End-of-life vehicle statistics

Data from November 2014. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: June 2016.

This article provides an overview of statistical information on end-of-life vehicles in the European Union since 2006. 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.

Table 1: Total number of end-of-life vehicles, EU-27, 2006–12
(number of cars)
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Table 2: Total recycling and reuse rate of end-of-life vehicles, EU-27, 2006–12
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Table 3: Total recovery and reuse rate of end-of-life vehicles, EU-27, 2006–12
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Table 4: Total vehicle weight (W1), EU-27, 2006–12
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Figure 1: Recovery and recycling rate for end-of-life vehicles, EU-27, 2012
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Table 5: Specific weight of end-of-life vehicles, EU-27, 2006–12
(kg per vehicle)
Source: Eurostat (env_waselvt)
Figure 2: Reuse and recycling rates in percent of total vehicle weight (W1), 2012 (1)
Source: Eurostat (env_waselv)

Main statistical findings

This data consists of information gathered annually from EU Member States and other countries 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’ since 2006.

Total number of end-of-life vehicles

Table 1 shows the total number of end-of-life vehicles. 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 to only 3 in 2008 [1]; however, even with this rise the total amount of end-of-life vehicles in 2009 - 9.0 million - remains far from the expected total number. For instance ETC/RWM [2] forecast up to 14 million end-of-life vehicles (passenger cars) in 2010, depending on the volumes of used vehicles exported. From 2009 to 2012 the number of reported end-of-life vehicles fell 30 %, to 6.2 million vehicles. This reduction was mostly due to the decrease on the number of vehicles in Germany (1.3 million), Italy (0.7 million), France (0.4 million), Spain (0.3 million) and the United Kingdom (0.2 million). In 2012, the end-of-life vehicles in these five countries made up 70 % of the EU-27 total.

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

No later than 2006, the 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 2012 all reporting EU Member States were in compliance with the recycling targets. Italy was the only Member State that did not comply with the recovery and reuse target in 2012 having achieved a share of 82.3 %. In 2009 several temporary national scrapping schemes were established causing visible effects on the reported data. For instance in Germany, the new scheme has had knock-on effects on stock numbers. The total amount of end-of-life vehicles is correctly reported to be very high in 2009. Due to capacity limitations not all vehicles were treated in the same year, resulting in a decline in the recycling / recovery rate during 2009. In 2010 and 2011 most of the remaining 2009 stocks were treated and the calculated recycling / recovery rates were high (> 100 %). However, this was reportedly only due to these stock effects.

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 depollution and dismantling, and for shredding and export (see reporting table 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 total vehicle weight (W1) in the countries since 2006.

Specific weight of end-of-life vehicles

Table 5 provides the specific weight per vehicle for 2006 to 2012, calculated from registration documents or similar (W1) and the reported total number of end-of-life vehicles. The reported figures for 2006 to 2012 vary from less than 700 kg to more than 1200 kg. For the EU-27 the average per end-of-life vehicle was 958 kg for 2006 to 2012.


A guidance document is available to countries to harmonize the reporting and improve comparability; however, some inconsistencies remain and not all detailed figures reported by the countries 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 that the reporting is 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 depollution and dismantling (reporting Table 1), or shredding (reporting Table 2), or whether metals are exported (reporting Table 3). Indeed two countries (United Kingdom, Ireland) reported all metals in reporting Table 2 only, regardless of whether metals appear during dismantling and depollution, or are exported, or are from shredding.

Reporting export data

Eurostat’s guidance document‘How to report on end-of-life vehicles’ according to Commission Decision 2005/293 considers the following understanding for reporting on exports: In Table 3 the export of end-of-life vehicles and parts of them shall be reported. The term ‘end-of-life vehicles and parts of end-of-life vehicles’ does not only cover entire end-of-life vehicles but also depolluted / pretreated end-of-life vehicles (hulks) and waste from treatment such as material and components arising from dismantling and shredder output. In practice not all countries have been able to distinguish whether the outputs of dismantling and depollution or the outputs of shredders are exported or not.

Composition of the output of depollution and dismantling, shredding and export

Figure 2 provides reuse and 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).

Figure 2 shows how much of the reuse and recycling rate is contributed by reuse (e.g. as spare parts) by recycling from depollution and dismantling activities, recycling from shredding activities and 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 and last but not least 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 countries.

The Regulation 0293/2005 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 by the countries 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 and Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland are obliged to submit the requested data.



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:

  • The remuneration for scrap metal was too small to 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 entailed limited motivation for the last owner to abide by the law.
  • Environmental harm from car bodies that are not appropriately depolluted 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 landfilling 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 0053/2000on end-of life vehicles was established with the aim of making vehicle depollution, dismantling and recycling more environmentally friendly and economically attractive. Moreover it sets clear targets for mandatory depollution, quantified targets for reuse, recycling and recovery of vehicles and their components, and 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. This data was not taken into account for the EU aggregate.


  • According to the Directive 2000/53 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 and recovery rate: 85 %
  • reuse and recycling rate: 80 %

No later than 1 January 2015:

  • reuse and recovery rate: 95 %
  • reuse and 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



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


  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
  2. Projection of End-of-Life Vehicles, Development of a Projection Model and Estimates of end-of-life vehicles for 2005-2030 (ETC/RWM working document, February 2008) http://orbit.dtu.dk/fedora/objects/orbit:80476/datastreams/file_3308670/content