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Ford Focus gains dubious honour as UK’s ‘most scrapped car’

2023 car scrappage stats released by a leading recycler show the UK’s most scrapped cars and what they are worth.

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The Ford Focus hatchback topped the table of most frequently-scrapped cars in the UK in 2023, according to an annual tally of vehicles meeting their end in the jaws of the crusher.

Car recycling network CarTakeBack’s annual report reveals its top five most popular ‘victims’ were the Focus, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Astra and Vauxhall Zafira.

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The average age of scrapped vehicles increased to 17 years in 2023, and CarTakeBack’s marketing manager Rebecca Currier predicts this will increase again in 2024 as cost of living pressures encourage drivers to hold onto cars for longer.

When it comes to totting up the totals of cars that have been dispatched in 2023 from individual manufacturers, Ford comes out on top followed by Vauxhall and Peugeot. 60 per cent of the vehicles scrapped were petrol, 39 per cent diesel, and just one per cent were hybrid or electric, the company says. 

The changing face of fashion is reflected in the most popular colours being scrapped - first was silver, with blue and black vying for second and third places. Grey followed in fourth place, while red and white cars took fifth and sixth.

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This year, with the benefit of hindsight, the most profitable time to have scrapped your car would have been Spring. Average prices were hitting £348 in May, and CarTakeBack also reports a slight lift at the end of November to £276, but otherwise there has been a gradual and continual decrease in prices throughout 2023. Overall, it says, the average paid out this year has decreased by 4.5 per cent to £316 from 2022’s average of £331.

It’s not really a surprise that the Focus has topped the 2023 scrappage table, as industry figures show that 17 years ago the popular Ford outsold its nearest rival by 50,000 units. And if you’re thinking of consigning your old car to the next life in 2024, the prospects for values are uncertain. 

“While 2023’s prices have decreased during most months, the overall drop of only 4.5% year on year is relatively small. We only have to go back as far as 2020 to see an annual average price of £160, which puts this drop into perspective,” says Currier.

“As we move into 2024, we cannot be sure how the scrap market will fare. What we can predict is that the average age of scrapped cars is likely to rise again as more people are holding onto their cars for longer.”

Are you looking to scrap your car? Here's how to get the best price...

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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