B7.3.4 End-of-Life Vehicles


The End-of-Life Vehicles (Producer Responsibility) Regulations 2003 [SI No. 2635]

These regulations came into force in November 2003 with the aim of increasing the proportion of each vehicle that is recycled and reduce the quantity going to landfill.

This is achieved though:

  • the of influencing the design of vehicles so that they, and their components, are easier to recycle;
  • reducing the use of certain hazardous materials in car and van manufacturing, making it easier and safer to dispose of the materials in end-of-life vehicles;
  • by standardising treatment requirements and
  • ensuring that treatment facilities hold a permit and have equipment to prevent pollution.


The regulations apply to sites that are used for the storage and treatment of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). If a site accepts vehicles which have not been de-polluted, the site operators must hold a site licence. The regulations also include minimum technical standards for all sites that store or treat ELVs.

The regulations apply to all cars and vans. However, the de-pollution requirements only apply to three-wheeled motor vehicles, coaches, buses, motorcycles and goods vehicles.

Vintage vehicles (historic vehicles or vehicles of value to collectors or intended for museums), ships, trains and planes are exempt from these regulations.

Vehicle Manufactures


Vehicle Manufactures must register with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), declaring responsibility for the vehicles that are produced.

Take-Back System

Vehicle Manufactures must have a free take-back system for the ELVs that it is responsible for. This system must be approved by BERR.

Design Requirements

Vehicle Manufactures must comply with design requirements, including a restriction on the use of cadmium, lead, mercury and hexavalent chromium in vehicle materials and components.

All plastic and rubber components (with the exception of tyres) must be given a code so that they be dismantled and recovered separately.

Vehicle Owners

Vehicle owners sending an ELV for dismantling or disposal must ensure that the site it is sent to has a waste management licence and is an authorised treatment facility.

ELVs are classified as hazardous waste (Special Waste in Scotland) until they have been treated to remove fluids and other hazardous substances and components. Vehicles intended for treatment and destruction must be consigned as hazardous waste when they move between sites.

Vehicle owners of cars and vans should be issued with a certificate of destruction. This demonstrates that the vehicle has been taken to an approved treatment site and allows the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to deregister the vehicle.