The Rise of Catalytic Converter Theft and How to Prevent it 

Described by Which? as a ‘new crimewave that has swept the UK’, catalytic converter theft rose an average of 104% between 2019 and 2020 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Occurring during the national lockdowns, many thefts took place at the victims home, in a car park or on a known, local street. In many cases, this crime results in vast repair bills and, quite often, complete write offs. 

It has been estimated that a single converter is worth around £400.00. Made out of rhodium, palladium and platinum, the converter’s composition of precious metals has made them valuable targets for organised crime groups. 

Catalytic converters are fitted in vehicle’s exhausts to reduce the amount of harmful gases emitted. Functioning to absorb pollutants such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, catalytic converters work to transform the gases into less dangerous substances like carbon dioxide and water vapour. They are most commonly used with internal combustion engines and have been proven to be highly effective in decreasing noxious emissions. 

The converters are easily removable and can be detached from vehicles in under a minute. The Metropolitan Police have issued guidance surrounding common signs that a catalytic converter theft may be underway. They suggested: 

  • If a vehicle has been raised using a car jack 
  • If there is a loud drilling sound coming from under the vehicle 

Vehicles that rest higher on the road are also more likely to be targeted for their ease of access. For this reason, common targets include trucks and SUVs for their size and bolt-on converter models. However, Which?’s research from 2019-20 suggests that hybrid cars are equally likely to be selected because they have been built with more precious metals which can sometimes be worth more than the vehicle itself. 

Unfortunately, despite the 2013 Scrap Metal Dealers Act that prevents individuals offering cash for scrap metals, it is thought that the stolen converters are sold illegally at scrapyard, shipped abroad or sold online. 

The Metropolitan Police have also suggested certain preventative measures to protect against theft including leaving vehicles in well lit, overlooked outdoor areas or ‘registering your converter with a forensic marker’ that make stolen converters difficult to dispose of. Alternatively, a ‘Catloc’ functions as a catalytic converter lock but they are expensive devices (costing up to £200) and can only delay thieves a couple of minutes, not prevent the theft entirely. 

If you are looking for safe, friendly and environmentally conscious scrap metal collection or removal services, get in touch with Assington Autos today. 


Inside the Industry: what happens when I scrap my car?  

It has been estimated that the UK scraps over one million used vehicles every year, but what really happens to our cars after we’re finished with them? In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the car scrappage process and offer a little insight into the auto recycling industry.

Travel to an ATF

If you’ve opted for a service that will collect your car, their first step will be to take your retired vehicle to an ATF. Standing for Authorised Treatment Facilities, an ATF needs to have approval from the government’s Environment Agency that requires sealed drainage systems and concrete surfaces. 

Removal of Polluting Components

Although it has been estimated that most cars are 75% metal, there are several other hazardous materials that need to be removed. Polluting components may include the potentially explosive airbags and seat belts, the battery (that contains acid), traces of flammable fuel, pyrotechnic charges and other polluting substances are removed before they have the opportunity to seep into the water system or surrounding soil. 

Removal of Recyclable Components 

The vehicle’s tyres (and other recyclable or specialist materials) are then removed from the structure. This may include glass from the windows and windscreen but also the wiring harnesses and heater core. 

Crushing the Vehicle 

After concluding the removal and depollution process, the shell of the vehicle is then ready to be crushed and made easy for transportation. This is usually flattened into a smaller cube shape and then put through an industrial shredding machine. 

It is thought that steel recycling metal uses around 75% less energy than in its production whilst the industry alone has been estimated to save enough energy to facilitate a year’s worth of power for over 18 million UK households. 

Get in touch today

Assington Autos are registered with the Environment Agency and Green Car Depollution. Due to the ban on paying for scrap with cash, they have joined the Bread4Scrap scheme that allows us to pay for your scrapped vehicle with a prepaid mastercard. They are a customer-oriented, friendly and efficient 24-hour service. With free vehicle collection and experienced staff, Assington Autos pay the best price for scrap cars.

If you’re thinking about scrapping your vehicle, simply check out the website to get the best price or get in touch today.

Scrap Metal Markets Set to Boom After Pandemic Slumber

Scrap Metal Markets Set to Boom After Pandemic Slumber

COVID-19 hit the worldwide scrap metal sector hard. After a year of uncertainty, forced retail closures and reduced demand, the scrap metal industry suffered a significant blow following its previous years of prosperity. Referred to as ‘a five-year volatile period’, the scrap metal industry has seen wide scale fluctuations in pricing as a result of outsourcing and exportation costs, environmental consciousness and, of course, COVID-19. 

However, recent reports seem to suggest that the scrap metal market is set to not only match, but supersede pre-pandemic demand. Predicted to experience the biggest boom to date, the auto recycling industry is expected to bounce back in a big way, becoming far more lucrative than ever before. 

Public awareness surrounding the benefits of recyclable materials, and the need to prioritise sustainable resources, has seen a dramatic increase in the last decade. Environmental ethics is therefore a key concern for both governments and businesses alike. With pressure to implement more policies and pledges to reduce carbon emissions, it is likely that recyclable materials will increase in demand over the coming years. 

As public demand for sustainable produce grows, manufacturers and businesses will need to drastically alter their production process in order to satisfy consumers. Ferrous metals expert Renate Featherstone has expressed her belief that government waste management projects, policy changes and initiatives will lead to an increase in recycled materials and a reduction in imported primary materials. 

She continued to suggest that demand may become so great (particularly within Europe), that scrappage companies may not be able to keep up with the demand. 

Such reports and speculations will come as encouraging news to those within the industry. Although the scrap metal sector certainly felt the pandemic’s full impact, the boost in global demand has seen the market boom almost as fast as it dropped. 

If you’re looking to hand in your loved vehicle, Assington Autos collect and recycle all scrap cars, vans and motor vehicles no matter the time. Their experienced and friendly team will help you get the best price possible and will guide you through the process of scrapping your vehicle. With a five-star rating, years of experience and certification with the environmental agency, Assington Autos offer a safe, environmentally friendly and customer-oriented service. 

To find out more, visit our website. 

How has COVID-19 impacted the UK’s car scrapping industries 

It is difficult to find an industry unaffected by COVID-19. The recent pandemic, its escalation and widespread impacts have occupied much of the world’s press for well over a year.

It thus seems unsurprising that the UK’s car scrapping and recycling enterprises encountered dramatic, industry-wide changes throughout 2020 and early 2021. As prices of scrap metal have dropped significantly during lockdown, many car manufacturers have been indirectly impacted. 

With manufacturers and enterprises depending on scrap metal to produce new models, the process of scrapping old cars, vans and heavy vehicles has long been considered a vital component of a symbiotic supply chain that leads to new produce. 

The drop in scrap metal prices can be attributed to a variety of pandemic-related factors. The closure of on-going construction projects alongside delays in shipments and travel fixtures have decreased the demand for scrap metal. 

Furthermore, companies have been forced to furlough staff, reduce output and work well below their bottom lines which has also contributed to a drop in scrap metal prices over lockdown. In turn, people wanting to sell old vehicles as scrap metal are left with little incentive to complete the process. 

The closure of all non-essential retail outlets can be further held responsible for the decrease in car scrappage over the pandemic. As the majority of cars sold for scrap metal are replaced by newer vehicles, the closure of car retailers have forced potential customers to restrain from scrapping their old vehicle until they are able to purchase a new one. 

The lack of movement during all three national lockdowns is also thought to have contributed to the reduction in car scrapping. As the public were no longer required to travel for work, school or leisure activities, the UK saw a significant decrease in motorised vehicles on the road. This then, in turn, led to a reduction in breakdowns, accidents and, therefore, car scrappage. 

If you are looking to sell your car for scrap metal, Assington Autos have years of experience in the car scrapping industry and a 5-star reputation. Friendly and reliable, they recycle used vehicles and offer competitive, extensively researched prices to help you get the most out of your vehicle.

Check out our website today to get the best price for your scrap car. 


Mayor of London’s Motor Scrappage Schemes

If you live in one of London’s 32 boroughs and need an incentive to scrap your old vehicle, the Mayor of London’s motor scrappage schemes may be of use to you. 

In order to encourage people to scrap old cars, vans and heavy vehicles, the government is offering a series of schemes that provide grants to those who own older, less efficient vehicles. Stemming from the expansion of the ULEZ, the schemes aim to provide an incentive to scrap old, heavily polluting vehicles and to replace them with more environmentally friendly alternatives. 

The widespread expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in October 2021 is estimated to impact more than 2.5million cars across the city. The proposed expansion will engulf much of the area between the North and South Circular Roads and will dramatically increase the number of charges incurred per motor vehicle. 

Whilst this expansion aims to decrease the city’s carbon footprint and represents substantial efforts towards environmental sustainability, the change has also been widely criticised for its social implications. It is most likely that London’s poorer communities will be charged the most as a result of the ULEZ expansion. Those with older, less efficient vehicles will incur a financial penalty while those who can afford newer, low emission vehicles are able to travel around the city free of charge. 

In response to criticism the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has implemented a selection of scrappage schemes that offer an incentive to scrapping older, less efficient motor vehicles in a bid to lower the city’s emission standards. Such scrappage grants range from between £1000-2000 per cars or motorcycles, £7000-9000 for vans and £15,000 for heavy vehicles. 

These schemes are open to any inhabitants of London’s 32 boroughs or the City of London who receive specific means-tested or non-means-tested disability benefits. Eligibility tests and checklists of applicable benefits can be found on Transport for London’s website. Head to TFL’s website for general inquiries, eligibility tests and information on how to make an application. 

Assington Autos are a five-star, well-renowned scrap and customer-oriented scrap car service. With years of experience and extensive knowledge of the scrap car industry, Assington Auto’s friendly team is able to help you get the best price for your vehicle and scrap your car. They both collect and recycle scrap cars and scrap vans and are fully certified, trained and registered with the environmental agency. 

Check out our website today to get the best price for your scrap car. 

The Challenge of Scrapping Electric Cars

The Challenge of Scrapping Electric Cars

Soon enough scrap yards will face the challenge of breaking down electric cars. With climate change a very real threat to the world electric powered vehicles are on the rise and soon enough recycling them will be necessary. At the moment there are some challenges we face to recycle electric cars mostly centred on the lithium batteries that power electric vehicles.

What was once a 2 minute job to remove a car battery now this is quite a challenge and much more complicated. There could be a lot of left over energy in the the large lithium batteries and great care needs to be taken as it is possibly fatal to the technician disassembling the battery.

Manufacturers also fit the large batteries in a completely different way with sealants and adhesives making for very difficult battery removal. . .  but that’s not all yet . . . the batteries are huge and hard to remove without the right equipment.

Electric vehicle batteries can also cause other health concerns like breathing difficulties and respiratory damage due to the hydrogen fluoride contained within. processes need to improve and modernise to be able to break these vehicles safely for recycling.

Battery Storage and Final Disposal

There is no guidance at the moment on storage and disposal of lithium ion batteries believe it or not beyond normal health and safety guidelines, however you must be qualified to handle this type of battery, lithium poses a fire risk, explosive risk and also the release of toxic gases.

When lithium batteries catch fire this isn’t just any regular fire classed as a “metal fire” these are difficult to deal with, although water can be used

dowsing with a foam extinguisher, CO2, ABC dry chemical, powdered graphite, copper powder or soda (sodium carbonate) extinguisher is more effective. We can see now these batteries cant just build up in landfill or we face ground fires that will be very difficult to deal with. A large ground fire of Lithium Ion batteries will also release toxic gases hazardous to the local environment.

Battery Recycling

We need to get better at processing large vehicle batteries, this is the main issue when recycling electric vehicles. There are many useful components that are valuable including,  nickel, silver, cobalt. Recycling reduces the need to mine for new materials so recycling plays an important part in reducing environmental damage and climate change.

We are hoping that vehicle manufacturers start to think more about how end of life vehicles might be recycled and design vehicles in the future that are more easily recyclable. Designing for recycling is the future we all need.

When will petrol and diesel cars be banned?

To target Zero emissions in the UK it is thought the date has now been brought forward to 2035, five years earlier than previously thought. Banning new petrol and diesel cars won’t be enough on its own but will go a long way to improving and meeting targets.

The UK wants to have virtually zero emissions by 2050. A third of CO2 emissions are produced by transport so a ban on conventional combustion engines will certainly help reach that target and WHO guidelines. We will also be removing nitrogen oxides from the environment. Nitrogen oxide often exceeds safe levels in many cities across the UK. Diesel vehicles hold the overwhelming majority as the main polluters of Nox gases.

Issues with going electric

Electric cars are currently expensive but it is thought that by 2025 prices will be similar to Petrol / Diesel cars due to developing battery technology.

Second-hand market

There are currently very few electric cars on the second-hand market so a large investment is needed to buy new. Electric vehicles make up less than 1% of the auto market currently.

Charging points

Although this has greatly improved until the demand is there charging points remain fairly spread out, some areas are keeping up with demand but more thought and investment needs to be made as this is a factor when deciding to buy electric.

Locations of charging points within cities where people share flats could struggle, there are ideas that lampposts could be modified to become charging points. Using existing infrastructure will be important or we may see our roads dug up once again to lay new cables.

What will happen to old cars will they be scrapped?

There is currently no UK-wide scrappage scheme in place for petrol and diesel cars and it is unclear if the government is considering this. Currently, you will still be able to buy second-hand petrol or diesel cars in 2035 just not purchase a new one. Based on that we could see a rush to buy petrol and diesel cars in the previous year.

6 useful things to always keep in your car

Important Paperwork

The perfect place to keep your vehicles paperwork is in the glovebox of your car. We all know how frustrating it can be to search the home for your V5C or insurance documents so why not keep it in your vehicle so you know where everything is. If you are ever stopped by the police it is always good to have these documents to hand.

We recommend having the following paperwork to hand in your vehicle.

  • V5C Registration Document
  • Proof of insurance proof of tax
  • Owners Manual
  • MOT Reports / Certificates

A Torch

Always carry a torch, you never know when you ma need it. If you break down you may need one to look under the bonnet of your car, find those dropped keys, flag someone down after breaking down or finding your way home after leaving the car at the local pub. Always always keep a torch in your car.

A First Aid Kit

We all know we should, but how many of us keep a first aid kit in the car. From trips to the beach with the kids or first aid at the roadside your first aid kit is an essential item to keep in your car. Make sure everything in the kit is checked now and then for expiry dates.

Pen & Paper

If you have a car accident having a traditional pen and paper can come in handy. yes we have our phones but pen and paper don’t need recharging. Also handy for leaving notes on car windshield for people who have parked in disabled bays without a badge 🙂

Cleaning Wipes & Sanitiser

Especially for parents or pet owners having wipes in the car is essential, also sanitiser after you return from shops or peoples homes to sanitise your hands while COVID-19 is an issue is an essential item.

Spare Masks / Gloves

With COVID-19 we recommend keeping a stash of disposable masks in your car and a pair of gloves ( for handling petrol pumps ) The amount of times we get into the car only to realise we have forgotten our mask and have to head back home to get one. keep some in the car.

Scrap Car Prices Continue to Rise in September

Scrap Car Prices Continue to Rise in September

Some good news during these hard times. Prices in scrap metal due to a reduce in demand during the COVID-19 outbreak fell quite dramatically. The automotive and commodity markets took a hard hit and it has taken some time to recover.  it took until August for prices to steady again and we are now seeing a rise. What is more surprising is if you compare prices with last year they are actually up by 6%. Consumer confidence is returning and this is a reflection of that.

Get the best price for your scrap car

We offer some of the highest prices in the UK for scrap cars. Assington Autos specialise in scrap car collection across Suffolk and Essex. If you have an unwanted or damaged vehicle and need to have it collected call now or use our scrap car valuation form found on this page. We will provide an immediate quote and you can choose to accept the online valuation. We will then arrange collection of your vehicle. Scrap car prices are quoted using a vehicle database lookup and takes into account a number of elements to enable us to accurately price your scrap car.

We will also produce a certificate of destruction only authorised centres are able to provide this. The certificate provides evidence the vehicle has been taken off of the road and scrapped. Without this document you could potentially still be liable for insurance or road tax. Enter your vehicle details today and see how we compare.

Our reputation is growing alongside our business. Check out our great reviews and happy customers.

What happens to my car when it is scrapped?

Cars can have value as a source for spare parts but also the metal itself has value.  Over 2 million cars were scrapped last year we explain below what happens with your car when you scrap it.

Once we have collected your scrap vehicle, it will then be transported to Assington Autos fully licensed Authorised Treatment Facility Site for the depollution (environmentally approved scrap process). The depollution process involves removing hazardous materials that can contaminate the earth. We drain and remove such materials as oils, acid, coolants, anti freeze and refrigerants. The fluids are disposed of in a controlled way.  We also remove items listed below

  • Battery – Battery acid is dangerous and contains lead
  • Tyres  – This is a controlled waste material and must be stored correctly
  • Petrol  – Explosive and hazardous
  • Airbags – These can be potentially explosive
  • Seat Belts and Tensioners – Again potentially explosive and are classed as a hazardous material
  • Filters & Fluids – As mentioned earlier, oils, lubricants, coolants and filters are removed due to being hazardous waste
  • Switches that contain mercury

Next Up

Glass removal is carried out and rubber removal. Also any useful or remaining specialist parts like bumpers are removed. Also any other bulky non metal items are removed. it is then time for a crusher where cars are compacted into the familiar cube we all know. Cars can also be shredded into smaller pieces for economical transportation.

Assington Autos are committed to following the strict guidelines as laid out by the environmental agencies and are Environment Agency & DVLA-Approved

Scrap your car today with Assington Autos