Breaker yards have a characteristic image that often confuses people when they first set foot in one. The typical image of a breaker yard is of an old, run down, grease-sodden warehouse. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many modern breaker yards, especially those we partner with, are clean, legal, fully-licenced outfits. Much of the industry has modernised drastically in comparison to the era their reputation refers to.
Unfortunately, this view of car breaker yards is something that still permeates areas of the public. We feel it’s important to create a distinction between this outdated image and the breakers that we know and work with closely.
Many of these views toward breaker yards comes from their portrayal in pop culture. The image of a shady yard owner, whispering in a corner, helping unscrupulous characters hide from the police or disposing of vehicles from questionable backgrounds is rife. Fortunately, these portrayals have very little basis in fact. It comes from a time before laws and regulation were mandatory in the breaker industry and, as a result, their reputation has suffered.
In reality, this image has changed in recent years with a wave of legislation passing over the industry. All breaker yards must be fully-licensed by the Environment Agency (EA). This ensures that breaker yards are not harmful towards the environment and are delivering best practices set down by the EA.
To further safeguard the industry, breaker yards are also banned from making cash payments. This means that all transactions are traceable and the breakers are operating in a transparent manner. Similarly, they must retain records of all purchases for 3 years and all transactions must include proof of ID and an address. More accountability means that the dodgy trader of the past has nowhere to hide! It also means that you’re protected by the law.
Now they are a great asset and carry out a valuable environmental service. It’s important to remember as well that breaker yards are key to the UK meeting its recycling targets. A vehicle at the end of its life can be scrapped and/or dismantled and the parts sold. These parts can then be used to restore old cars that are in need of some care and attention. This is a key step towards a more renewable automotive industry.
Surprised to learn some of this? The industry has changed a lot, for the better. So, the next time your car needs that replacement part, remember that a breaker yard isn’t a Steptoe and Son operation. It’s a thriving, friendly, and reputable place that just wants to do right by you.