The Implications of UK Implementation of the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive

The EU’s End-of-Life Vehicle Directive (2000/53/EC) came into force on 21 October 2000, with a view to improving the waste management of scrapped cars (or ‘end of life vehicles’ – ELVs - as they are known in Eurospeak).

The UK is running late and is still considering how best to implement some aspects of the legislation. In particular the Government has considered a range of options for how to fund the stricter dismantling and recycling requirements during the transition period from 2002 to 2007, during which time it is not required to put the majority of costs for older cars onto manufacturers. However, the money to do this will clearly need to be raised from one source or another, and this has created a dilemma.

A range of possibilities exists, and these were analysed in a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA)1 last year. Subsequently the Minister has announced that no new system will be set up, and the final users of cars will by default be made to bear the extra costs. This decision, however, has important social and environmental consequences.