End-of-life vehicle statistics

Data from October 2016. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: November 2017.

This article provides an overview of statistical information on end-of-life vehicles in the European Union, covering the period from 2007 to 2014. Information and data are based on the Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles and the Commission Decision 2005/293/EC, which lays down rules on the monitoring of the reuse/recovery and reuse/recycling targets for end-of-life vehicles. Every year, EU Member States and EEA/EFTA countries report data on the total vehicle weight, the total number of end-of-life vehicles and rates for ‘total reuse and recycling’ and ‘total reuse and recovery’.

Table 1: Total number of end-of-life vehicles, 2007–14
(number of cars)Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Table 2: Total recycling and reuse rate of end-of-life vehicles, 2007–14
(%)
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Table 3: Total recovery and reuse rate of end-of-life vehicles, 2007–14
(%)
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Table 4: Total vehicle weight (W1), 2007–14
(tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Figure 1: Recovery and recycling rate for end-of-life vehicles, 2014
(%)
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Table 5: Specific weight of end-of-life vehicles, 2007–14
(kg per vehicle)
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Figure 2: Reuse and recycling rates in percent of total vehicle weight (W1), 2014
(%)
Source: Eurostat (env_waselv)

Main statistical findings

Total number of end-of-life vehicles

Table 1 shows the total number of end-of-life vehicles from 2007 to 2014. The total number of end-of-life vehicles reported in the EU-27 rose sharply, from 6.3 million in 2008 to 9.0 million in 2009. Germany was the primary contributor to this rise with an increase of 1.4 million vehicles, while other major contributors included France with 0.46 million more vehicles, Italy with 0.41 million more and Spain with 0.20 million more. This increase can be mostly attributed to the presence of national scrapping schemes introduced in the context of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, 13 countries established scrapping schemes, compared with only 3 in 2008 [1]. From 2009 to 2014 the number of reported end-of-life vehicles fell by 32 %, to 6.1 million vehicles. This reduction was mostly due to the decrease of their number especially in Germany (1.3 million), Italy (0.7 million), France (0.5 million), Spain and the United Kingdom (both 0.2 million). In 2014, the end-of-life vehicles in these five countries made up 70 % of the EU-28 total.

Compliance with targets according to Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles

No later than 2006, the reporting countries were required to meet rates for reuse + recycling of ≥ 80 % and for reuse + recovery of ≥ 85 %. The reported rates are shown in Table 2 and Table 3. As displayed in Figure 1, in 2014 all reporting EU Member States, except Malta, were in compliance with the recycling targets; Malta was the only Member State that did not comply with the recovery and reuse target having achieved a share of 45 %. For Malta the volume treated (respectively exported for treatment) is much less than the volume of end-of-life vehicles in 2014. This effect is possible when the treatment is not necessarily performed in the year when the end-of-life vehicles are generated. By the time this article was prepared Slovenia and Iceland had not yet submitted their reports for 2014. However, Slovenia met their targets in 2012 (the last reported year) and Iceland in 2013. Due to capacity limitations in some countries not all vehicles were treated in the same year. This may result in a decline in the recycling/recovery rate e.g. for Malta the volume treated (respectively exported for treatment) is much less than the volume of end-of-life vehicles in 2014. This may as well result in high calculated recycling/recovery rates (> 100 %). when remaining stocks from the previous years were treated in the following years e.g. in Germany and Slovenia.

Total weight of end-of-life vehicles

Two sources can be considered for the total weight: the total vehicle weight derived from the registration documents or similar (called ‘W1’ in the Commission Decision on the monitoring of end-of-life vehicles) and the sum of the volumes reported for de-pollution and dismantling, and for shredding and export (see reporting tables 1 to 3 of the same Commission Decision 2005/293). These sources do not necessarily match perfectly but should show a similar order of magnitude.

Table 4 shows the reported total vehicle weight (W1) since 2007.

Specific weight of end-of-life vehicles

Table 5 provides the specific weight per vehicle for the period 2007–14, calculated from registration documents or similar (W1) and the reported total number of end-of-life vehicles. The reported figures for 2007–14 vary from less than 700 kg to more than 1200 kg. For the EU-27 the average weight of end-of-life vehicle (mean 2007-14) is 1120 kg.

Comparability

A guidance document aimed at harmonising the reporting and improving comparability is available; however, some inconsistencies remain and not all detailed figures reported are directly comparable. Some selected aspects regarding comparability are highlighted in the following section.

Different methodological approaches: ‘Metal content assumption’ or all data based on reports of the operators

The Commission Decision 2005/293 on monitoring of the reuse/recovery and reuse/recycling targets for end-of-life vehicles enables different approaches to demonstrate that the targets are met. One possibility to meet the relevant targets is to have reporting based on files provided by the operators. Alternatively, some countries apply the so-called ‘metal content assumption’ (MCA) approach and report all metals in reporting table 2 only, regardless of whether metals are separated during de-pollution and dismantling (reporting table 1), or shredding (reporting table 2), or whether metals are exported (reporting table 3).

Reporting export data

Data on export of end-of-life vehicles and parts of them shall be reported in table 3 of the Commission Decision 2005/293/EC. The term ‘end-of-life vehicles and parts of end-of-life vehicles’ does not only cover entire end-of-life vehicles but also de-polluted/pre-treated end-of-life vehicles (hulks) and waste from treatment such as material and components arising from dismantling and shredder output. However, in practice not all countries have been able to distinguish whether the outputs of dismantling and de-pollution or the outputs of shredders are exported or not.

Composition of the output of de-pollution and dismantling, shredding and export

Figure 2 provides reuse/recycling rates as reported in Tables 1 to 3 of the Commission Decision 2005/293. The percentages given refer to the total vehicle weight (W1).

This shows how much of the reuse/recycling rate is contributed by reuse (e.g. as spare parts), by recycling from de-pollution and dismantling activities, by recycling from shredding activities and by recycling in other countries (export). The share of these contributions depends on the availability of national shredder installations, the demand for spare parts for old vehicles and other national conditions, as well as different reporting options as described in the section above.

Data sources and availability

In order to monitor the implementation of waste policy, in particular the implementation of the management of end-of-life vehicles, the Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles stipulates the requirements and targets for the reporting countries.

The Commission Decision 2005/293/EC provides the details for the reporting required. Data are submitted on a yearly basis and have been available with a good coverage since 2006. The due date for the submission is 18 months after the end of the reporting year. The Commission Decision requires data from the EEA countries (European Economic Area), thus all EU Member States as well as Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland are obliged to submit the requested data.

Context

History

During the course of the late 1980s and early 1990s a broad range of activities were carried out by the EU Member States to deal with the following challenges concerning end-of-life vehicles:

  • Remuneration for scrap metal did not cover the expenses of recycling and disposal. Therefore, the market conditions turned from a free of charge recycling service to expenditures for the last owner, which provided limited motivation for the last owner to abide by the law.
  • Environmental harm resulting from car bodies that are not appropriately de-polluted and disposed of.
  • High volumes of residues from the shredder process. Disposal of the shredder light fraction (SLF) and the shredder heavy fraction (SHF) was estimated to be around 1.9 million tonnes per year in the EU-15 (Institute for European Environmental Policy, 1996). The residues of the shredder process are difficult to treat due to their varying characteristics and high shares of pollutants and organics. Thus both land-filling and (co-)incineration without pre-treatment have their limitations.
  • High share of import/export of end-of-life vehicles inside the EU due to varying disposal conditions in different EU Member States.

As a consequence Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles was established setting clear targets for mandatory de-pollution, and quantified targets for reuse, recycling and recovery of vehicles and their components, and which pushes producers to manufacture new vehicles with a view to their recyclability. The Directive also provides the opportunity for producers/importers to bear the expenditure of end-of-life treatment when the processes necessary to meet the established targets are not economically viable.

Coverage and targets

Type of vehicles covered:

  • Passenger cars with up to 8 places + driver
  • Vehicles for transport of goods up to 3.5 tonnes

(see more details in Article 2(1) of the Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles)

Regional coverage:

  • European Economic Area (EEA): EU + Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein
  • As a new Member State (from 1 July 2013) Croatia has reported data for 2012 for the first time

Targets:

  • According to the Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles the countries have to introduce systems to ensure that the following targets are attained by economic operators:


No later than 1 January 2006:
  • reuse/recovery rate: 85 %
  • reuse/ recycling rate: 80 %


No later than 1 January 2015:
  • reuse/recovery rate: 95 %
  • reuse/recycling rate: 85 %


No exemptions or transitional periods are in place, thus countries of the EEA have to comply with the targets.

See also

Further Eurostat information

Database

Waste statistics (env)
Waste streams (env_wasst)
End-of-life vehicles: Detailed data (env_waselv)
End-of-life vehicles: Reuse, recycling and recovery, Totals (env_waselvt)

Dedicated section

Source data for tables and figures on this page (MS Excel)

Other information

External links

Notes

  1. IHS, Global Insight, 2010: Assessment of the effectiveness of scrapping schemes for vehicles, prepared for EC DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME's (IS / Global Insight, March 2010) http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/automotive/files/projects/report_scrapping_schemes_en.pdf