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End-of-life (ELV) vehicles

Information and answers to frequently asked questions on End-of-life (ELV) vehicles.

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.

Frequently asked questions

It is the registered owner’s legal responsibility to bring an end-of-life vehicle to an authorised treatment facility (ATF) who will dispose of the vehicle and give the owner a certificate of destruction. There may not be a charge for accepting an end-of-life vehicle. For more information view a copy of the regulations.

Disposing of your vehicle at an ATF ensures that the vehicle will be dismantled in an environmentally friendly manner with all hazardous material removed before the vehicle is crushed or shredded.

It ensures that the vehicle is recorded as an end-of-life vehicle on the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF), in the Department of Transport.

It ensures that no further transactions such as a change of ownership can be processed against the vehicle and that the vehicle owner will no longer be liable for motor tax in respect of the vehicle.

You will need to bring the vehicle registration cert or logbook.

Yes. However, if essential parts of the vehicle e.g., engine, gearbox, transmission, and catalytic converter are missing, or the vehicle contains waste then you can be charged. A good rule of thumb is if you want the car accepted for free do not use or sell spare parts of value first.

An operator of an ATF is obliged to:

  • issue the registered owner with a certificate of destruction.
  • ensure the facility is operated under an appropriate waste licence or permit.
  • meet the minimum technical requirements for the storage, treatment and recovery of end-of-life vehicles and the storage of components containing fluids, spare parts, etc.
  • keep records of end-of-life vehicle materials for reuse, recycling, recovery, and disposal and report these records to local authorities annually.

The end-of-life vehicle regulations place responsibility on all importers of vehicles to play their part in the recycling and recovery of vehicles when they come to the end of their useful operational life.

If you are an importer of used cars (M1) or used light commercial vehicles (N1) then you are required to be compliant with these ELV regulations.

Compliance means registering with either each of the 31 local authorities or just once with end-of-life vehicles environmental services also known as ELVES.

This depends on which category of write-off the vehicle is.

  • If it is a category A or B write off, it should be brought to an ATF.
  • If it is a category C or D write off, it does not have to be disposed of so is not an ELV. For further information on these categories, see our FAQ on Written-off Vehicles.

Yes. Under consumer protection legislation it is illegal for a garage or trader to sell a product that is not fit for purpose. For more information on your consumer rights when purchasing a used car visit  CCPC. We strongly recommend that you carry out a comprehensive history check and get a qualified mechanic to inspect any used vehicle before purchase.

Insurance companies are not responsible for policing written-off vehicles in Ireland. Once a claim has been paid out for a category A write-off, it needs to be destroyed. It is the registered owner’s legal responsibility to bring that vehicle to an authorised treatment facility and obtain the certificate of destruction. Category B write-off vehicles can be sold on for spare parts and therefore do not need to be destroyed.

Registered owners have a legal responsibility to bring their end-of-life vehicle to an authorised treatment facility for destruction and obtain a certificate of destruction. This guarantees that the vehicle cannot be put back on the road. Under consumer protection legislation it would be illegal for a garage to sell a vehicle that is defective or dangerous. You may wish to report this activity to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission CCPC or your local Gardaí.

Yes. However, you will need a certificate of destruction. For further information contact your local motor tax office.

No. Authorised treatment facilities only cater for private vehicles e.g., cars and light commercial vehicles. Contact Department of Environment, Climate and Communications regarding disposal of these other vehicles.

Related pages


FAQs on passenger cars, e-Call, safety features, buying used and imported cars, electric cars, clocked cars.