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12.03.2013 Billy Blog

Shoud You Repair or Recycle?

Spare parts or Scrap? Allstar Breakers can help!

Recycle and cashThis is one of the most common questions when it comes to deciding what you should do with your car.  When does the time come to pull the plug on spending good money on your car and send it to the great scrap heap in the sky?

Could your car be used as a deposit or as a percentage towards another car?  If you could receive £150 for your scrap car would this be more worthwhile going towards another car, rather than going towards whichever issue is currently the problem.

Some factors depend on what type of make and model your car is.  Is there a common fault for example?  Does the car typically retain its value?  What would be the scrap value of my vehicle and could I get more if submitting for breaking?

Say for example you have a Volkswagen Polo and a Ford KA, are you to make the same decision when you are thinking about scrapping your car?  The answer would be no.

Customers say that the Ford KA’s suffer from rot.  Not only do they rust away, but there is little to weld onto when they go.

The Volkswagen Polo on the other hand doesn’t have the same issues with rust and they seem to retain their value for much longer.

Cost Consideration

MoneyThere are also other costs that need to be taken into consideration.  The fuel consumption for example. If your car is worth £800 and you are putting £100 worth of fuel in per month due to the cars inefficiency and you know you could get an engine that would do double the mileage, then you could be wasting up to £600 a year in fuel.  This is a factor that may push your decision when deciding to scrap your car or not.

Insurance & Tax

There is also the insurance and road tax to consider. The larger the car and larger the engine the larger the insurance and bigger the road tax bill than smaller, more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Commonly Scrapped Cars

Commonly Scrapped CarsWhen we talk about scrapping a car, there are a few cars we see scrapped more than others.  A general verdict is that Ford Ka’s are prone to rot away later in life and once they start to go it’s a waste of time spending any more money on them.

Ford KA’s are a very commonly scrapped car.  Many car owners also complain that the Renault Laguna diesel seem to have a problem with the turbos, we hear this on a regular basis, when the turbo on a customer’s Renault Laguna has gone and sucked all of the oil out of the engine, the next thought is often “where shall i scrap my car?”

The Rover model especially the 1.4 litre petrol has a common problem with the cylinder head, with the resale value not changing much ever after this has been repaired. However the most common reason that cars seem to be scrapped that we have noticed is due to lack of maintenance.

Car Maintenance Issues

Cam Belt: The cam belt should be checked on regular intervals and replaced when there is any concern, there are many stories of cars being fine in the morning and needing a new engine by the afternoon! This easy to solve problem can lead to coming to a decision to scrap your car when it could of given many more years of good service.

Oil: You should change your oil regularly, this is an important part of car maintenance and will increase your cars lifespan and increase the time you have with the car before having to decide to scrap your car. Even if your car does low mileage, clean oil is VERY important!

Radiator: If your radiator keeps needing to be topped up you may have a coolant leak. If you don’t get this issue sorted or you keep forgetting, you will loose too much water and your engine will overheat and the repair bill may be higher than the car is worth, meaning a simple radiator leak can lead to you scrapping your car.

Clutch: The costs for clutch problems can massively vary, this depends on how difficult the parts are to replace or for larger cars if they have a dual mass fly wheel.

Our advice would be to set an annual budget for repairs on your car and work out your total annual motoring costs.

If you are going to buy a cheap, old car, you should buy one that is easy to maintain, not a car that needs the engine taking out to get at a part that should have been designed to be easy to get to, like the alternator on an Alfa Romeo.


Peugoets are a good choice as a cheap car due to the high number of replacement parts available. The engines are very reliable and seem to go and go.

One tip if you are looking for a car with solid relaibility is to look for the cars that are exported to other continents such as Africa, where the  desired commodity is reliability, rather than style. Cars such as the Toyota Corolla are more valuable in Africa than newer Toyota’s, as the simpler, easier to fix with better part availability the better!