Scrap car parts and pieces of scrap metal
Scrap car parts and pieces of scrap metal
Scrap car parts and pieces of scrap metal

Recycling your Volkswagen

When the time comes to decommission your Volkswagen, up to 95% of it can be recycled and re-used by certified recycling companies. Discover more about the process and how we can recycle your Volkswagen for free (terms apply). 

Built to be recycled

Recycling starts when we develop the car. At Volkswagen, we put sustainability at the forefront of our end-of-life vehicle process chain.

To guarantee that as much of your vehicle can be recycled as possible, we:

  • Ensure all operating fluids can be removed from the end-of-life vehicle and that parts which are to be removed can be easily detached.
  • Prevent the production of harmful substances during technical development.
  • Use recycled material where permitted, such as in components that are not relevant to vehicle safety. All our recycled materials must meet the same quality requirements as primary materials.
  • All plastic components are labelled according to internationally applicable ISO standards so they can be clearly identified for processing.
Nine recycled materials from a Volkswagen Polo

Recycled materials

All Volkswagen models use recycled materials. For example, we use the following recycled materials in various components of the Polo:

  1. Light module
  2. Wheel housing liner
  3. Toothed belt cover
  4. Door trim of the main body
  5. Floor covering
  6. Drag reduction underbody panelling
  7. Sill panel trim
  8. Luggage compartment floor
  9. Wheel housing trim

Our end-of-life recycling service

Simple and free of charge

If it’s time to recycle your Volkswagen, all you need to do is call 0800 542 2002 or visit an external link  to arrange collection or to deliver it to one of our many return centres.

From here it will be recycled for you, free of charge (terms and conditions apply).

The recycling process

There are five steps to the end-of-life process:

  1. Return
  2. Pre-treatment
  3. Removal
  4. Shredding
  5. Post-shredding

Conditions for free-of-charge recycling

The following conditions apply for a free-of-charge recycling:
  • Your Volkswagen is complete, i.e. it has all basic parts and components (including the engine, bodywork, transmission, catalytic converter (if originally fitted), major interior components such as seats, battery and wheels). Your vehicle does not have to be drivable nor does the engine have to run in order for it to be "complete".
  • Your Volkswagen does not contain waste or parts that do not belong to the vehicle.
  • You return your Volkswagen with the original registration document if available. You can then be issued with a certificate of destruction that is required to de-register the vehicle at the DVLA.
Front view of an older car without license plate
Front view of an older car without license plate

Once you’ve returned your vehicle to us it will then be prepared for recycling. Components or fluids that have been removed are collected separately to be re-used, recycled or re-purposed. This includes the following:

  • The battery is removed.
  • Airbags and belt tensioners are neutralised.
  • All operating fluids (fuel, engine, gear and shock absorber oil, brake fluid, coolant, refrigerant from the air conditioning system) are removed.
Blue barrels  stacked sideways on top of each other
Blue barrels  stacked sideways on top of each other

Before we press the vehicle, a variety of components are removed and immediately placed into the recycling circuit. We remove the following components:

  • Catalytic converters. Precious metals, including platinum, palladium and rhodium.
  • Wheels and tyres.
  • Components and powertrains for use as used-approved replacement parts.
  • Plastic parts for material recycling. dependent on the current market demand for recycled materials.
A compressed red car