Supporting Motors

The important process of knowing how to scrap your old vehicle

According to research undertaken by ELVES, the End-of-Life Vehicle compliance scheme, only 30% of people in Ireland have ever scrapped a car.

When your car has passed its use by date and needs to be scrapped, it is important to know the process and the legal requirements involved.

ELVES, in its role as the compliance scheme for End-of-Life Vehicles, regularly receives questions about the ins and outs of scrapping a car, such as:

How do I scrap my old car or small van?

Take your old car or small van to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), also known as a permitted scrapyard. ATFs are facilities with a Waste Permit issued by their Local Authority which allows them to accept cars for recycling. ELVES ATFs are listed on the ELVES website

If the car is complete and free of rubbish, depositing it at an ATF for recycling is free. If the car is not drivable, many ATFs offer a collection service for which fees may apply.

When you scrap your car with an ATF you will receive a Certificate of Destruction (CoD). This document is very important and ends the owner’s responsibility for the vehicle.

What do I need to scrap my car or small van?

Provide the ATF with ID and the vehicle logbook/vehicle registration certificate if possible.

Make sure that your car is free of rubbish, to help ensure it can be accepted free of charge. Dangerous materials in your vehicle such as domestic gas canisters pose a serious health and safety risk to the people and machinery involved in recycling ELVs, so please make sure your vehicle is empty.

How and when should I receive my Certificate of Destruction (CoD)?

Certificates of Destruction (CoDs) notify the Department of Transport that the vehicle has been scrapped and ends the owners’ responsibility for it. They can be issued in one of two ways.

The first is through an online system, where the details are entered by the ATF and the Certificate is sent to the address of the registered owner by the Department of Transport. The ATF can provide a printout of the CoD on the same day on request.  This is the preferred option as it avoids the risk of car details being incorrectly written down at time of scrapping.

The second is the manual or paper version of the CoD. This is a triplicate form completed by the ATF where the vehicle owner’s copy is supplied to him/her immediately. A second copy remains with the ATF and the third copy is sent by the ATF to the Department of Transport for processing.

As well as ending your responsibility for your vehicle, your CoD will also allow you apply for any motor tax refund you may be entitled to.

How do I know if a car recycler is legitimate?

A legitimate car recycler is called an ATF. They have either a Waste Facility Permit or an EPA Waste Licence to accept End-of-Life Vehicles.

Lists of ATFs can be found on, local authority websites and on the website of the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO).

Unfortunately, many people have unknowingly had their vehicles taken away by illegal breakers and do not receive a Certificate of Destruction (CoD). Legally it remains the owner’s responsibility to ensure they use an ATF to scrap their vehicle. Failure to do so can lead to fines.

How much will I get for my old vehicle?

Contact your chosen ATF directly to discuss the monetary value of scrapping your vehicle. These prices fluctuate considerably with global metal prices.

What’s so different about an ATF?

Only ATFs can issue vehicle owners with a Certificate of Destruction (CoD), legally ending their responsibility for the vehicle. ATFs also operate under the ELV Regulations and are inspected by their local authority, ensuring that vehicles are recycled in a manner which safeguards the environment from the hazardous materials involved. Using an ATF is the best way of ensuring as much of the vehicle as possible is reused and recycled.

Engaging the services of an illegal breaker will leave the vehicle owner at risk of potential fines and without valid proof they have scrapped their vehicle. It may also contribute to environmental damage.

Want to find out more about car recycling?

Visit or on Facebook or Instagram @elvesireland.



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