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Re-use, recycling and recovery of vehicle parts and materials

Manufacturers must design vehicles so that minimum thresholds of parts and materials may be reused, recycled or recovered once the vehicle comes to the end of its natural life. The aim is to reduce waste from what are known as end-of-life vehicles.


Directive 2005/64/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to their reusability, recyclability and recoverability and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC



It lays down administrative and technical rules to ensure that a vehicle’s parts and materials may ultimately be reused, recycled and recovered as much as possible. It makes sure that the reused components do not cause any safety or environmental risks.


  • This European Union (EU) legislation applies to new models and models already being produced of cars, station wagons, people carriers and light commercial vehicles (e.g. vans).
  • New vehicles may only be sold in the EU if they may be reused and/or recycled to a minimum of 85 % by mass or reused and/or recovered to a minimum of 95 % by mass.
  • Manufacturers must have strategies in place to properly manage the reusability, recyclability and recoverability requirements of the legislation.
  • If national authorities consider these strategies satisfactory, the manufacturer receives a certificate of compliance. This is valid for at least 2 years.
  • The reuse of certain component parts, such as airbags, seat belts and steering locks, is banned and may not be used in new vehicles since they could present safety and environmental risks.
  • The legislation does not apply to special purpose vehicles such as armoured cars and ambulances or vehicles produced in small series defined as fewer than 500 vehicles of one family of types sold per year in each EU country.

Separate legislation sets out measures to prevent and limit waste from end-of-life vehicles and their components and ensures that wherever possible this is reused, recycled or recovered.


Every year, end-of-life vehicles create between 8 and 9 million tonnes of waste in the EU.

For more information, see end-of-life vehicles on the European Commission’s website.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2005/64/EC



OJ L 310 of 25.11.2005, pp. 10-27

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2009/1/EC



OJ L 9 of 14.1.2009, pp. 31-32

last update 25.08.2015