4 Interesting Facts About the Scrap & Car Salvage Industry

While many of us may have a basic understanding of car scrapping and salvage, a wealth of intriguing information about this industry often goes unnoticed. In this article, we aim to explore lesser-known facts that not only surprise the general public but may even astonish those who work within the sector. From the sheer volume of vehicles scrapped in the UK to the remarkable recycling rates and the industry's global impact, let's delve deeper into these captivating aspects of the scrap and car salvage world.

Astonishing Scrap Figures

Every year in the United Kingdom, an astounding 1.7 million vehicles undergo the scrapping process. When you consider that there are approximately 50 million eligible drivers in the country, this statistic means that about one in every 25 individuals will experience the journey of scrapping their vehicle. This remarkable number of scrapped cars plays a vital role in the UK's efforts to achieve its recycling targets, contributing significantly to environmental sustainability.

Recycling Revolution

In recent years, the car scrapping industry has led the charge in reducing the amount of material sent to landfills. Around two decades ago, car scrappers would discard large quantities of material, including valuable components, due to cost-effectiveness. However, with advancements in recycling technology, the industry has transformed. Approximately 95% of the scrap extracted from processed cars is recycled today. Metals, glass, rubber, and even leather are now repurposed, finding new life in the production of new vehicles or serving various other purposes. This dramatic shift toward recycling showcases the industry's commitment to sustainability and resource conservation.

A Global Journey

It may come as a surprise that a significant portion of recycled scrap from the UK finds its way overseas. Estimates suggest that only about 25% of the recycled steel remains within the country, while the majority is exported. Among the destinations, Turkey stands out as the world's largest importer of recycled steel in the UK. This highlights the interconnectedness of the global scrap industry and its role in supplying valuable materials to meet international demands.

A Mighty Shredder

The United Kingdom is home to the largest car shredder in the world, a remarkable feat in itself. This colossal machine, with a construction cost of £10 million, arrived on British shores approximately 15 years ago and has been relentlessly crushing cars ever since. Nestled in Wales, this shredder boasts jaw-dropping capabilities, devouring up to 450 vehicles in a single hour. Such a powerful operation requires a significant energy supply, and the shredder is directly linked to the national grid to ensure uninterrupted functionality.


The scrap and car salvage industry holds a treasure trove of captivating facts and figures that often remain hidden from the general public. From the staggering number of vehicles scrapped in the UK each year to the impressive recycling rates and global reach, these discoveries shed light on the magnitude and significance of this industry. The next time you contemplate scrapping a car, you can appreciate the substantial recycling efforts, the global impact of recycled materials, and the awe-inspiring capabilities of the world's largest car shredder located right here in the United Kingdom.

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