FACT CHECK | European Union has no plans to ban the repair of old cars

A rumour has hit Estonian social media that the European Union is proposing to ban the repair of vehicles over 15 years old. In fact, the Council of Europe’s draft law aims to promote reuse, reduce illegal scrap sales, and sustainably manage unserviceable vehicles.

„The European Union is proposing controversial legislation that would ban the repair vehicles older than 15 years. According to the European Commission, the draft is aimed „to renew the car fleet and encourage Europeans to buy new, environmentally friendly vehicles“. Thus, forcing individuals to buy newer cars, and more often while many other individuals will undoubtedly be priced out of car ownership, which will satisfy what is arguably, the real aim, the planned immobilisation of the people,“ wrote the website Telegram on February 28.

A similar text was published on Targo Pärnamets’ blog. Both articles have been translated from the website „The Exposé“. It is a British conspiracy theory and misinformation website set up in 2020, and whose claims have been refuted by „Faktikontroll“ before.



  • The European Commission’s proposed legislation does not plan to ban the repair of old cars. Contrary to what is claimed, one of the aims of the draft is to facilitate the repair and re-use of cars.
  • The proposal states that „end-of-life vehicles“, i.e. cars that can no longer be repaired, will in the future have to be taken to a special treatment facility for disposal. The proposal sets out precise criteria for assessing whether it is still possible and reasonable to repair a car.
  • At no point in the Commission’s draft legislation or in the explanatory texts is there any mention of „cars more than 15 years old“ or of a ban on repairing cars of any age.


In July 2023, the European Commission put forward a proposal to better regulate the design, production, and end-of-life treatment of vehicles. The proposal aims to “prevent and limit waste from end-of-life vehicles and their components, and improve the environmental performance of all economic operators involved in the life-cycle of vehicles”. The proposed regulation should create “a modern set of rules to improve the quality of end-of-life treatment, incentivize reuse, and make the most efficient use of precious resources”.

The full text of the draft legislation on end-of-life vehicles proposed by the Commission can be found here, with explanatory texts here and here. The proposed draft is intended to replace two existing Directives: end-of-life vehicles and the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to their reusability, recyclability, and recoverability.

Cars that can no longer be repaired, i.e. are declared unfit for repair, will have to be taken to a special treatment facility and disposed of. This should reduce the amount of scrap left in the countryside or in garages, for example, as well as the leakage of hazardous substances and the waste of valuable resources. The aim is to reuse as many materials as possible and to recycle hazardous waste sustainably. The proposed regulation includes detailed criteria for authorities to decide whether a broken car is still repairable or should be declared as an “end-of-life vehicle”.

Although the criteria are detailed and precise, there is nothing in the text of the draft law about a ban on repairing cars of any age. The proposal and the explanatory texts do not mention “cars more than 15 years old” or anything similar. Under the proposal, any car can still be repaired if it is “eligible for repair” under the law.


The criteria for determining whether a vehicle is an “end-of-life vehicle” do not impose any requirements on the vehicle based on its age, type, make, model, origin, or ownership. If a vehicle needs to be repaired, this can be done as long as the vehicle meets the technical inspection requirements and continues to be authorized to be driven on EU roads.

The Regulation also aims to put an end to illegal sales of scrap to third countries and similar fraud. Every year, 3-4 million old cars “disappear” from the statistics of EU Member States. Many of these are illegally exported and sold as “used cars” to avoid EU waste legislation, which obliges companies to dispose of scrap properly. These “used cars” mostly end up in landfills and pollute the environment.

Verdict: false. The European Union has no plans to ban the repair of cars over 15 years old. The Council of Europe’s draft law makes no mention of a ban on car repairs or of “cars more than 15 years old”. The draft law aims to make the vehicle life cycle more sustainable and to clarify the requirements for the production and disposal of cars. Contrary to what is claimed, one of the aims of the draft is to facilitate the repair and re-use of cars.