Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

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

When you send an end-of-life vehicle (ELV) for dismantling or disposal, you must ensure that the site you are sending it to has a waste management licence and is an authorised treatment facility (ATF).

NIEA: Authorised car breakers (ATFs)

SEPA: Contact SEPA

If you send your ELV to a storage site before it is taken to an ATF, you must ensure that the storage site has a waste management licence.

You can do this by contacting your local NIEA or SEPA office.

Contact your environmental regulator

Follow hazardous waste controls

ELVs are classified as hazardous waste until they have been fully treated or depolluted 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.

Hazardous/special waste

Certificates of Destruction

If you are disposing of a car or van, the ATF must issue you with a Certificate of Destruction. This demonstrates that your vehicle has been taken to an ATF and allows the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) to deregister the vehicle.

If the ATF you use tells the DVA that your vehicle has been destroyed, you do not need to send your certificate to anyone. However, you should keep it for your own records as it is proof that you are no longer responsible for the vehicle.

A Certificate of Destruction must contain details of:

  • the vehicle
  • the ATF
  • lthelicence and competent issuing authority for the ATF.

GOV.UK: Scrap cars

Use a free take-back system

You can take your car or van to an ATF free of charge, providing it has the essential components of a vehicle - such as the engine, transmission, coachwork and wheels - and it is part of the appropriate manufacturer's network.

The two main free take-back service providers with a network of ATFs throughout the UK are Autogreen and Cartakeback:

Autogreen: ELV take-back system

Cartakeback: ELV take-back scheme

Scrap vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, for example a lorry or a coach, must also be depolluted at an ATF, but are not covered by the free take-back arrangements. You will not be issued with a Certificate of Destruction but you should ask for proof that you have handed your vehicle over to be destroyed.

Further information

GOV.UK: Scrap Cars

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

Environmental News Blog

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!


NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms