End of Life Vehicle Legislation

If you have an ATF permit and you are taking in scrap and End of Life Vehicles (ELVs) for either scrap metal or second hand parts, you must be complying with the EU End of Life Vehicle Directive.

The End of Life Vehicle directive sets out all the laws and guidance for depolluting a vehicle, as well as the proper means of deregistering it. It states that:

‘Authorised treatment facilities shall strip end-of-life vehicles before treatment and recover all environmentally hazardous components’

The Environment Agency is the regulating body for all ATFs in the UK. If you are an ATF you must comply with ELV legislation. You will receive regular visits and inspections from an Environment Officer, who will check that you are complying fully with the ELV Directive and operating in a safe and legal manner. If you are taking in End of Life Vehicles for depollution and are found to be in breach of any of the regulations, and fail to make the necessary changes, you could eventually find yourself losing your ATF permit, being closed down and even facing a fine or a prison sentence for a very serious breach.

Recycling Targets

The current target for the amount of an ELV that gets recycled is 95%.  It is essential that you are depolluting each vehicle correctly in order to be able to recycle as much of the vehicle as possible.

The minimum requirements for ELV depollution set out in the End of Life Vehicle Directive are:

  • Removal of batteries/LPG tanks if applicable
  • Removal/deployment of potential explosive components e.g. airbags
  • Removal and separate collection and storage of fuel, motor oil, transmission oil, gearbox oil, hydraulic oil, cooling liquids, anti freeze, brake fluids, air conditioning system fluids and any other fluid contained in the End of Life Vehicle
  • Removal of all components identified as containing mercury.

It is recommended that depollution activities as listed above are conducted using equipment which has been specifically designed for carrying out the required depollution operations. The use of such equipment ensures that a high level of depollution can be achieved in a relatively short time frame, generally 20-30 minutes, which will meet with ELV legislation requirements.


All fluids of differing types which are removed will need to be stored in separate containers in a bunded storage area prior to specialist recovery or disposal. As a minimum, separate containers are required for fuels, oils, brake fluids and coolants.


Removing the wheels and tyres will improve access to brakes and shock absorbers for depollution. Shredded tyres are banned from being sent to landfill since July 2006, so the tyres must be separated from the rims.


The ELV will need to be placed on a support frame or lifting device, to allow easy access below the vehicle. It is preferable that the lifting device should be adjustable to suit the height of the operator for Health and Safety best practice.


Fuel needs to be removed from the fuel tank of the ELV. In order to ensure that the required level of depollution is achieved, a hole should be pierced or drilled into the lowest point of the fuel tank and suction is used to remove the fuel. This ensures that no vapour is released during extraction.

Air Conditioning Refrigerant

The refrigerant must be removed using specialist equipment. ATFs should note that new EU regulations came into force in April 2008. These require relevant operatives to be formally trained and in possession of a duly accredited certificate of competence.

AutoDrain offer a fully IMI accredited F Gas qualification. Click here for details.

AutoShear GIF


Purpose built AutoShear designed to quickly remove valuable catalytic converters.

Fuel Scavenger 120 Pro SS Image

Fuel Scavenger 120 Pro Stainless Steel

Designed to quickly and safely recover valuable petrol, diesel or contaminated fuel from all makes of vehicle

F Gas Waste Disposal Image

F-Gas Waste Disposal (Air Conditioning Gas / Refrigerent Gas)

An efficient solution for disposing of your refrigerant FGas waste.

Wheelpopper Best Seller


Tyre removal machine that removes scrap tyres from steel and alloy rims in seconds. Up to 240 wheels and tyres per hour.