The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (the Act) was passed on 28th February 2013 and came into force on the 1st October 2013.

The Act repeals the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and consolidates scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators under one licensing regime. Local authorities will continue to act as the main regulator but the new Act gives licensing authorities more powers, including the power to refuse a licence and powers to revoke licences if the dealer is considered unsuitable. Both the local authority and the police have been given powers to enter and inspect premises.

There are two types of licence specified in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act - a site licence and a collector's licence. Both types of licence are covered by the same application form.

The fees are:

Site licence - £968.00

Collectors licence - £181.50

The fee is set by the local authority, and this must be included with any application. Applications can be emailed to with the fee paid via our payments line on 01789 260979.

Site licence
All sites where a licensee carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer have to be identified and a site manager has to be named for each site. This licence allows the licensee to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.

Mobile collector's licence
This allows the licensee to operate as a collector in the area of the issuing local authority. It does not allow the collector to operate in any other local authority area, so a separate licence has to be obtained from each council the collector wishes to operate in. The licence does not authorise the licensee to operate a site; to do so they will need a site licence from the relevant local authority.

Duration of licence
A licence, if granted, will be issued for a period of three years from the date of issue.


From 1 December 2013, a person must have a scrap metal dealer's licence in order to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer. It is an offence to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence and, if convicted, a person may receive a fine of an unlimited amount (level 5 on the standard scale).

Further information

Further information about the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 can be found in the Home Office supplementary guidance. You can also download guidance for local authorities on determining suitability to hold a scrap metal dealer's licence.

Contact: The Licensing team

Last updated on 03/05/2024