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Banner depicting cars in junkyard.
End-of-life vehicles Regulation

New rules for the design and end-of-life management of vehicles aim to protect the environment, decarbonise production and reduce raw material dependencies, benefiting EU industries

What are the problems?

Vehicles at the end of their life are not being handled in an optimal way, resulting in loss of resources and pollution. Modern, low-emissions vehicles need light-weight materials, batteries and electronic components, which are dependent on imports and can be difficult to recycle.

  • Circle consisting of cogwheel and arrows.

    Lack of circularity in design and production

    Εxisting laws have not led to better eco-design of cars nor to an increase in use of recycled materials

  • Garbage truck.

    Poor quality of vehicle waste treatment

    Low-quality scrap steel, insufficient separation of materials, low plastics recycling rates

  • Figure in worker hat and pickaxe.

    High dependency on imported raw materials

    Automotive industry consumes vast amounts of raw materials, many of which (such as rare elements for electric motors) must be imported

  •  Vehicle and magnifying glass.

    1/3 of vehicles go “missing”

    Αround 3.5 million vehicles disappear without a trace from EU roads each year - and are exported, or disposed of illegally

  • Figure of suited man, with arrows pointing upwards to spheres containing the V and X symbols.

    Weak governance and lack of cooperation

    Lack of financial accountability and not enough cooperation between manufacturers and recyclers

  • Bus and man on motorcycle.

    1/3 of vehicles by mass are not regulated

    Lorries, motorcycles, buses are not covered by the current end-of-life vehicles rules

(Critical) raw materials

The production of vehicles is one of the most resource-intensive industries.

The automotive industry in the EU is the N°1 consumer of aluminium (42%), magnesium (44%), platinum group metals (63%), natural rubber (67%) and rare earth elements (30% in 2025, and growing exponentially).

What is the EU proposing?

A modern, future proof set of rules to improve the quality of end-of-life treatment, incentivise reuse, and make the most efficient use of precious resources

The new rules cover the entire cycle from design and production to end-of-life treatment.

  • Woman working on car design on a computer.

    Design circular

    Improve the rules on how cars must be designed to be easily dismantled.

    • set minimum reusability, recyclability and recoverability rates
    • car makers must give detailed instructions to replace and remove parts and components
    • vehicles must come with a vehicle circularity passport
  • Recycling of plastic bottles in France

    Use recycled content

    • 25% of the plastic used to build a new vehicle must be recycled
    • recycled content levels must be declared
  • Male and female figures in worker hats wearing masks.

    Collect more and smarter

    To put a stop to “missing” ELVs, enforce the current rules and increase transparency.

    • connected national vehicle registration systems
    • ban on exporting vehicles that aren’t roadworthy
    • more inspections and fines
    • clearer distinction between old and end-of-life vehicles
  • Ferrous metal recycling centre in Belgium

    Treat better

    Recover more and better-quality raw materials through

    • stricter definition of recycling, landfill restrictions
    • mandatory removal of valuable parts, components and materials
    • 30% of plastics must be recycled
    • stop mixing ELV waste with other waste
    • incentives to encourage the sale of spare parts
  • The car industry

    Make producers responsible

    Better governance, better cooperation, more circularity

    • strengthen "Extended Producer Responsibility" to encourage better quality waste treatment
    • improve cooperation between manufacturers and recyclers
  • Busses, commercial vehicles, vans and lorries driving on a motorway

    Cover more vehicles

    Gradually extend the scope of the rules

    • all lorries, buses and motorcycles will be treated at authorised facilities
    • only roadworthy heavy duty vehicles may be exported

These changes mean that by 2035

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    12.8 million tons less CO2 emitted

    worth 2.9 billion EUR

  • Truck.

    3.8 million more ELVs collected and treated in the EU

    including motorcycles, lorries, buses and vehicles that could have been exported or dismantled illegally

  • Microscope.

    350 tons of rare earth materials collected for reuse and recycling

    significantly contributing to the EU’s strategic autonomy

  • Container with the recycling logo.

    5.4 million tons of materials recycled at higher quality or re-used

    including plastics, steel, aluminium, copper and critical raw materials

  • Figure pushing loading cart.

    22,000 new jobs will be created in the EU

    including 14,000 jobs for SMEs, contributing to a stronger and modernised dismantling and recycling industry

  • Abstract shape of vehicle component.

    Lower prices for second-hand parts and components

    meaning it will be cheaper to maintain and repair vehicles

Stepping up in the area of exported used vehicles

How much will these rules cost?

Less than 70€ per vehicle