Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2012 – FAQs

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act came into force back in 2012, but there are still several parts of it that are lesser known. Perhaps the most prominent clause of the Act is that it forbids anyone from buying scrap metal with cash – even if they are a regular customer at that particular scrap yard.

The Legislation

The Act mentions in Section 146 the specifics of paying for scrap metal:

  1. A scrap metal dealer must not pay for scrap metal except-
    • By a cheque which under section 81A of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 is not transferable, or
    • By an electronic transfer of funds (authorised by credit or debit card or otherwise).
  2. The Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (1) to permit other methods of payment.
  3. In this section paying includes paying in kind (with goods or services).
  4. If a scrap metal dealer pays for scrap metal in breach of subsection (1), each of the following is guilty of an offence-
    • The scrap metal dealer
    • A person who makes the payment acting for the dealer;
    • A manager who fails to take reasonable steps to prevent the payment being made in breach of subsection (1).

Are there any methods, aside from cash, that are not permitted when purchasing scrap metal?

The following methods of payment are not permitted by law to be used to pay for scrap metal:

  • Electronic vouchers
  • Foreign currency
  • Postal orders
  • Supermarket gift cards
  • Virtual currencies

Are there any exceptions to the rule?

In some cases, travelling scrap metal collections are exempt from the cashless law. However, they must be registered with their local authority under section 1 of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964. They must also have obtained an order, which is defined under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964.

The Maxilead Members Club

Due to the Act, it’s now a legal requirement to bring photo ID* with you when you sell scrap metal. To make things easier for our customers, we’ve created the Maxilead Members Club. This means you only have to bring your photo ID the first time, and once you’ve registered with us we’ll give you a member’s card – from then on you only have to bring your member’s card instead of your photo ID each time.


*UK photocard driving license or UK passport & utility bill which shows address

Tue, 23 March 2021

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