End of Life Vehicles

The European Union (EU) wishes to limit the production of waste arising from End of Life Vehicles (ELVs) and to increase re-use, recycling and other forms of recovery of them and their components. In order to achieve these two objectives, the EU has laid down requirements for European vehicle manufacturers, who should design vehicles which are easy to recycle. Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 September 2000 on end-of-life vehicles (‘the Directive’) was transposed in Gibraltar into the End-of-Life Vehicles Rules 2004 (‘ELV2004’) which applies to vehicles and ELV’s, including their components and materials.

It specifically covers:

  • motor vehicles with at least four wheels designed for the carriage of  passengers and with a maximum of eight seats
  • motor vehicles with at least four wheels which weigh no more than 3.5 tonnes.

ELV2004 aims to decrease the quantity of waste arising from vehicles. It, therefore, encourages vehicle manufacturers and importers of vehicles into the European Union to:

  • limit the use of hazardous substances in their new vehicles;
  • design and produce vehicles which facilitate re-use and recycling;
  • develop the integration of recycled materials.

Since 1 July 2003, the use of mercury, hexavalent chromium, cadmium and lead in the components of vehicles placed on the market has been prohibited. Under the Directive Member States must establish collection systems for waste arising from vehicles. Furthermore, they must ensure ELV’s are transferred to authorised treatment facilities (‘ATF’s’).

The owner or holder of the ELV shall receive a certificate of destruction when the vehicle is transferred to an ATF. This certificate is issued by the facility. It enables the owner or holder to deregister the vehicle with the public authorities. Member States must organise the storage and treatment of ELV’s in accordance with the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC) and those of Annex I to the Directive. ATF’s shall strip ELV’s before treatment and recover all environmentally hazardous components.

Priority must be given where possible to the re-use and recovery (recycling, regeneration, etc.) of vehicle components. The aim of the Directive and ELV2004 is to increase the rate of re-use and recovery. Member States must ensure that producers use material and component coding standards. These standards allow identification of the various materials and components. They, therefore, facilitate dismantling. Vehicle manufacturers are required to produce information on dismantling for each type of new vehicle placed on the market. This information must be produced within six months of the vehicle being placed on the market.

The treatment (de-polluting) process includes removal of:

  • all fluids e.g. brake, hydraulic, gear oil, suspension oil
  • airbags
  • air conditioning gasses
  • all plastics
  • batteries
  • catalytic converters
  • rubber tyres (even the lead weights used for wheel balancing are removed and recycled separately!)
  • windshield, windows, mirrors

All these removed items are stored separately and send for their own recycling. The metal car body, chassis and engine are then compacted to minimise volume for transport to approved facilities abroad.

Persons wishing to apply for a permit to store, temporarily store or treat end-of-life vehicles should fill in and return the application form.