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Hello! The car which I have owned for a month just failed it's MOT. And when I say failed, I don't mean it got a question wrong. I mean it didn't bring a pen, and it fell off it's chair before the exam started.

So it is probably now worthless. And I'm considering breaking it. It seems like it would be an interesting thing to do. I'm a classic car nut with some limited knowledge of cars and mechanics, but mostly from the pre-electronic era (I have a 1973 MGB).

I am prepared to listen to the "don't do it!" responses, I'm not saying this is definitely happening. But please consider that I have a fair bit of space (large garage, large drive) and plenty of time (self-employed and not busy), and I'd be doing this because it interests me AND because I want to make some money. So I don't care about the hourly rate, like if it takes me two days to remove a part that sells for £8.

Does anyone have experience? Any horror / success stories? Anywhere I should start?

And, does anyone have any idea at all, no matter how vague, how much a 2003 Focus LX might fetch as parts? It's 130k miles, bumped, cracked and scratched body, a chassis that needs some welding (hence the MOT) and a lot of unknowns (since I've barely had the bonnet up). And if I don't break it, what can I expect to get from a scrapyard?

Any information would be very welcome.

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Breaking a car is all about having the space to do it and patience to sell everything you want to. Quick sellers are usually stuff like headlights, suspension bits and calipers or stuff that commonly fails an MOT. I'd suspect you're going to have trouble getting rid of the big stuff (body panels and seats, wheels) unless people buying are local.

Wouldn't expect more than £100 from a scrappers with the scrap value nowadays. If you're buying a car from a dealer then hold onto it as they will usually offer more than the scrap value as a part-ex. They offered us £250 on an unseen car with a blown head gasket, no MOT etc.

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Breaking an old, low spec Focus with poor bodywork won't earn you any money.  Price of scrap is up at the moment so you'd see around £150 for a Focus dropped to the yard, a bit less if they collect.  You can use the site cartakeback.com to see your local scrap prices.  Price of postage, plus ebay and paypal fees have made selling value items very difficult for private sellers.  If you sell an item for £8 (say a window switch for example), £2.95 goes to the post office, 80p goes to ebay, 47p goes to paypal.  That means you've got £3.77 left by the end of that...  

However, it is interesting to do and you'd learn from it so if that's the reason and you're not bothered about the money then go for it.  I've broken several cars over the years, some have been full bare Shell strips, others have just been removing the easy-to-sell parts to save time and space.  High spec 'modern' (under 10 year old) cars do best because they have upgrade parts for lesser models that are the same age or replacement parts for older/higher mile cars.  Diesel engine parts always seem to sell better than petrol parts as well.  

Out of interest, what is the self-employed job where you aren't busy but can afford a large house & garage with a classic car? :biggrin: 

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I recently got £200 scrap for a 2003 Vauxhall Vectra which is a similar size to a Focus and they collected it. The price for scrapping it will vary from area to area and will depend on the vehicle weight and price per tonne. Just remember that you cannot be paid in cash for scrapping the vehicle as it is against the law now. Most reputable scrappers will offer payments via cheque or same day bank transfer. My Vectra was collected at 10am on a Friday morning and payment was in my account within an hour. 

As the others have said, if you have the space, patience etc to break the vehicle yourself and sell the parts on then go for it. You'd probably get a bit more than the scrappers would offer you and some knowledge. The downside to doing it yourself is that you may end up with parts such as the chassis and panels which don't sell and you'd struggle to take to the scrappers after as most will only take full vehicles. 

 

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A Vectra is as big as a Mondeo and weighs a lot more than a Focus tbf.  Most breakers will take a bare Shell/chassis and give you a COD for it but you don't get any money for it as it costs them more in time and diesel than the price of scrap.  If you can cut it up and stick it in the back of a van/trailer you can scrap a Shell as normal scrap steel and paid by the weight the weighbridge shows.

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Just a selection of various states of stripping...  

Cat D write off, front end impact.  Bought cheap to fix but was only worth breaking.

IMAG5193.thumb.jpg.1ab3813638cc159bc36cb7009d7ae527.jpg

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Cat D write off, rear end impact.  Bought as a donor car for my daily at the time, had a recently refurbished torsion beam on it and a very good engine which I later used to save another from scrap after major engine failure.

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Bought this for £50 with a water leak and high miles, wasn't worth the time and effort to fix so just broke it instead.

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My daily Golf... :sad:  1st car I ever broke for parts after it got the dreaded PD cam and lifter failure along with a knackered clutch and DMF few months after the turbo blew. 

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1439696525_Golfstripped2.jpg.e6fe58a7edb4d1135e74a5bf4bf186f6.jpg

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I bet your neighbours love you, having scrap cars on the driveway really raises the tone of the place😂

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Wow, thanks everyone. I was expecting something along the lines of "You're a total idiot and this is a stupid idea stop being stupid and buy a real car hahaha lol"

I'm pleased to see this is a forum with a lot more positivity, a lot more friendly attitude and a lot more punctuation than some others I frequent! Thanks everyone, reading your responses made me smile.

I love this in particular:

23 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

Out of interest, what is the self-employed job where you aren't busy but can afford a large house & garage with a classic car? :biggrin: 

It's a new business, so it is not yet self-sustaining. I very much hope that one day soon I'll be very busy indeed, and making a living. Then, soon after that, I'll employ people to do all the work, and be one of those managers who only shows up at 10, then goes off to play golf at noon. But for now, I'm living off some decent savings and a very supportive wife (financially and otherwise), so I have a lot of time on my hands. As for the house, I noticed your profile says Suffolk. I live in a wonderful place called "the North" - up here you can buy a five bedroom house with a garden and a garage without being a Russian oligarch! You just have to watch out for white walkers...

Scrap-wise, the panels are pretty worthless as re-sale, so I've been offered £50 (collected) which is probably the best I'm going to get. I'm not too bothered about the money, I spent £250 on the car, so if I end up with nothing at all, it's not the end of the world.

This worries me:

23 hours ago, Nick Y said:

The downside to doing it yourself is that you may end up with parts such as the chassis and panels which don't sell and you'd struggle to take to the scrappers after as most will only take full vehicles. 

If this happens, how does one get rid of a chassis? Chopping it up with an angle grinder sounds like it would be a lot of horrible work, but there must be some way to sell it as scrap, or at least give it to someone who will sell it as scrap. The biggest worry of all going in to this is ending up with a stripped down chassis on my drive for 5 years with no way to get rid of it. Tom, it sounds like you have the most experience here, how do you get rid of them when they're all done?

Also Tom you didn't mention any money. Do you know roughly what you got for the pictured cars as parts? I don't care too much about the money, but if this whole endeavour is going to result in £75, I probably should find a better way to invest the time...

Thanks a lot for your replies, great feedback!

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19 hours ago, south_bound said:

I bet your neighbours love you, having scrap cars on the driveway really raises the tone of the place😂

You'll note lots of different driveways! :laugh:  But seriously, because I had the garages to store stuff I could break a whole car and have the Shell taken away in just a few days, and obviously I'd leave the exterior looking 'normal' until the latest possible chance, they only looked like that for a day max!  Never did have any complaints, though I've lived next to car or bike guys most of the time so we have a mutual understanding of a bit of noise and mess now and then.  I tried to avoid it looking like Onslow's or Steptoe's yard for too long. :wink: 

2 hours ago, 2003FocusLX said:

This worries me:

If this happens, how does one get rid of a chassis? Chopping it up with an angle grinder sounds like it would be a lot of horrible work, but there must be some way to sell it as scrap, or at least give it to someone who will sell it as scrap. The biggest worry of all going in to this is ending up with a stripped down chassis on my drive for 5 years with no way to get rid of it. Tom, it sounds like you have the most experience here, how do you get rid of them when they're all done?

Also Tom you didn't mention any money. Do you know roughly what you got for the pictured cars as parts? I don't care too much about the money, but if this whole endeavour is going to result in £75, I probably should find a better way to invest the time...

Thanks a lot for your replies, great feedback!

Because I live a long way from the nearest yard I had to just give the shells to the yard(s) for free.  I have known people cut them up with an angle grinder and weigh them in but I couldn't be bothered and only had a tiny trailer lol.  They never complained about taking a complete bare Shell and always issued the COD (certificate of destruction) for them.  Some yards do charge for Shell collection though, I broke one of my mates cars for him as he works away and didn't have time...had the local yard come to take the Shell and they charged £25 or so!  People with car transporters used to offer to collect the shells so they'd get the scrap money but with the price of scrap low and the price of diesel high you'll find they won't anymore, scrap yard is really the only way.

It's also worth removing certain parts to scrap separately before scrapping the Shell.  A genuine cat converter is worth a lot, aftermarket one is worthless though.  battery is worth about a fiver.  Wiring is worth a lot but remove plugs first, and if you can strip it clean it's worth even more but very time consuming.  Anything with a motor is worth money if it doesn't sell, starter, alternator, window motors etc.  And finally anything aluminium is worth money, so AC pipes, radiators and some of the engine brackets etc.  You will often be charged for tyre disposal so it's best to give away spare wheels for free if they don't sell rather than scrapping them. 

You get different values for different cars, I've always had top spec diesels so I made decent money most of the time.  The Golf earnt me £2500...and no that's not a typo lol!  But the 306 estate only earned £500 or so.  306 hatches varied but as I used parts for donors rather than selling everything it looked worse than it was on paper.  The worst one I've ever broken was just last month, a poverty spec petrol 306, it belongs to a mate and suffered major electrical failure...  So far we've only got £150 from it...there just wasn't really anything of value on it and the 306 is at an age now where people just scrap them rather than buy used parts to fix them.  So it all depends on the car as to how much you get.

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1 hour ago, TomsFocus said:

 I tried to avoid it looking like Onslow's or Steptoe's yard for too long. :wink: 

Only joking, but there are estates where half the cars are up on jacks or bricks and in various states of disrepair...

 

1 hour ago, TomsFocus said:

always issued the COD (certificate of destruction) for them. 

Thanks for clearing that up, I thought COD was cash on delivery!

 

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19 minutes ago, south_bound said:

Only joking, but there are estates where half the cars are up on jacks or bricks and in various states of disrepair...

 

Thanks for clearing that up, I thought COD was cash on delivery!

 

Yeah, I'm sure there are!  I don't like looking at scruffy cars either so wouldn't make neighbours look at them.  Tbh I'm looking for a local barn or something to do car stuff.  I like working on cars (whether fixing or breaking) or working on the garden...  But living in a 1st floor flat makes both of those hobbies pretty difficult lol.

I'd never heard of COD meaning cash on delivery...it's usually Call of Duty for me haha!

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On 6/14/2018 at 11:09 AM, TomsFocus said:

It's also worth removing certain parts to scrap separately before scrapping the Shell.  A genuine cat converter is worth a lot, aftermarket one is worthless though.  battery is worth about a fiver.  Wiring is worth a lot but remove plugs first, and if you can strip it clean it's worth even more but very time consuming.  Anything with a motor is worth money if it doesn't sell, starter, alternator, window motors etc.  And finally anything aluminium is worth money, so AC pipes, radiators and some of the engine brackets etc.  You will often be charged for tyre disposal so it's best to give away spare wheels for free if they don't sell rather than scrapping them. 

This is very interesting. Sorry I've been quiet for a while, been busy looking for a new car! Strongly considering a ST170, but thats a topic for a different discussion...

All this stuff which is "worth a lot" - how do you sell it, on eBay? I get parts like the cat converter and the battery, but when you talk about aluminium are you talking about selling it as scrap metal? And the wiring - do you mean selling it as a Ford Focus wiring loom, or just as lengths of wire or as scrap?

I've found a place which will pick it up for £130 "regardless of condition" as long as all 4 wheels are on it. I'm going to call today to ask about things like removing the Speakers (which I want for an unrelated tech project that needs 4ohm Speakers), and will ask about just how much I can remove before "regardless of condition" becomes questionable!!

Thanks for all your help, this has all been most interesting.

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54 minutes ago, 2003FocusLX said:

This is very interesting. Sorry I've been quiet for a while, been busy looking for a new car! Strongly considering a ST170, but thats a topic for a different discussion...

All this stuff which is "worth a lot" - how do you sell it, on eBay? I get parts like the cat converter and the battery, but when you talk about aluminium are you talking about selling it as scrap metal? And the wiring - do you mean selling it as a Ford Focus wiring loom, or just as lengths of wire or as scrap?

I've found a place which will pick it up for £130 "regardless of condition" as long as all 4 wheels are on it. I'm going to call today to ask about things like removing the Speakers (which I want for an unrelated tech project that needs 4ohm Speakers), and will ask about just how much I can remove before "regardless of condition" becomes questionable!!

Thanks for all your help, this has all been most interesting.

That part was specifically about scrapping, those things are worth a lot as scrap, so if they don't sell then scrap them separately from the Shell which will just go as 'mixed ferrous' which is the lowest £/tonne price.    You might find things like the starter or wiring loom sell on ebay, but realistically breakers can undercut you on the starter (under £10 inc postage!) and people tend to repair a loom rather than go to the hassle of replacing.  Facebook marketplace and Gumtree are both free to sell but get a smaller audience and a bit more hassle than ebay.

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