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Can I Scrap a Van Without Key? - Scrap Your Van

Posted December 7, 2021
by Sam

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This is an issue that nearly all vehicle owners have gone through at some point, the dreaded losing your van keys. If they were at the bottom of your bag or at the back of the sofa it would be fine but if you have really lost them, it is a very stressful situation. It becomes worse if they belonged to an old vehicle that you were planning to scrap or salvage. So you might be wondering if you could still sell your van even without the keys. Well, we are here to explain to you what your options are.

How exactly does the scrapping process work - Why you need to an Authorised Treatment Facility

Before you find out about how to scrap a van without a key, it might be better to get an idea about how the vehicle scrapping process actually works. The following steps will give you an overview:

  1. Get a scrap car quote for the scrapping of your van, according to the scrap car prices of the period.
  2. Arrange for the collection of the van with any scrap metal dealers
  3. They arrive at the collection location and you provide the required paperwork (proof of address, ID)
  4. The dealer will winch or tow your vehicle to their scrap or salvage yard using a recovery truck
  5. If they believe the van can be repaired, they may choose to fix it up for salvage. If it’s not worth repairing, they’ll break it down into parts for either reuse or recycling

It is imperative that you find yourself a scrap dealer that will take your van to an authorised treatment facility, because they are the only centers capable of issuing you a Certificate of Destruction after they scrap the vehicle.


Is it possible to scrap a Van without keys? Isn't a Log Book Enough?

So now that you know the process of scrapping a vehicle, let’s go back to the original question of whether you can scrap a van without keys? The short answer is yes, but the biggest physical challenge in this situation would be how to get the vehicle loaded onto the tow truck. If you don't have keys engine control unit working fine would not matter. It's all about maneuverability.
A vehicle’s front wheels need to be straight if it is to be winched onto a recovery truck. If you don’t have the key, trying to turn the steering wheel can put the steering lock on so the wheels don’t turn. Some vehicle collectors can just drag the van on, but would usually need a more advanced towing vehicle to do it, which can cost you more.

The other challenge would be from a legal point of view. The vehicle collector will need to see proof that the vehicle is yours before they can tow and scrap it according to the Scrap Dealers Act of 2013.  This law was to ensure that the vehicle isn’t a stolen one. This is where the log book comes in.  If you don’t have a key, almost all collectors we employ would insist on adequate paperwork notably a photo ID and a V5C logbook copy, which is a vehicle registration document, to ensure you’re the registered owner before we come to collect the vehicle. So make sure that you have the vehicle logbook with you in this sort of a situation.

Will I get less money when scrapping or salvaging a Van without a key?

Fret not; this is nothing to worry about if you’re just scraping the van. If the dealer is able to tow your vehicle without too much of a bother, then you will be able to get a similar quote with or without key. But in certain cases, you might get a lower offering if the collector had to use advanced equipment, which would incur additional costs upon them.

Unfortunately, if you are selling a working van for salvage, the situation is much bleeker. The main problem here is that the collector or the salvager is unable to start or run any of the vehicle parts without the key. This can lead to your van being priced as a non-running vehicle. This, needless to say, is likely to result in your van being quoted at a much lower rate compared to you having the keys.

What can you do if you’ve lost your Van keys?

If you don’t have the keys and just don’t have any way of procuring a spare, a collector might be okay with using advanced equipment to drag the van onto their recovery vehicle. Others might go for van skates to do the job, which is just as they sound like, wheeled ‘skates’ that you place under your front wheels so the vehicle can be rolled on them. Mind you these fall under advanced equipment, and not all collectors will be willing to use them.

The best thing to do in this situation is to notify us on initial contact, with a full description and advising us  that you don’t have the van’s keys with you when you apply for a quotation. That way we will then be able to discuss this further with you  and come to an agreed  decision, as to whether the van collection is possible.