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Scrap metal and motor salvage licences

Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, if you wish to carry out business as a scrap metal dealer in Barking and Dagenham you must apply to us for a licence. This includes:

  • a business which consists wholly or partly of buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is processed in any way in between; or
  • a business which carries out motor salvage activities, such as dismantling vehicles for parts to be reused or sold, or buying written-off vehicles for repair and subsequent resale, or trades vehicles for either of these purposes

Scrap metal includes any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material, and any product, article or assembly which is made from or contains metal and is broken, worn out or regarded by its last holder as having reached the end of its useful life.

Gold, silver and alloys containing more than 2% by weight of these metals are not deemed to be scrap metal.

Carrying on business as a scrap metal dealer without, or in breach of, a licence is a criminal offence, carrying a maximum fine on conviction of £5,000.

Types of licence

There are two types of scrap metal dealer licence, which one you need depends on how your business is organised.

Site licence

A site licence is required by businesses operating fixed sites, such as a collection yard to which people bring metal to sell, a storage facility where metal which has been received is stored prior to processing or disposal, an industrial unit at which vehicles are dismantled or repaired, or an office from which the business is carried on or where vehicles are kept when not in use. This licence also enables the operator to transport scrap metal to and from those sites.

Collector’s licence

A collector’s licence is required by businesses which do not operate any fixed sites and which collect metal by way of visits from door-to-door. A licence will be required from each council in whose area it is intended to collect.

You may not hold a site licence and a collector’s licence issued by the same council at the same time.


Pay for a Scrap Metal and Motor Salvage License

Site licence

Licence typeApplication feeLicence Grant feeTotal
Site licence - new£355£178£533
Site licence - renewal£355£178£533
Site licence - variation£178-£178

Collector's licence

Licence typeApplication feeLicence Grant feeTotal
Collector's licence - new£178£146£324
Collector's licence - renewal£178£146£324
Collector's licence - variation£125-£125

Record-keeping requirements

Licensed dealers must maintain full records of every receipt and disposal of scrap metal. Records must be kept for at least 3 years and must be made available for inspection on the request of police or council officers.

You will be under a legal duty to check and keep copies of official identification verifying the identity of persons who wish to supply scrap metal to you, prior to receiving scrap from those persons.

Apply for a scrap metal dealer's licence

Applications for either type of scrap metal dealer’s licence may be made online. 

Application form 

You will be required to submit the following supporting documents with your application:

  • a basic disclosure certificate, not more than 3 months old at the time of application, for each individual, partner, company director and site manager named in the application
  • a copy of photographic ID
  • a passport sized photograph
  • a utility bill
  • a copy of your Environment Agency registration as a waste carrier, broker or dealer

In assessing your application, the Licensing team will consult with other bodies, including the Metropolitan Police, the Environment Agency, Trading Standards and the Licensing departments of any other local authorities in which you hold or have held a scrap metal dealer’s licence.

Once granted, a licence is valid for 3 years.