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End-of-Life Vehicles

EU rules aim to make the dismantling and recycling of end-of-life vehicles more environmentally friendly.


Every year, millions of vehicles in Europe reach the end of their life. When end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) are not properly managed, they can cause environmental problems and the European economy loses millions of tonnes of materials.


The Directive on end-of-life vehicles (ELV Directive) set clear targets for ELVs and their components. It also prohibits the use of hazardous substances when manufacturing new vehicles (especially lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium) except in defined exemptions when there are no adequate alternatives. The exemptions are listed in annex II of the Directive.

Since this Directive was introduced, several amendments have been made (for more information, see amendments below). The EU has also introduced several related rules such as the Directive on the type-approval of motor vehicles regarding their reusability, recyclability and recoverability.  


The ELV Directive sets clear targets for their reuse, recycling and recovery and aims to

  • prevent and limit waste from end-of-life vehicles and their components
  • improve the environmental performance of all economic operators involved in the life-cycle of vehicles



The EU has rules on monitoring the targets of the ELV Directive for reuse/recovery and reuse/recycling.

Member States must provide the required data on an annual basis, within 18 months of the end of the relevant year (e.g. by 30 June 2022 for the year 2020). See relevant data on EUROSTAT.


The Commission is currently reviewing the ELV Directive. The Commission expects to present a legislative proposal for the review of the Directive in 2022.

Contact: Commission – DG ENV:; Consultants assisting the Commission in the Impact Assessment: Oeko-Institut e.V (; Joint Research Centre for the study on recycled plastics content:

Stakeholders’ consultation to be announced.

Previously, the ELV Directive was evaluated in 2014.


Specific exemptions to the prohibition of the use of hazardous substances in vehicles are listed in Annex II to the ELV Directive. They are subject to reviews according to technical and scientific progress. The stakeholder consultation of the 11th amendment is ongoing, and covers the renewal of three exemptions. For more information, visit or contact

Implementation reports

Commission implementation reports are based on information provided by Member States pursuant to Commission Decision 2001/753/EC concerning a questionnaire for Member States reports on the implementation of the ELV Directive.

Compliance Promotion Initiative

The Compliance Promotion Initiative(2017) assessed the implementation of the ELV Directive. It identified measures to improve certain aspects, particularly for ELVs of unknown whereabouts.



Key dates related to EU policy on end-of-life vehicles

  1. 2023
    Commission’s proposal for the Review of the ELV Directive
  2. 20 July - 26 October 2021
    Public consultation on the revision of EU rules on end-of-life vehicles
  3. 16 March 2021
    Evaluation of the ELV Directive published
  4. 22 October-19 November 2020
    Roadmap for the Impact Assessment of the ELV Directive published
  5. 15 September - 8 December 2020
    Stakeholder consultation on the renewal of three exemptions

    For more information visit

  6. 18 September 2000
    Directive on end-of-life vehicles enters into force


Related links

Main law: Directive on end-of-life vehicles

Entry into force: 18 September 2000

Related topics: Circular economyWaste and recycling

Related strategies: Circular economy action plan

Related Commission priorities: European Green Deal


For questions about EU environmental policy, please contact Europe Direct.