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What are the most written-off cars in the UK?

With research showing over one million cars are sent to the scrap heap to be crushed, recycled and given a new lease of life every year, and almost 400,000 of them are declared a write-off, find out which makes and models are being removed from the UK's roads and the car scrapping trends we've seen in 2022.

What are the most written off cars in the UK?

In the UK, the most written-off car makes and models have varied over time due to factors such as popularity and availability, and 2022's results help to spotlight the enduring popularity of the Ford Focus model as it comes out in the #1 spot for the most scrapped car model for the sixth year in a row!

Top 10 most scrapped car models in 2022

RankCar Model2021 Rank
1Ford Focus1
2Vauxhall Corsa2
3Vauxhall Astra3
4Ford Fiesta4
5Volkswagen Golf5
6BMW 3 SeriesNEW!
7Ford TransitNEW!
8Mini Hatch (Cooper/One)NEW!
9Vauxhall Zafira 6
10Renault Clio7

Not much has changed compared to the previous year with the top five positions remaining unchanged. However, three new models have made their way onto the list, which are the BMW 3 Series, the Ford Transit, and the Mini Hatch (Cooper/one).

But can the same be said for the manufacturers behind the models?

Top 10 most scrapped car manufacturers in 2022

RankCar Make2021 Rank
9Toyota 8

Just like the most scrapped models, the top five manufacturers remain unchanged too, but again, see some new additions compared to 2021 with the additions of BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

Ford and Vauxhall seem to be the breakaway leaders, but there was little in it for the top spot, with Ford just 3.5% ahead in terms of volume. However, with significantly more of them on the road than their opponents, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that they're also the most scrapped. The combination of their popularity and availability unfortunately - and inevitably - sees them more susceptible to accidents and theft, and therefore in the scrap heap. But don't just take our word for it, here are the Most Common Cars in the UK.

Most Common Cars in the UK

RankCar Make and ModelNumber on UK roads
1Ford Fiesta1.54m
2Ford Focus1.3m
3Vauxhall Corsa1.11m
4Volkswagen Golf1.07m
5Vauxhall Astra0.96m
6Volkswagen Polo0.68m
7BMW Series 30.61mm
8Nissan Qashqai0.49m
9Toyota Yaris 0.49m
10Renault Clio466,000

Source: Motorway.

However, it's important to remember that car accidents, thefts etc. change over time, so it's essential to refer to the latest reports from reliable sources such as insurance companies and vehicle safety organisations such as Green Flag for up-to-date information on the most written-off cars in the UK.

What are the main reasons cars get scrapped?

There are several reasons why a car might get scrapped, but the most common reasons are:

  • 🟢 End of Life: The average lifespan of a car is 10 to 12 years. As cars get older, they become less reliable and more prone to issues. When a car reaches the end of its useful life, it's often time to scrap it. Not to mention it will likely fall behind today's safety standards so selling it on or repairing it is out of the question.
  • 🟢 Repairs: The most pragmatic reason for scrapping a car could be the sheer cost of getting it repaired. If the repairs cost more than the car, then it's probably time to consider sending it to scrap.
  • 🟢 Written-Off: The most common reason for a var to end up on the scrap heap is it has been involved in an accident and declared a write-off. This means that it's deemed uneconomical or unsafe to repair so scrapping it is a cost-effective solution. You can find out more about written-off cars on our blog, but in general, for cars involved in severe accidents or sustaining significant damage, the solution it to scrap it.

Write-offs explained

A written-off car is a vehicle that has been deemed uneconomical or unsafe to repair by an insurance company or relevant authority due to severe damage, typically from an accident, fire, flood, or other significant event. When a car is declared a write-off, it means the cost of repairing the vehicle exceeds its market value or predetermined threshold set by the insurance company.

With a car written-off in Britain every 90 seconds, it almost doesn't come as a shock that so many cars find themselves in a scrap heap every year...

Is there a website to check if a car has been written-off?

Yes! Green Flag's One Check is a widely used vehicle history-checking service that provides comprehensive reports that include information about a car's written-off status, mileage discrepancies, outstanding finance, and more so you can purchase a car with confidence.

When using our One Check, it's important to provide the vehicle's registration number and carefully review the information provided. This check instantly arms you with over 80 accurate, up-to-date information data points about any motorised vehicle registers in the UK.

For instant peace of mind, One Check it here.

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