Scrap metal

Before applying

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 replaced the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and Part One of the Vehicle (Crime) Act 2001. It brings scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators together under one Act which we are in charge of controlling. The Act came into force at the end of 2013.

Every scrap metal dealer is required to have a licence and not having one is a criminal offence. The new act means that dealers can't pay for scrap metal in cash and must pay by electronic payment or cheque. Licence holders must also keep comprehensive records of all purchases and disposals of metal for three years after the purchase or disposal.

For more information on the legal duties of licence holders, have a look at the Act which can be found on the Local Government Association website, and our guidance notes.

Types of licences

Site licence

A Site Licence which lets you buy and sell scrap metal from a fixed location within the council area. Each site will have a nominated Site Manager included on the Licence.

Collectors licence

A Collector’s Licence allows you to travel within the council area to collect scrap metal. You may not take this metal back to a site that you run within the council area in order to sell it.

Although you can hold more the one than one licence issued by separate Authorities you may only hold one licence issued by the same Authority.

Apply for a licence

Apply for a site or collectors licence

How long does it take?

Your licence application will take 14 days to be processed. Once you're licensed you will need to:

  • Keep a detailed yearly record of your dealings at each place where you store or process/dispatch scrap metal. Records should be kept for three years
  • Allow us or the Police to inspect your premises, scrap metal and your records

Make changes to my licence

You need to let us know about changes such as your name, address, change of business premises or if you have stopped dealing with scrap metal. You can tell email us at

Licence fees

Site licence application £556
Site licence renewal £472
Collector's licence application or renewal £339
Minor change to licence £37
Change of site manager £198
Change of collector on site licence £242
Change of site on collector licence £158