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Home » Environment » End of Live Vehicles

End of Life Vehicles (ELV)


Approximately 2 million vehicles are scrapped in the UK each year either because of old age or due to accident.




The EC ELV Directive aims to reduce the amount of waste from vehicles (cars and vans) when they are finally scrapped.  In particular, it includes tightened environmental standards for vehicle treatment sites, requires that last owners must be able to dispose of their vehicles free of charge from 2007 (and requires producers to pay all or a significant part of the free take-back from this date), sets rising reuse, recycling and recovery targets and restricts the use of hazardous substances in both new vehicles and replacement vehicle parts.

The composition of a typical car has changed substantially in recent years. For example, ferrous metal content has decreased significantly as lighter, more fuel-efficient materials such as plastics are incorporated into vehicle design.

Recycling of different materials usually including metals, plastics, fluids, catalytic converters, batteries, airbags, glass and tyres make up approximately 80% automotive materials are recycled, with the remainder going to landfill.  As more and more vehicle are built with ELV in mind, the amount of material being recycled is maximised, so that the environmental impact is reduced.

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