Become Local Scrap Dealer Join Now

How to choose the right scrapyard

Scrap car

So you’re looking for a scrapyard? GREAT – You’re at the right place!

How do you find a scrapyard & which yard is right for you?

Are you looking to scrap some metal? Scrap your car? Buy some used car parts or are you looking to buy some metal?

If so – Do you know what kind of scrapyard you need to be contacting?

I mean – a scrapyard’s a scrapyard, isn’t it?

WRONG! There are a few different types of scrapyards or scrap dealers to choose from but who does what? Which one is right for you?

Different Scrapyard types for you to choose from:

  • Scrap Metal Dealers. (Scrap Metal Merchants)
  • Scrap Metal Collectors
  • Vehicle Recyclers.
  • Vehicle Breakers & Dismantlers.
  • WEEE Recycling facilities.
  • Precious metal recovery companies.

Keep reading to get an idea of what what each scrapyard type does and figure out which one suits you best.

If you aren’t really interested and would like us to find the scrap dealer for you then select one of the images below and we’ll find one for you.

Find the right scrapyard to scrap your metal.

Scrap Metal Dealers:

Scrap Metal Dealers or Scrap Metal Merchants are generally scrapyards that purchase both Ferrous & Non-Ferrous metal materials for recycling.

Most SMD’s buy the following kinds of metals:


Light Iron, Heavy Iron, Cast Iron, Plate & Girder, Household Appliances , Steel Turnings, Sheet Metal, Re-bar & other grades of ferrous metals.


Copper, Brass, Lead, Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Cables, Electric Motors

Hazardous Waste: (not all yards)

Batteries (Lead-Acid), Catalytic Converters.

WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment)

Most SMD scrapyards tend to recycle most Small Domestic Appliances that are electrical – Providing they are predominantly metal and free of plastic.

The likes of computer towers, washing machines, toasters, kettles microwaves etc are amongst the many popular SDA’s they receive…

If you have Phones, Tablets, Computers and other techie stuff, along with more specialist WEEE like Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s), HMI’s (Human Multimedia Interfaces), Variable Speed Drives(VSD’s), Hard Drives, Inverters and so on, then a specialist WEEE Recycler would be your best option.

Do Scrap Metal Dealers Buy Scrap Cars?

Yes, most scrap metal dealers buy scrap cars, mainly the yards that buy both ferrous& non-ferrous. But not all of them do, non-ferrous sheds tend to just be licensed for buying n/f metals and not ELV’s (End of Life Vehicles)

To find out whether a scrapyard buys scrap cars as well as metals, search our directory for Scrap Car Buyers. Be sure to hit the current location button to find the scrap car buyers nearest to you.

Do Scrap Metal Dealers Sell Car Parts?

A Scrap Metal Dealer usually just buys scrap metal and scrap cars and don’t sell parts.


Although most scrap metal dealers buy both Ferrous and Non-Ferrous metal grades, there are still some small Non-Ferrous Sheds that specialise in buying Non-Ferrous Metals only.

Most SMD’s will buy scrap cars (not all) and most SMD’s don’t sell parts.

Scrap Metal Dealers usually have all kinds of machinery to help handle your metal and make processing easier.Things such as large weigh bridges that will weigh up to artic size vehicles. They will also have 360º Scrap Handlers, Balers, Shears, Forklift trucks, Small non-ferrous scales and skips. Larger yards will also have frag feed machines and other processing facilities.

Almost all ferrous dealer will have skip wagons, some will also have articulated lorries and scrap trailers in addition to Roll on Roll of skip wagons (Ro-Ro skips)

Non Ferrous SMD’s will specialise in NF meyals. They will likely have Forklift trucks, some will have small balers to process items into small, manageable bales but they will all have a set of non-ferrous sized scales to weigh your materials.

Find out the latest scrap metal prices.

Let us find you a trusted, Local Scrap Metal Dealer Now


Scrap Metal Collectors:

Scrap Metal Collectors are the lifeblood of most scrapyards, they don’t tend to have yards, they are more freelance scrap dealers that collect your scrap metal for free.

Scrap Collectors provide a convenient service for most people. Those who have the odd bit of scrap, one-off loads or even a regular supply of scrap Metal.

Scrap Metal Collectors tend to come and do all the work for you. Most of the time, the weight of the metal will pay for their time, so your scrap is more often than not removed free of charge.


Light Iron, Heavy Iron, Cast Iron, Plate & Girder, Household Appliances , Steel Turnings, Sheet Metal, Re-bar & other grades of ferrous metals.


Copper, Brass, Lead, Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Cables, Electric Motors

Hazardous Waste:

Although most scrap collectors will be licensed to carry waste, not all of them will be licensed to carry hazardous waste like Batteries (Lead-Acid) or Catalytic Converters.

Check they have the correct licenses before handing over large quantities of hazardous waste.

Do Scrap Metal Collectors Buy Scrap Vehicles?

Some scrap metal collectors will buy scrap cars, but we would advise you to use a fully licensed site.

Scrap metal collectors aren’t regulated, can’t issue certificates of destructions and because they are a scrap collector, they don’t usually have a bricks and mortar premises so unless you find a scrap collector on scrap local who shows their address on site.


Scrap Metal Collectors offer a great service to homes, businesses and producers of metal waste by providing a service to remove your scrap for you.

Also known as Scrap Man, Scrap Chap, Rag ‘n’ Bone man or itinerant collector, back in the day, scrap collectors used to be known for riding round on horse and cart shouting ‘any old iron’.

Some traditional scrappers still ride horse and cart today but with machinery and cranes in most yards nowadays, most ride round in flat bed pickups or vans.

Please bare in mind that although your scrap may have a value (if you deliver to a scrapyard yourself) scrap metal collectors have their licenses, staff, transport costs and time to pay for. So their collections are usually free.

If you have a single washing machine or other single items of scrap, the cost of the metal will more than likely just cover the cost for removal. Some items are chargeable and if your scrap metal isn’t just ready to throw on the truck and requires removal from the hose or your business, you may be charged.

Search for your local, cheap scrap metal collection service.

Find a local scrap collector on our directory under the Scrap Collector Listing category.


Vehicle Recyclers:

Vehicle recyclers do pretty much what it says on the tin – they buy scrap cars, vans, 4×4’s or commercial vehicles for recycling.

A lot of vehicle recyclers are scrap metal dealer scrapyards that also scrap vehicles.

Do Vehicle Recyclers Sell Parts?

Not all vehicle recyclers sell parts, no, most just collect vehicles for scrap.

Some vehicle recyclers are scrap metal dealers that have the facilities to recycle vehicles and others are just small firms with a recovery truck that collect vehicles and deliver them to their local ATF.

Although all vehicle breakers & dismantlers buy scrap cars too.

Do Vehicle Recyclers Collect Scrap Cars?

Yes, most vehicle recyclers offer a free scrap car collection service too! They are equipped with 3.5 tonne recovery trucks,  7.5 tonne recovery trucks (some tilt & slide) or larger vehicle transporters with Hiabs to lift your vehicle out of awkward places and deliver to their Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF).

Do Vehicle Recyclers buy scrap metal?

Not all vehicle recyclers by scrap metal, some specialise purely in vehicle recycling and don’t even sell parts.

Vehicle Recyclers who are also Scrap Metal Dealers will buy your metal.


Vehicle recyclers will buy your car for scrap and will offer a free scrap car collection service if the vehicle is a simple pickup.

Not all vehicle recyclers sell parts and not all have a yard where you can drop vehicles off.

Not all vehicle recyclers buy scrap metal.



Vehicle Breakers & Dismantlers:

Vehicle breakers are the go to guys for when you are looking to buy vehicle parts. Also known as salvage yards, auto breakers, auto wreckers and car scrapyards.

They can also pay good prices on vehicles that are young and salvageable.

To get the best price for your scrap car from a breaker, the car must be in good condition and it must also be the right vehicle type or vehicle make for the breaker yard you try selling it to.

Just like there are different types of scrapyards, there’s also different types of breaker yards. I know – Crazy? Right!

But when i explain, it kind of makes sense.

Do Vehicle Breakers Sell Parts?

Yes they do. However, they won’t all sell all parts for all make, models and types of vehicles. Some are specialists.

Different Vehicle Breaker Types:

When you’re looking for a breaker yard, don’t automatically assume they all sell all parts for all vehicles.

Most vehicle breakers are specialists in a specific vehicle type, for example some a car breakers, some are van breakers or commercial breakers who strip vans, trucks, HGV’s and other commercial vehicles for parts and some specialise in 4×4’s.

Some dismantlers specialise in German Cars, some Japanese breakers and some french motors too!

Then you have the auto breakers who specialise in a specific make, such as ford, vauxhall, BMW, Audi, Peugeots etc.

Then, you get the dismantlers who sell all makes and all models.

Do Vehicle Breakers & Dismantlers Collect Scrap Cars?

Yes, most vehicle breakers offer a free scrap car collection service too! If you’re looking for the best price though, make sure you choose the right breakeryard.  For example; asking a n Audi Breaker with a Ford might not be your best option.

Do Vehicle Recyclers buy scrap metal?

Most vehicle breakers are licensed to scrap metal in addition to cars, but they tend to specialise in vehicles and parts off vehicles.

You may find someone who will buy a set of alloy wheels, battery or other vehicle scrap but if you’re scrapping your car, they’ll only buy it complete – they will give you a set price for the vehicle depending on its age, mileage, condition etc.


Vehicle Breakers are where you need to go if you have a younger vehicle to scrap (up to 7 years old) if you want the best money. Anything older than this won’t be of interest to a breaker unless it’s an exotic car.

Breakers will sell their parts on Scrap Local, eBay or their own websites in addition to at their scrapyard gate trade desk.

Scrapyards get calls for parts all day everyday and it can be frustrating phoning round for parts or looking online, that’s why Scrap Local has a PART FINDER service, where you can send us your enquiry and we’ll let all the scrapyards who stock that part know you’re looking.

Because of all the different vehicle breaker types out there, Scrap Local has a marketplace for all breakers to sell their parts online.


icon location

Get an Instant Scrap My Car Quote!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Leave your comment
Scrap Local cookie

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.