How To Wipe Personal Data from Your Car Before Scrapping?

car personal data

Personal cars are seen as a means to an end, which is why most people don’t think twice before scrapping their beloved vehicle and moving on to a better one. But before you make the shift, it is important to transfer or erase any stored data from your old automobile.

You might be surprised that vehicles nowadays store a lot of sensitive information in their ECU, which is easily accessible. If you don’t delete that information before selling your vehicle to car wreckers, you could be in deep trouble. The data could go into the wrong hands!

Luckily, it is easy to reset your old car and erase all the data stored inside to make it safe for scrapping. Here we will give you step-by-step instructions to remove personal data and belongings from your automobile.

Step 1: Disconnect and Remove the Battery

The battery provides power to the onboard computer and all other electrical and electronic components inside the car. Once you remove the battery from the equation, the rest becomes easy.

If you cannot remove the battery yourself, a qualified technician can do the job for you. However, ensure that all auxiliary circuits are also cut off from the electric supply before handing over the keys to a car removal service.

car personal data

Related services

We have been helping the Otago, Southland, and Canterbury regions for over a decade now with recycling their unwanted vehicles.

Step 2: Remove Any Personal belongings

No matter how many times you try, some personal belongings are always left behind in a car you are selling. That’s why it is important to perform multiple car checks, ranging from the interior to the trunk and every other crevice within the vehicle. Try to be thorough, so you don’t miss anything on your last attempt.

Step 3: Wipe the Hard Drive

Most modern vehicles have an onboard hard drive that stores information from the onboard navigation system. If you have one of those vehicles, you should remember to poach all your data from there before getting cash for cars.

Once you access the hard drive, you should erase everything and then scrap your vehicle. If you are unsure how to format a hard drive, you can look at countless YouTube videos or contact a professional.

SD and USB Drives

The last thing on your list should be checking the SD cards and removing the USB drives from the car. You might not have sensitive data on these drives, but scrapping will only put them to waste. Therefore, it is better to save and use them in your new vehicle.


Following these simple steps, you can erase all the personal data from your old car and reduce any chances of data or identity theft. After all, you wouldn’t want to get in trouble for losing sensitive information to strangers.


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We buy unwanted and scrap vehicles and pay up to $12000 cash.
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