Scrapping My Car Without A Set Of Keys

It may be more common than you think, owning a car for a long time and a set of keys gets lost. But what happens when the second set gets lost and it costs more to replace them than the car is actually worth? This is the world we live in where labour and smaller items can cost more than a complete car. Of course the reason could be simpler than that an old car sat on the drive and the last set of keys have gone missing.

missing keys

Yes They Will Still Buy Your Car From You

Most breaker yards will still buy your scrap car from you even without keys, providing there is adequate paperwork notably the V5 with your name and address on it. Failing this a receipt of purchase with your name on it, to prove you are the true owner. If you have no paperwork, there is a chance the trader will still take your car on a deferred payment arrangement, but if ownership cannot be proved within the agreed time, you may not get paid. There also may be a HPi check charge involved.

As far as moving the vehicle, the biggest issue is likely to be the steering lock, if the wheels are not pointing straight, the car cannot be winched on to a trailer directly. Lifting the front wheels up and using a towing dolly, may the only option for the smaller beaker yard, which may not be an ideal solution if the yard is a long distance away. The larger yards are likely to have access to a flatbed lorry with crane, where the vehicle will be just lifted into place. But there needs to be some planning so there is adequate access for a lorry of this type, to park on hard flat ground and be able to turn around.

Will It Affect How Much The Car Is Worth?

Very likely yes, especially if the new buyer wanted to sell, recondition or re-use the engine, less so if it is to be stripped down and weighed in for scrap metal only. The extra checks and difficulty getting the car back to any yard will be a reason to offer a bit less for your vehicle, but not to the extent, that you need to buy replacement keys.

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Newer cars have a ECU (Engine Control Unit) where the keys are programmed to the car rather than just being able to turn the ignition. Even if you get a replacement key cut, if the chip within the key does not match the car, it will not start, the immobilize will do its job and other vital electronics may also not work. The costs of these newer electronic keys can be expensive and will restrict what can be recycled on the vehicle.

Depending on whether the car is locked, will depend on what happens next.

What Happens If The Car Is Locked.

The new buyer needs to have access to at least the handbrake, to release it to free the back wheels so it can be winched, towed or lifted onto a transport vehicle. In some cases it may be in gear too, so that also needs to be put into neutral. To gain access the purchaser will either smash in a window, or use some sort of technique to break into the car, so maybe it is worth doing the deal first before this happens, so the damage is of the traders risk. When it gets back to the yard, having access to the fuel filler cap, will help with siphoning fuel from the tank, to make it safe before being dismantled. Having to cut a fuel pipe in order to remove fuel, takes more time, so the buyer may adapt the price to suit.

gaining entry to car via window

Lifting the bonnet will give access to the battery that some transporters will want to remove before the car is moved. He can also check for cats, mice and any other stray animals that often use engine compartments to set up home.

Proof Of Ownership

The logbook (V5) confirming your name and address with another back up identification is likely to be required. But don’t forget that no cash payment is allowed by law, so if it turns out the vehicle is owned by someone else, you won’t get paid. Payment is normally done through cash transfer through bank accounts where payments can be traced.

This is where you need to get paperwork fro the trader, making sure you know where that business address is. So many times, we here if stories where a car has been allowed to be transported away, then worry sets in because they don't know who took it.

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Summarise Selling Your Car Without Keys

The answer is yes you can, but you will need the correct paperwok to prove you are the owner and you may get offered less money for the inconvenience and extra work the buyer will endure.