Decrepit cars fetch a higher price as scrap metal

Cars in a scrapyard.
Cars in a scrapyard. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The prices scrap metal handlers Kuusakoski pay for decrepit vehicles have grown by 60 percent over the past year. The Transport Administration believes Estonia's planned car tax might motivate people to get rid of cars that do not see use.

The price scrap metal handler Kuusakoski offers for decrepit vehicles has grown by 64 percent on year, courtesy of new technologies and the goal of combating illegal chop shops.

The price per ton the company offers for vehicles has grown from €140 to €230.

Toomas Kollamaa, member of the board and head of sales for Kuusakoski in Estonia, said that the company wants to buy cars direct from owners and not through intermediaries that may have already removed more valuable components. "The better price helps us source vehicles directly from owners and cut out the middlemen getting rich off valuable parts," he said.

Kollamaa suggested that while interest has not spiked yet, people's motivation to get rid of cars left to rot might grow in the near future.

"There are two reasons. One is the better price people will be able to get for their vehicle. The other is the infamous car tax [plan] that surfaced this spring and has left people guessing whether and how it will concern cars that are just rusting in a corner of the yard or the owner of which has left this world, with relevant paperwork not taken care of," Kollamaa explained.

Märten Surva, head of the vehicles registration department of the Transport Administration, said that the number of passenger vehicles and small trucks, which do not require a certificate of destruction, deleted from the register has grown this year. While just six such vehicles were registered last May, this had jumped to 145 this year.

At the same time, the number of vehicles requiring a destruction certificate removed from the register fell from 2,314 in 2022 to 1,781 last year.

"While it is not clear yet how the vehicle tax will be laid down and regarding which vehicles, it is quite certain that the looming tax obligation will motivate people to get rid of vehicles that are not used," Surva said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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