Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

What is an end-of-life vehicle?

End-of-life vehicles (ELVs) are motor vehicles that are classified as waste.

Waste is anything that you discard, intend to discard or are required to discard. This includes any material sent for recycling or reuse.

The components and materials removed from ELVs, for example batteries, engine oil and other fluids and metal, are also waste.

Vehicles covered by ELV legislation

ELV legislation aims to reduce the amount of waste produced from vehicles when they are scrapped, and ensure that storing and treating ELVs does not harm the environment.

ELV legislation applies to cars and vans, and the treatment requirements apply to all waste motor vehicles, including:

  • three-wheeled motor vehicles
  • coaches
  • buses
  • motorcycles
  • goods vehicles, e.g. lorries.

Vintage vehicles do not fall within the scope of the ELV legislation. These are vehicles kept in a proper and environmentally sound manner, either ready for use or stripped into parts. Vintage vehicles can include:

  • historic vehicles
  • vehicles of value to collectors
  • vehicles intended for museums.

The ELV legislation does not cover ships, trains or planes.

Further information

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

 GOV.UK: Guidance on the ELV regulations (PDF, 155K)

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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