Salvage Car FAQs

Collection, Payment, Paperwork and more

We aim to make you salvage car collection simple, quick and easy. To help with this we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions our customers ask. If you can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us today and speak to one of our advisors.

Broken down auto vehicle car towed onto flatbed tow truck with hook and chain


What is BMS Salvage?

BMS salvage is the UK’s leading buyer of damaged cars. Operating nationally, we are able to provide the most competitive prices for any vehicle; be it a write off, a non-runner, MOT failure, crash damaged or just old, unwanted scrap. We, or one of our partners, will buy every vehicle regardless of its condition. It is through our knowledge and extensive experience in the business, that we are able to offer you the best price for your vehicle whilst providing outstanding service.

How does the process work?

You can use our handy quote calculator or get in touch with a member of our team to find the best price for your vehicle. We then get in touch with you to confirm the details and talk you through the process before passing your details on to the collections team. They will then contact you to arrange a day and time that suits you to collect your vehicle. Once they have collected the vehicle, you will receive payment.

How do I get in contact with you?

You can call the team on 023 8000 8800. Lines are open 8am – 6pm, 5 days a week and our team are always happy to answer any enquiries you may have. You can also send any enquiries via email to: [email protected]. Alternatively, you can fill out an online form, after which a member of the team will get in touch with you.

How quickly will you contact me?

Our team can be extremely busy at times; we will do our best to contact you within 24 hours.

How often will you contact me?

We will only contact you when we need to. If we need any more information from you or need to confirm any details with you, we will get in touch.
Our teams are here for you throughout the process and even after the collection is complete. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How do you store my details?

You can trust us at BMS Salvage; we are fully GDPR compliant and take the protection of our customers personal information very seriously.

Where can I find your terms and conditions?

You can find our full terms and conditions here.

Where can I find your privacy policy?

You can find our full privacy policy here.

How can I leave feedback?

We welcome any feedback you may have and will take your comments on board so we can ensure we are providing a secure, efficient and pleasant experience. You can email us at: [email protected]


How do I get a quote?

You can get a quote by simply entering your registration details and postcode into our quote calculator. It’s completely free and will give you results in an instant.

Why do you need my registration number and postcode?

We take your registration details to identify your vehicle. We look at details including the make, model, colour and age. Based on the details of your car this will calculate how much your car is worth. We need your post code as price can vary depending on where in the country you are, and we always want to give you the best price possible.

How long is a quote valid for?

A quote is only valid for 24 hours. This is due to the rapidly changing market and how quickly it fluctuates due to how much different metals are worth. The 24 hour period is available to give you some time to decide if you’re unsure. If you want to sell your car but feel overwhelmed by the process and requirements, get in touch with a member of our friendly team, who will be happy to help.

I’ve accepted a quote, what happens now?

A member of our team will get in touch with you to discuss your quote, confirm all the details you’ve provided and make sure all the information required has been received. They will talk you through the process and what to expect before passing your details onto the collections team to arrange the collection of your vehicle.

The quote I wanted has expired, what can I do?

Quotes are only held for 24 hours due to the fluctuating market. If your quote has expired your vehicle may still be worth the same amount, so in this case please get in touch with a member of our team to get another guaranteed quote.

How many quotes can I make?

You can make one quote per vehicle. Each quote will be valid for 24 hours only.

What happens if I have multiple vehicles?

No problem – we can generate a quote for each and every one of them!

Is the quote guaranteed?

Yes, the price is guaranteed as long as you have given all of the correct information prior to collection, including vehicle information and relevant documents. If you are missing any of the documents or have given the wrong information, please get in touch with us as soon as possible to avoid any complications.


How soon can you collect my vehicle?

Soon! We have a typical turnaround of 48 hours, so you won’t have to wait days or weeks for your vehicle to be collected.

What days can you collect my vehicle?

Your vehicle can be collected Monday – Friday between 8:00am – 5:00pm, excluding bank holidays. In some circumstances your vehicle can be collected during the weekend. However, this is down to the discretion of the collector. The collecting agent will contact you to discuss the most convenient day and time for you.

Can you collect my vehicle during a Bank Holiday?

Unfortunately, no. Bank holiday collection is not available.

Is there a time I will be given for collection?

You can choose a time that suits you best, and our collection agents will always try to accommodate any requirements that our customers having regarding the pick up of their vehicle.

Do I need to be present for collection?

No, you don’t need to be present; however, we do require that someone is there for the collection, but they don’t need to be the registered keeper of the car. As long as they have a form of ID and a signed document to state they are acting on behalf of the registered keeper of the car then your vehicle can still be collected.

What do I need to do to prepare for the collection?

On the day of collection, you will need to make sure the car is accessible, have all keys and key fobs ready, have all necessary documents ready and have photo ID to hand. If you are missing any documents, please make sure you let us know before your collection is arranged. Furthermore, if your vehicle is not accessible for the collector, please make us aware so we can ensure the collector is prepared upon arrival. This will make the process as smooth as possible.

My car is not at my home address; can you still collect?

Yes, our buyers can collect from almost anywhere as long as the location where the vehicle is located is accessible for a recovery vehicle. If the location is not accessible please let us know as soon as possible so the necessary steps can be taken.

Who will collect my vehicle?

A collecting agent from the buying company will collect your vehicle. You will have been given their contact details and they will arrange the collection date and time with you. If you have any queries in regards to this, please don’t hesitate to get into contact with us.

How can I contact the person who is collecting my vehicle?

The collecting agent will contact you once you have accepted an offer from them. If they have not been in contact with you, please let us know.

I can’t get in contact with the collector, what shall I do?

If for whatever reason you cannot get in contact with the collecting agent, please get in contact with us so we can take the necessary steps.

How long do collections take?

Collections can vary in time. This will depend on the condition and location of your vehicle. However, you can rest assured knowing that all of the buyers within our network are industry experts and are able to deliver a smooth and professional service.

Which areas can you collect from?

The buyers within our network operate across the UK in many cities, towns and villages. This doesn’t mean we can’t collect from you if you’re in a remote location; it just means we may need to find the right buyer and organise the necessary recovery equipment. We can still give you a quote and start the process for you. View some of our salvage collection locations here. 

How much do collections cost?

Collections are completely free of charge.

Can I change the collection address?

If for any reason you need to change the collection address, we recommend that you get in contact with the collecting agent for your vehicle. Their details will be sent to you after you accept the quote.

Can I change the time of collection?

If for any reason you need to change the time of collection, we recommend that you get in contact with the collecting agent for your vehicle. Their details will be sent to you after you accept the quote.

Where can I leave my car for collection?

You can leave your car on a driveway, road, garage or anywhere that is easily accessible. If the location is not accessible, please let us know as soon as possible so the necessary steps can be taken.

My vehicle is hard to access, what happens now?

If the location is not accessible, measures can be taken to ensure the removal of your car can still take place. This may involve the collection agent bringing different equipment, so please make sure you let us know as soon as possible.

Does my vehicle need to be insured for collection?

Yes, the vehicle must be insured up until the day it is collected, so make sure you don’t cancel the policy until the vehicle has been removed. Your insurance company will confirm if you can be given any refund, and you should also notify them of any new car you are taking on as soon as you take ownership of it.

Does a car need to be taxed for collection?

Not necessarily. Vehicles that are parked on the public road must be taxed until the point of collection. If your vehicle is on private land, then it can be declared as SORN with the DVLA and they will refund any full months road tax to you automatically.

When the vehicle is being collected, one of our friendly team will guide you through the whole process with the DVLA.

Does my car need to have had a MOT?

No, regardless of whether your car has passed or failed its MOT all we need is the details of your car along with the MOT failure specifics. Our team will be able to consult our specialist buyers to obtain the highest price paid for your repairable vehicle. Find out more about how to sell your MOT failure.

Do my tyres need to be inflated for collection?

No, however please ensure you have made us aware if they are not so the collector can bring the necessary recovering equipment to remove your vehicle. Please note that if we are not made aware at the initial quote stage this may affect the price that you were originally quoted.

What condition does my vehicle need to be in?

Whether your vehicle has been written off, failed its MOT or just has a few knocks, we can collect it in just about any condition. Please make sure you have given us the correct details so we can arrange any specialist recovery equipment where needed. Failure to declare the correct information on your vehicle can affect the price quoted.

Can I leave anything in the vehicle?

No, all personal belongings and household waste must be removed from the vehicle prior to collection.

Can I take anything out of the vehicle?

If anything has been taken out of the vehicle, such as the stereo, you must ensure the details you give reflect this.

Can you collect vans?

Yes, we collect vans in the same process we collect cars. Get a quote here.

Can you collect caravans?

Unfortunately, no. This is because they do not hold their own unique number plate and they tend to have a very low metal content. So, at this stage we do not have any buyers for caravans.

The collector didn’t show up, what do I do now?

In the event that a collector didn’t turn up to collect your vehicle, please contact them directly to find out what happened. Once you have accepted your quote you will receive the collector’s details, however if for any reason you do not have these, please get in contact and we will resend their details to you.

The collector didn’t arrive at the correct time, what do I do now?

Occasionally, unforeseen circumstances can cause delays to collection timings. The collector of your vehicle should contact you in the event of any significant delays. However, in the event that you haven’t heard from them we recommend that you contact them directly with your vehicle’s registration plate to find out what has happened.

I’m not happy with the collection process, what can I do?

If you are unhappy with the service provided at any point, you can email us at [email protected] or call us on 023 8000 8800. Lines are open 8am – 6pm, 5 days a week, and our team are always happy to answer any enquiries you may have. Please ensure when calling that you have your vehicle’s registration number to hand so that we can locate your details.


What’s the paperwork process?

We have made the paperwork process will be as hassle-free as possible. All of our collectors are knowledgeable with years of experience in the industry. You will need to provide the appropriate documents, which are set out below. However, it will be your responsibility to notify the DVLA of the sale of your car.

What documents do I need?

You will need the V5 log book. The collector will sign section 4 and give this back to you. The collector will take the rest of the document, which will require your signature.

You will also need the V5C Registration Certificate, current and past MOT certificates, any service history you may have, all receipts pertaining to the vehicle and all keys and key fobs for the vehicle. For salvage vehicles, the documents make up part of the value of your car and so it is much more important that you have the correct paperwork at the time of collection.

If you don’t have any of the above documents, please notify us prior to collection to avoid any complications as this could affect the process and/or price.

What if I am missing any paperwork?

Losing paperwork is easily done, but so long as you have a photo ID it’s normally possible to have your scrap car collected without your V5 or V5C. Losing other documents may need different actions. Please advise a member of our team on any documentation that you do not have; this will ensure any complications during the collection process and price are avoided.

Do I need ID?

Yes, collectors are required to verify your identity with a photo ID. This is part of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 to reduce the risk of traders selling stolen goods.

Can I keep a copy of my paperwork?

Yes, you can keep a copy if you would like to.

Will I receive a receipt?

Some of our buyers will provide receipts, so please discuss this with the collecting agent. If your vehicle is broken down and recycled you may receive a certificate of destruction.

Do I need the insurance details?

No, we do not need your insurance details.

Do I need the service history of the vehicle?

Service history isn’t essential, but with some vehicles it can help us improve on your quote. Please let our team know what amount of history you do have as it all helps to get you the best possible deal for your vehicle.

What happens to the vehicle tax?

Since car tax went digital in 2014, anyone selling, transferring or scrapping their car will be able to claim a refund of any of the full prepaid months of car tax. The DVLA makes the refund once you notify them of the transfer and it’s confirmed by the new owner.

Do I need to contact the DVLA?

Yes. If you are scrapping your car or having an old car collected by a car collection service, you should complete the DVLA’s online form for scrapping or selling old cars to traders (you’ll need the name and address of the trader collecting). BMS Salvage will support you during this process.

Do I need to declare my vehicle off the road (SORN)

It is a legal requirement that all vehicles on the road must be insured and taxed. However, if you have a vehicle which you never use, you could take it off the road and file for a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) – If it has been taken off the road, we can still collect it.


How will I receive the money?

Payment will be made in GBP (£) and will be paid via bank transfer directly into your bank account.

How long will it take until I receive the money?

All payments will be submitted once the vehicle has been collected. Bank transfers can be instant or take a few days to process.

I haven’t received my payment, what has happened?

Bank transfer payments usually clears instantly, but can take a few days. If you have not received payment after this time, please contact us or the collector directly.

Can the price change at any point?

The price you’re quoted is guaranteed. However, if you give the incorrect information on your vehicle this could affect the price. All of our guarantees are subject to an inspection of the vehicle. Please ensure you give the correct information on your vehicle to the best of your knowledge.

Do I have to pay for any extras?

No. There are no hidden fees or extra surprises when using our service. As long as you have accurately described your vehicle and the condition it’s in. You will receive the price you were quoted. Collection is always free of charge.

What details do you need from me?

As payment is completed via bank transfer, we will need your account name, sort code and account number.

Do you store my payment details?

No, we never store your payment details. They are simply used for the purpose of payment.

I’m unhappy with the price, what can I do?

We’re sorry to hear that. It’s important to remember that when using our service, you are selling a damaged or broken vehicle which comes with free collection and no hidden fees. This means that the price you are quoted is the price you receive, guaranteed.

As the market fluctuates, the value of scrap metals can vary. This is why quotes are valid for 24 hours to give you some time to think about it. Remember, you can also leave us feedback any time, and this helps us ensure we deliver the best service possible.

Can you pay somebody else instead of me?

Yes, this is possible. As long as we have the legal permission for the registered keeper to do so.

My car is worth more than the quoted price, what now?

We understand that you may feel it’s worth more, especially if you paid a high price for it. To get the most accurate quote possible, please ensure you enter the correct details and include any detail on modifications and added extras. If you do feel the vehicle is worth more then the price you have seen online, then please give one of our expert team a call and they will try to improve on it if we can.


I’ve changed my mind, what can I do?

We understand that sometimes circumstances change. You have the right to change your mind, up until the change of ownership has taken place. Depending on how far through the collection process you are, there may be costs involved. If you are thinking of changing your mind, please let us know ASAP and we will do what we can to help.

I don’t have the keys to my car, what now?

Your vehicle will have been priced with the assumption that the keys will be with the vehicle at the time of collection. If this is not the case, please let us know at the quote stage. We will still be able to arrange the collection of the car, but we may need to reduce the price slightly.

I have a disability, can you assist me?

Absolutely! At BMS Salvage we pride ourselves on being able to deliver the best possible customer service to every one of our customers. Whatever requirements you have, please just let one of our friendly team know and they will do everything they can to make the process as simple as possible for you.

Do I need to take any photos of my car?

If the vehicle was involved in a collision, photos are very important. There is a section within the form where you can upload your photos. Please ensure that the images are clear and show the full extent of any damage. Try and get one close up photo and one image of the car in full, as these will help us to judge the extend better and get you a higher and more accurate quote.

My vehicle has been collected; do I need to do anything else?

Once your vehicle has been collected you will need to make sure that section 4 of the V5C document is complete and notify the DVLA. You are still responsible for the vehicle until the DVLA are aware of the transfer.

My vehicle is still at the accident scene; can you still take it?

Yes, our buyers can collect from almost anywhere as long as the location is accessible for a recovery vehicle. If the location is not accessible please let us know as soon as possible so the necessary steps can be taken.

What happens if I have given incorrect information?

Please let us know as soon as possible. All quotes are generated based on the information provided at the time the quote was generated and so if something was missed, we will need to know as soon as possible as it may affect the price which you were quoted.

I have taken parts off my vehicle, what happens now?

If you have removed parts of your vehicle, the price you’re quoted could be affected as your car may only be suitable for scrap rather than salvage. To find out the salvage value of your vehicle simply use our free salvage calculator and we will search through our network to find a suitable buyer and a price for you.

Does my vehicle need to be clean?

No, you don’t need to clean and wash down your vehicle. Just make sure your personal belongings and any rubbish are removed.

Can I keep my personalised number plate?

Yes, if you have personalised plates on your vehicle you can still keep them, however you will need to transfer the vehicle registration number over to another vehicle or onto a Retention Document before the vehicle is collected. Failure to do so before the vehicle is taken will result in you being unable to use the number plate on another vehicle.

To transfer or retain ownership of the vehicle’s registration number you will need to apply through the DVLA. This is most easily done online.

My car is an import; can you still take it?

We can scrap vehicles which are not registered in the UK. However, we cannot buy them for salvage. If you wish to sell a foreign registered vehicle you must notify the governing body in the country the vehicle is registered to. You will be required to send off any relevant documentation that they require. If you contact the governing body in the country it is registered to, they should be able to tell you exactly what is required as this can vary from nation to nation. If a vehicle has been imported, and is now registered in the UK, then we can buy it as normal.

Does my vehicle need to have fuel in it?

The collectors have to assume that any fuel left in a vehicle may be contaminated and so all fuel will be removed after the vehicle is collected. However, this will not affect the purchase price given. Please do not remove any fuel yourself due to the health and safety risks surrounding the handling of flammable liquids.

What happens if my vehicle doesn’t have a service history?

It’s not a problem if your vehicle doesn’t have any service history. Any service history you can provide us is appreciated but it’s not a requirement. If any documents and information are missing, please make us aware at the quote stage.

My vehicle doesn’t turn on; can you still take it?

Yes, we can still take your vehicle if it doesn’t turn on. Please make sure you have made us aware of the condition of your vehicle so any necessary recovery equipment can be organised for collection.

I’ve accidentally left something in my vehicle, what do I do?

We ask that you check your vehicle thoroughly for any personal belongings. If you have left something in the vehicle please get in contact with the collecting agent as soon as possible. If the car has been broken down and destroyed then unfortunately the item cannot be recovered. We cannot be held responsible for any personal items left in your car after collection.

How does scrapping a car affect the insurance?

It’s a legal requirement to keep insuring your vehicle until it has been collected by a car collection service or transferred to a car scrappage company, so you should only cancel insurance on your old car following collection (don’t be tempted to cancel earlier if you have an appointment scheduled). Your insurance company will confirm if you can be given any refund, and you should also notify them of any new car you are taking on as soon as you take ownership of it.

What are the insurance write-off categories?

Salvage vehicles are split into four categories depending on the type of damage it’s sustained, how well it has been repaired and the current working condition of the vehicle.

Category A – For vehicles that have sustained such serious damage that it should never return to the road and must be scrapped in full.

Category B – Vehicles that also should never return to the road. The requirement with a Category B car is that the body shell should be crushed.

Category S – Previously known as category C, this category is for vehicles that have sustained some sort of structural damage, more serious than just a cosmetic issue.

Category N – Previously known as category D, this category is for vehicles that are deemed as having an issue that is not economical to repair.
Read more on salvage categories here.

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