removal of all useful parts.
Some are cubed straight away. The more valuable parts of other vehicles are removed, the car is then crushed into cubes for easy transportation to the recycle facility.
Your car could be part of an aircraft, used as a food container, or even another vehicle.