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What is a Certificate of Destruction & Why do You Need it?

If your waste management facility is licensed to deal with and dispose of end-of-life vehicles, then you’ll need to be issued with a Certificate of Destruction. This ensures that you’ve disposed of the vehicle in the correct manner in order to avoid fines and other forms of legal action. But what exactly is a Certificate of Destruction and do you really need one?

What is a Certificate of Destruction?

Issued by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) will only be given to Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) who are fully licensed to process and sustainably dispose of end-of-life vehicles.

A CoD will act as proof that the vehicles have been processed and recycled properly, thus preventing you from facing legal action or having to pay hefty penalties for irresponsible disposal of end-of-life vehicles.

Legally, a CoD must be issued by the appropriate ATF once the vehicle has been destroyed, processed and recycled. It’s important that this is done as soon as possible in order to be within the bounds of the law.

Why do I need a Certificate of Destruction?

You’ll need to be given a CoD once your end-of-life vehicle has been delivered to a reputable, responsible ATF. Although, you must take into consideration that not all ATFs will issue you with a CoD straight away as there are a few steps that must be taken beforehand, so you’ll need to be patient when it comes to receiving a CoD.

Firstly, the vehicle will need to be destroyed and processed before any part of it can be recycled. The ATF may sell spare parts to scrapyards, dealerships and garages before completing the overall process, but remaining materials will be recycled regardless.

Alternatively, the whole vehicle could be sold on to another party. If this is the case, you may never be issued with a CoD. However, if you wish to be given a CoD as soon as possible, speak to the ATF and let them know your intentions prior to selling the vehicle on as it could affect the price.

When will I receive a Certificate of Destruction?

A CoD must be issued as soon as the vehicle is scrapped and recycled, which could take up to seven working days, as legislation dictates. However, if your vehicle is still roadworthy, then the appropriate ATF will be obligated to keep it on the road. If this is the case, you will not be issued with a CoD as it won’t be necessary.

Your vehicle could also be sold on to scrapyards or kept by the ATF, potentially for many years. This is because, although your vehicle may not be roadworthy, the car may still have many high-quality, operational parts that could be sold on for use on other vehicles. 

If this is the case with your vehicle, you may not be given a CoD until the car has been completely stripped of its parts and components and then recycled. As previously mentioned, it could be a few years before a CoD is issued to you, but once it has, it’ll still take around seven working days for you to receive it.

You must notify the DVSA

It’s imperative that you notify the DVSA once you’ve sold your vehicle to a VTF, even if you haven’t yet been issued with a CoD. If you fail to do this, you could be fined a considerable sum as a result.

In order to notify the DVSA, you must send in Section 9 of your V5C (or Section 4 if you have a newer version of the V5C). You’ll also be able to let the DVSA know that your vehicle has been written off by filling out their online form. To do so, you’ll need the following information:

The name and postcode of your insurance company
The vehicle registration number
Your 11 digit reference number from the ‘sell, transfer or part-exchange your vehicle to the motor trade’ section of your V5C

Here’s how Willshee’s can help you

As a leading, independent waste management company, specialising in domestic, commercial and industrial sectors, we’re proud to be able to recycle a number of materials, including metal, plastics and textiles, using our dedicated recycling service

As a reputable, sustainable company with over 30 years of experience in the industry, you’ll always be able to look to us for environmentally-friendly disposal of waste, no matter what it is you’re wanting to get rid of.

In addition to metal, plastic and textiles, enabling us to recycle materials that were once part of a car or another vehicle, we’re also able to sustainably process:

  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Hardcore
  • Concrete
  • Plasterboard
  • Green waste
  • Soil
  • Residual waste

For more information about how the experts here at Willshee’s can help you, get in touch with us today – we’re always happy to offer professional, specialist help and advice when you need it most.


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