Is It Necessary to Deregister Your Car Before Scrapping It?

Posted on 10th, May 24
Is It Necessary to Deregister Your Car Before Scrapping It?

When it’s time to say goodbye to your old car, one question that often comes up is whether you need to deregister it before sending it to the scrapyard or local unwanted car buyer. In Adelaide, South Australia, this process can seem a bit confusing if you haven’t done it before. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand what needs to be done.

Why Deregister Your Car?

Deregistering your car essentially means officially removing it from the motor vehicle register. This is an important step for several reasons:

  1. Legal Responsibility: Once deregistered, you are no longer responsible for any obligations associated with the vehicle, such as registration fees or fines.
  2. Insurance: You can cancel your car insurance, which might lead to some financial savings.
  3. Environmental Responsibility: Proper deregistration ensures that the car won’t be illegally used, which could have negative environmental impacts if not disposed of properly.

The Deregistration Process in South Australia

In South Australia, the deregistration process is managed by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT). Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather Necessary Documentation: You’ll need the car’s registration certificate and a proof of identity, such as a driver’s license.
  2. Complete the Deregistration Form: You can find this form on the DIT’s website. It requires details about the vehicle and your personal information.
  3. Return the Number Plates: You need to return your car’s number plates to the nearest Service SA Centre.
  4. Submit the Form: Submit the completed deregistration form and the number plates at the Service SA Centre.
  5. Receive Confirmation: Once processed, you will receive a confirmation that your vehicle has been deregistered.

Scrapping Your Car in Adelaide

After deregistering your vehicle, you’re ready to scrap it. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Choose a Licensed Scrap Yard: Ensure the scrapyard is licensed and follows environmental regulations.
  2. Arrange for Towing: Most scrapyards offer free towing services. They will pick up your car and handle it from there.
  3. Transfer of Ownership: While not always necessary after deregistration, some scrapyards might still require a transfer of ownership for their records.
  4. Receive a Certificate of Destruction: This certificate ensures that your car has been scrapped according to legal and environmental standards.

Is Deregistration Necessary?

While it’s possible to scrap a car without deregistering it first, it is highly recommended to do so. Deregistering ensures that you are no longer liable for the vehicle, avoids potential fines, and legally transfers the responsibility to the scrapyard. Moreover, it simplifies the process of cancelling your car insurance.


Deregistering your car before scrapping it in Adelaide, South Australia, is a crucial step that benefits you legally, financially, and environmentally. By following the proper procedure, you can ensure a smooth transition and peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is disposed of responsibly. If you have any uncertainties, contacting the Department of Infrastructure and Transport or a licensed scrapyard can provide additional guidance.