CarTakeBack, the largest scrap car recycling network in the UK, celebrates its 15th year in the business.
Our industry, like countless others, has been impacted during the Coronavirus pandemic, but being accustomed to having to change and adapt, we’re nothing if not resilient. Over the years, we’ve experienced fluctuations in scrap metal prices, the introduction of stringent laws and regulations, changes in vehicles, cash payment bans and contended with countless other challenges. CarTakeBack has encountered a lot during their 15 years of operation, so as we reach the end of 2020, we look back on their history, how they’ve evolved and what the future hold.
2005 – 2010
Established in 2005 by a group of like-minded, environmentally responsible shredders, the original goal for CarTakeBack was to enable vehicle manufacturers (VMs) and ATFs to comply with the statutory environmental and reporting obligations, introduced as a result of ELV legislation. A network of ATFs was established to cover the UK, and compliance for them and the VMs began. The network issued its first COD in May 2005 for a 1996 Ford Fiesta.
As well as supporting the industry with their responsibilities, CarTakeBack recognised the need for an online solution to connect last owners of vehicles with their ATF members. In 2008 CarTakeBack launched the first online instant quotation service for ELVs, plus collection was expanded to cover the UK as a convenient option for the last owner. The first vehicle collected by the network was a 1987 Peugeot 205.
2009 saw the start of a busy period for the industry as a Government Scrappage Scheme was announced. As the first scheme of its kind in the UK, 400,000 cars were traded for recycling. The CarTakeBack network recycled 240,000 of those vehicles!
2010 – 2015
Over the years following the Government Scrappage Scheme, CarTakeBack began to develop and refine their own schemes and services.
2011 saw the launch of Charity Car; giving customers a simple way to donate the value of their car to good causes. The scheme has over 100 official partners including Cancer Research, Make-A-Wish and WWF, and to date has raised over half a million pounds.
In 2012 the company took their service overseas to Australia and New Zealand, followed by Ireland in 2015.
During this period, cash bans came into force to tackle metal theft. While legitimate ATFs welcomed this development, it meant a change in the way many operated. Solutions were quickly developed, and the industry adapted to become ‘cashless’ to support the fight against illegal activity.
2015 – 2020
In recent years the industry has been presented with more challenges, and CarTakeBack has reached some significant milestones.
2015 was the year that vehicle recycling targets increased from 85% to 95%. The same year a shredder trial determined that the average depolluted weight of a vehicle had increased, demanding further recycling, reuse and recovery. Working with their shredder shareholders, CarTakeBack ATFs achieved the 95% target in 2013 – two years ahead of the change in law!
In 2018 the network issued its five millionth COD.
As electric vehicles increase on the roads, so too will they in ATFs through accident damage and end of life. CarTakeBack was quick to respond to this industry change with investment that began in 2014. The company has supported their ATF members through manufacturer training courses, and in 2019 CarTakeBack launched their own Electric End of Life Vehicle (eELV) safe handling training program in partnership with British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA). Whilst the program has been halted by Coronavirus restrictions, courses will resume when it is safe to do so.
The Future for CarTakeBack
With the introduction of more Clean Air Zones, new scrappage schemes and incentives encouraging us to drive less, CarTakeBack is working closely with local authorities and transport companies to support their goals to improve air quality.
CarTakeBack will continue to proactively support the safe handling and processing of electric ELVs (eELVs) and their batteries with further training and awareness for their ATFs. The company advises various innovations boards, including ground-breaking Faraday Institute research into ensuring EVs and batteries are designed with the dismantler in mind. CarTakeBack is also supporting the development of a UK based li-ion EV battery recycling facility and working on sustainable new value streams for eELV components and batteries.
As further challenges lie ahead for the industry, and no doubt some surprises along the way, CarTakeBack is working hard to remain at the forefront of innovation, along with their OEM and ATF partners.
Ken Byng, Senior Manager at CarTakeBack, said:
“In these difficult times, I am delighted that we are at least able to celebrate some good news in reaching our latest milestone. The past 15 years have proven both exciting and eventful, and I am proud that we have remained at the forefront of the many positive developments our industry has seen. It is a very different world from the one we first stepped into in 2005, and we would not be where we are now without the support of our various partners, particularly our ATFs and OEMs. I’m very much looking forward to the next 15 years, where again we can see great change on the horizon – not least with the advent of volume electric vehicles soon to enter the ELV streams – and as always we are ready to lead the way with the next set of challenges we face.”
Quotes from VM Partners
Rob Cripps, Manager Homologation & Environmental Legislation for Renault Group in the UK said:
“As Renault, Dacia and Nissan’s official end of life vehicle partner for many years, CarTakeBack has successfully handled the scrapping of thousands of end of life vehicles on our behalf, whether direct from last owners or through one of our scrappage schemes. We have always been impressed with the service we have received and are proud to have CarTakeBack as our professional ‘one-stop-shop’ for our end of life vehicle requirements.”
Julian Outram, Homologation Advisor for Mitsubishi Motors in the UK said:
“Mitsubishi Motors UK has worked with CarTakeBack since 2005, and in that time as our official end of life vehicle service providers have scrapped many thousands of cars, including through the last government scrappage scheme and MMUK’s own subsequent schemes. Throughout our dealings with CarTakeBack, we have been impressed with how efficient and professional their service is, and we are always confident that our regulatory requirements are fully met.”
Quotes from ATF Members
“We have been part of CarTakeBack’s network for a very long time. Working with CarTakeBack has been an absolute privilege for us, not only has this wonderful journey been exciting and prosperous, our bond with them has gone from strength to strength due to our shared interests and beliefs,” said Waseem Rafih, Sunrise Auto Spares Ltd
Jahan Zeb, Govan Motors said:
“Great system that we have worked with since its inception with ever-evolving and user-friendly features. We find it being an easy and simple online process which not only allows good and clear access for customers but also helps agents like us to communicate with customers and CarTakeBack alike.
Online accessibility with built-in DVLA interface makes life so much easier and allows us to build a trusting customer base and has resulted in repeat business over the years.”
Clair, Ammanford Recycling Ltd said:
“CarTakeBack is a professional organisation with a great team, prompt and efficient response times with a sense of humour Super-efficient system for car collections with customer satisfaction a top priority. A great company to work with.”