Scrap Metal & Salvage

Scrap Metal Dealers

Anyone who carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer is required to be registered with their Local Authority.

A scrap metal dealer who has a scrap metal store must register with the Local Authority in whose area the store is situated.

A scrap metal dealer who has no scrap metal store, for example a dealer who buys from a supplier and transports scrap metal directly to his or her customers, must register with the Local Authority in whose area his or her business address is situated. If there is no business address he or she must register with the Local Authority in whose area he or she lives.

In summary:

  • Scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators will both be "scrap metal dealers"
  • An enhanced licence application process, including consultation with the police and Environment Agency. There will be two categories of licence:
    • a site licence (can be for multiple sites within the council's area)
    • a collector's licence (separate licences will be required for each council area where collections take place)
  • Power for council to refuse or revoke licence or impose conditions where appropriate, subject to the right to make representations before refusal, revocation or the imposition of conditions (these are limited to times of operation and a requirement that metal will be kept in its original form for minimum of 72 hours)
  • Licence to be displayed at site or on collector's vehicle where it can be read by the public
  • Sellers must produce personal ID at the point of sale
  • No cash purchases of scrap metal in any circumstances
  • Police and council will have powers to inspect sites
  • Central on-line register of licences held by the Environment Agency
  • Fees to be set locally
  • Closure Notice (from police or council) for unlicensed sites; Closure Orders (via Magistrates' Court) if still used as such after seven days.
  • There will be Statutory Guidance to accompany the legislation

Motor Salvage Operators

You will need to register as a motor salvage operator if you:

  • recover for reuse or sale, in whole or in part, salvageable parts from motor vehicles and sell or otherwise dispose of the rest of the vehicle
  • mainly or wholly buy written-off vehicles and repair and resale the same vehicle
  • mainly or wholly sell or buy motor vehicles that are to be subject to any of the two activities above
  • carry out activities that fall under the latter two points above

What are the conditions of registration?

Applications for registration must comply with our requirements.

We will refuse applications if we are not satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to carry on business as a motor salvage operator.

We will take into account any relevant previous convictions. If an application or an application for a renewal is refused we do not have to consider any other applications by the person for three years from the date of refusal.

What happens next?

Are there inspections/assessments?

There are no inspections or assessments for motor salvage operators.

How long does it take to make a decision and issue the registration?

A decision will be made and registration issued within 28 days.

If I don't hear from you for 28 days, can I assume it's been granted ("tacit consent")?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us using the details on the right of the page.

If I'm turned down, how do I appeal?

Firstly, please contact us to see if we can resolve the issue.

If an application is refused the applicant may appeal to the local Magistrates court. Applications must be made within 21 days of service of the local authority notice.

How long does the licence last, and what's the renewal procedure?

Registration lasts for three years. We will send you out a renewal form every three years.

Cancellation of Registration

We may cancel a registration and do not have to consider any application for registration from the cancelled operator for three years from the date of the cancellation.

If we intend to refuse an application or cancel a registration we must serve a notice on the applicant or operator. The notice must give details of what we are proposing to do, the reasons for it and the period during which the person may make representations. This period must not be less than 14 days and starts from the date of service of the notice.

A notice will be served detailing our decision as to whether to grant an application, renew a registration or cancel a registration.

If a registration is cancelled the operator may appeal to the local Magistrates court. Applications must be made within 21 days of service of the local authority notice.