The Raw Materials of Cars

These days, we take our cars for granted. They are machines that many people use every day to travel to and from work, visit relatives or pick up the shopping. They make our lives so much easier, but we rarely stop to consider just how complex they are.

car manufacturing factory production

Your car is constructed from a range of different raw materials – many of which can be recycled with relative ease, but there are some parts which can be quite dangerous. It is important that we understand the different components when we carry out our vehicle recycling programs and in this article, we aim to give you all the information you could ever need about vehicle recycling.


It should come as no surprise that metal makes up the largest part of a car, but did you know that steel and aluminium usually make up most of a car’s weight? These metals are used both on the interior and exterior, creating the visible body and other important parts like the chassis.

Steel is particularly strong and hard-wearing; however, aluminium is lighter and even stronger than steel so it’s another popular choice. Aluminium has a higher price tag, so it tends to be reserved for luxury cars, meaning that most of the metal processed through end of life vehicle recycling is steel.

As a ferrous metal, recycling steel is a relatively simple process which you can read more about in our article – Ferrous Metal Recycling and Why It’s So Important. Aluminium, on the other hand, is a non ferrous metal so it is harder to recycle.  Our company has developed to specialise in working with aluminium and copper, so we have various techniques dedicated to recycling these difficult materials.


As well as the steel and aluminium aspects of a car, there are plenty of electrical elements that make your car more than just transport from A to B. The electrics in your car are used for things like automatic windows and radio players, things which we often take for granted until they break and need recycling.

Extracting these parts can be tricky, dangerous and expensive, but it is important to do because they contain high-quality copper wiring which can be re-used in the future. Many recycling companies focus on profit instead of our planet and will neglect to sort the electrics in a car properly. This means that these companies will be sending recyclable content to landfill instead of practicing the Eco-conscious scrap metal recycling which we pride ourselves on at Morecambe Metals.


Plastic is an incredibly versatile and useful material that is used prominently in the car interior. It is lightweight, so it is perfect for creating cars that are both strong yet lightweight. The lighter a car is, the less fuel it will consume and the faster it will be able to travel.

The plastic recycling industry is still developing, but more cars are now being constructed with recycled plastics. Companies such as Chrysler and Honda are front-runners in creating cars that are conscious of their plastic usage, and you can do your bit by ensuring that you choose environmentally friendly vehicle recycling services.

car dashboard


While rubber is used to make car tyres, you may not have noticed that this durable material is also present in your door seals, but unless you’re a mechanic you’re unlikely to have known that rubber is also used in the engine. Rubber is very useful due to its elasticity which prevents harm from being done to the body of the car when you shut your door by soaking up the force of the impact.


The glass industry has particularly strong ties with the automotive industry as this material is not only used for windows and windscreens, but also in mirrors, cameras and dashboard display screens. Modern cars, perhaps, use even more glass products than those produced just 10 years ago.


Of course, a car wouldn’t be complete without the use of various fibres that go into the interior. These fibres are necessary for everything from the seats to the carpets and may include cotton, leather and polyester.

When we begin our vehicle recycling program, we separate and organise all the materials in your car so that we may properly recycle as much as possible. You can read more about the importance of vehicle recycling on our blog, and you can always contact us for direct queries concerning scrapping your car.