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ELVES Red C Poll – Scrapping a car legally is prime motivator for more than half of Irish motorists

According to a recent Red C poll conducted for ELVES, the compliance scheme for End-of-Life Vehicles in Ireland has revealed that 56% of motorists would choose to end their responsibility for their car or small van overtaking the highest price offered when scrapping a vehicle.


ELVES Red C Poll - Scrapping a car legally is prime motivator for more than half of Irish motorists p re
Image credit: Kate Deegan, Anna Dreimane and Mikey Cashells

30% of people (polled) have scrapped a car, 19% within the last 10 years.  56% of these were male and 44% were female. Taking the scrap price offered rather than ending responsibility for their vehicle correctly is disappointingly still a motivator for a significant minority of people at 32%.

  • 56% of motorists surveyed said ending their legal responsibility for the vehicle would be the most important factor when choosing where to scrap their car or small van.
  • 32% of motorists surveyed said scrap price offered would be the most important factor when choosing where to scrap their car.
  • 12% of motorists surveyed were undecided as to would be the most important factor for them.

Taking the price offered can be tempting as many people do not realise that correctly ending responsibility for their car or small van is a legal requirement. When a car is scrapped through an Authorised Treatment Facility, the owner receives a Certificate of Destruction (CoD), which means that the owner has officially relinquished responsibility for the car. If scrapped at an illegal site, the vehicle owner is still responsible if it subsequently turns up somewhere that it should not. Importantly, having a valid CoD also allows the driver to apply for any motor tax refund that they may be entitled to.

So how does one scrap a vehicle responsibly? Take your old car or small van to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), which is also known as a permitted scrapyard.

ATFs are facilities with a Waste Permit issued by their local authority that allows them to accept cars for recycling. There is a list of these sites on  As long as a car is complete and contains no rubbish, depositing it at an ATF for recycling is free of charge.  If the car is not driveable then many ATFs offer to collect, although fees may apply for this service.  All usable materials in the car will either be reused or recycled.

According to Elena Wrelton, Environmental Compliance Manager at ELVES:

“That more than half of people now recognise the importance of ending their responsibility properly when scrapping their vehicle is a huge step forward. This is a key message for us, as getting a Certificate of Destruction also means that the car has been deposited at an Authorised Treatment Facility for recycling: the only place that can issue CoDs. Ensuring products are reused or properly recycled at the end of their lives underpins our transition to a circular economy and supports action on climate change.

As recycling facilities have improved, reusing and recycling has become more accessible for people and the public has become more willing to adopt a ‘waste not, want not’ attitude for the environment and the planet”.

Log onto to find and contact a local recycler in your area.

This survey was carried out by Red C Research on behalf of ELVES in 2021.


ELVES (ELV Environmental Services CLG) is the compliance scheme for End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) in Ireland ELVES is a non-profit company set up by vehicle manufacturers to help deliver on their obligations under the European Union (End-of-Life Vehicles) Regulations.

ELVES received approval to operate as the compliance scheme for the vehicle sector from the Minister for Climate Action, Communications and Environment from the 1st January 2017.

ELVES Red C Poll - Scrapping a car legally is prime motivator for more than half of Irish motorists p twoELVES mission is to improve the processing of scrap cars and small vans and to help Ireland meet the 85% reuse and recycling and 95% reuse, recycling and recovery rates for ELVs. The most recent national figures (2019) show current levels of ‘reuse and recycling’ and ‘reuse, recycling and other recovery’ at 87.43pc and 95.21pc respectively.

ELVES enables its members, vehicle producers, to meet their responsibilities under the Regulations for the sector.

ELVES promotes, on behalf of its members, a Network of public drop off points (also known as Authorised Treatment Facilities, ATFs or permitted scrapyards) that provide free ELV take-back to the public. ELVES also works to improve public awareness of the correct way to scrap a vehicle, namely using an ATF and getting a Certificate of Destruction (CoD).

ELVES takes a lead on best practices in training through its Electric ELVES programme, which is available to all ATFs, not just those in its Network. The programme provides for ATFs free training, designed to help ensure ATFs have the expertise and know-how to safely and effectively manage electric and hybrid vehicles, when they arise at their sites and free collection of the waste electric vehicle batteries.

For further information, visit