Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Vehicle manufacturers - Your end-of-life vehicle responsibilities

If your business manufactures or imports cars and vans under 3.5 tonnes, you have a number of responsibilities to make it easier for your vehicles and parts to be recycled at the end of their life. These requirements do not apply to vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, for example heavy goods vehicles and coaches.

What you must do

Meet vehicle design and information requirements

The vehicles you manufacture must comply with certain design requirements. Vehicle materials and components must contain only allowed levels of the following heavy metals:

  • cadmium
  • lead
  • mercury
  • hexavalent chromium.

You must give any plastic and rubber materials and components, excluding tyres, a code so that they can be dismantled and recovered separately.

You must keep technical documents to show compliance with the design requirements for four years from the date you put the vehicles, materials and components on the market. The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) is the enforcement authority and can ask to see these documents to prove your compliance.

If your business produces fewer than 500 vehicles a year in each European Union member state, you only need to comply with the restrictions on heavy metals. You will still need technical documents to prove this.

Registering vehicles

You must register with Defra and declare responsibility for the vehicles you produce at the end of their life. You can register with Defra by post:

ELV Registrations Unit
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Area 2B
Nobel House
17 Smith Square

Alternatively, you can email the End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) Registrations Unit at elvregistration@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Implement an ELV take-back system

You must have a Defra approved, free take-back system for the vehicles that you produce and are responsible for when they become ELVs. You must apply to Defra for approval of your take-back system. The system must be reasonably accessible to people who want to deliver a vehicle to it.

If you sell or transfer your business to someone else, for example another producer, you may still be legally responsible for the vehicles you produced at the end of their life. You should include any ELVs you are responsible for in the transfer of the business, or ensure that you arrange for their appropriate disposal.

There are two main service providers that help vehicle manufacturers to provide free take-back of ELVs:

Achieve recovery and recycling targets

You must meet recovery and recycling targets for the vehicles that you manufacture and have declared responsibility for when they are scrapped. You must:

  • recover 95 per cent by weight of each ELV
  • recycle at least 85 per cent by weight of each ELV

You must submit details of the reuse, recovery and recycling rates you achieve to Defra on an annual basis.

Further information

For further details about complying with ELV requirements, you can download guidance on ELV regulations from the BIS website.

GOV.UK: Vehicle manufacturers and importers - end of life vehicles regulations

In this Guideline

What is an end-of-life vehicle?

Vehicle manufacturers - Your end-of-life vehicle responsibilities

Vehicle owners and operators - What you must do with end-of-life vehicles

Sites that accept waste vehicles

End-of-life vehicles environmental legislation

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