High scrap car prices and influx of MOT failures could help reduce emissions

The UK’s largest network of scrap car recycling centres, continue to report soaring scrap car prices, with September 2021 seeing a 45% year on year increase.

There are many factors that can influence the scrap value of a car, such as the global demand for scrap metals, plus the make, model, age, weight, condition, and even location of the car.

With 2021 scrap car prices remaining above £200, now could be the ideal time for local authorities to encourage residents to permanently give up
their older polluting vehicles. With the average age of cars scrapped currently standing at 16 years old, these vehicles being permanently removed from the road can only have a positive impact on air quality.

The current high scrap prices are good news for those looking to recycle their non-compliant vehicles in areas where a Clean Air or Low Emission Zone is to be introduced. In a recent survey conducted by CarTakeBack, more than 80% of their customers support the use of LEZs across the country where poor air quality is an issue.

Nearly 20% didn't plan to replace their car with a traditional fuel vehicle, with a relatively even spread between hybrid and electric alternatives as well as public transport.

And more than 40% of people planned to replace some of their journeys with walking or cycling.

The MOT exemption introduced following the coronavirus outbreak has increased the number of vehicles that must pass the test in September to stay on the road. With MOT Centres seeing a surge in bookings, we will also likely see an increase in MOT failures needing to be scrapped, including those failing the emission test, brought in in 2018.

Nearly half of the people that scrapped their car with CarTakeBack due to high emissions did so wholly or partly because of the negative environmental impact of those emissions.

Coventry Council are currently running a scrappage scheme trial to improve air quality in the West Midlands' and are aware of the benefits of responsible car recycling ‘CarTakeBack have been integral in making Transport for West Midlands' scrappage scheme trial possible.

The collecting, recycling and paperwork of the cars surrendered by the public has been seamless and allowed us to take some of the most polluting vehicles off our roads permanently, with the aim of helping improve air quality and congestions in our authority.

With £3,000 of mobility credits to pay for public transport in exchange for scrapping their old polluting cars, it’s a great incentive for those looking to make a change to their transport habits and to help improve air quality.’

*All statistics are provided by's customer data and survey


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top