Scrap Metal and Motor Salvage

Scrap Metal and Motor Salvage

A person carries on business as a scrap metal dealer if the person:

a) carries on a business which consists wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought, or
b) carries on business as a motor salvage operator.

A person carries on a business as a motor salvage operator if their business consists of:

a) wholly or partly in recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for re-use or sale and subsequently selling or otherwise disposing of the rest of the vehicle for scrap,
b) wholly or mainly in buying written-off vehicles and subsequently repairing and reselling them,
c) wholly or mainly in buying or selling motor vehicles which are to be the subject (whether immediately or on a subsequent re-sale) of any of the activities mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b), or
d) wholly or mainly in activities falling within paragraphs (b) and (c).

Application Evaluation Process

Online licensing forms

To demonstrate that they are a fit and proper person, most applicants choose to submit a basic disclosure check from Disclosure Scotland. Whichever route you choose to take, please note that your certificate must be less than three calendar months old at the time your application is submitted.

Applicants will also need to demonstrate that they hold the necessary Environment Agency waste carrier permit(s) via the application form.

Applications will be refused if the local authority is not satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer. The local authority will take into account any relevant previous convictions.
If a local authority intends to refuse an application or cancel a registration they must serve a notice on the applicant or operator. The notice must give details of what they 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 the decision of the local authority as to whether to grant an application, renew a registration or cancel a registration.

Notice of changes to registered information must be made to the local authority within 28 days of the change.


A person who manufactures articles is not to be regarded as selling scrap metal if that person sells scrap metal only as a by-product of manufacturing articles or as surplus materials not required for manufacturing them.

The dealing in gold, silver, and any alloy of which 2% or more is attributable to gold or silver.

What type of licence do I require?

Site Licence

A site licence issued by Chiltern District Council authorises the licence holder to carry on business at any site in the Council's area. A site licence holder can transport scrap metal from third party businesses by arrangement from the Chiltern District, and any other local council area providing it is in the course of the business from that site.

A site licence holder cannot regularly engage in collecting waste materials and old, broken, worn out or defaced articles by means of visits from door to door in the area they are licensed or elsewhere, as this would constitute carrying on a business as a mobile collector. It would be acceptable to collect by arrangement, for instance where a motor salvage operator is asked to transport a damaged vehicle from an address to their site.

It is not possible to hold both a mobile collector's licence and a site licence at the same time with any Council.

If a site licence holder uses self-employed mobile collectors to collect scrap metal which will be processed by the site, each collector would need a mobile collector's licence.

Collectors Licence

A collector's licence issued by Chiltern District Council authorises the licence holder to carry on business as a mobile collector in the Council's area only. A separate collector's licence is needed for each council area that a mobile collector collects scrap metal. A mobile collector can dispose or sell scrap metal in any local council area regardless of whether a collector's licence is held for that area.

A mobile collector will need a licence to buy or sell any scrap metal collected. Even if the material is provided free of charge, a licence is required in order to sell it on.

A mobile collector's licence will cover any employees working for that business. If they are not employed directly by that mobile collector's business and are self-employed, they will need their own collector's licence even if they are collecting metal from the same van as a person who has a mobile collector's licence.


Site Licence: £500* (3 year licence)

Collectors Licence: £250 + £25 per vehicle used for collections. (3 year licence)

Variation: £50

* Licence plates for site vehicles are voluntary, but help to indicate clearly that the activities being conducted are legal, and cost a one off fee of £25.00 each.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact the Local Authority in the first instance.