Car owners will be able to have their old vehicles scrapped for free under a new scheme that comes into force on 1 January.
Motor manufacturers will be responsible for disposing of their own brands when they are no longer needed, and will issue owners with a certificate of destruction.
The move was prompted by a European directive aimed at ensuring that old cars are scrapped at authorised centres, subject to high environmental standards.
Car-recycling centres have been set up across the UK and motorists shouldn’t have to travel more than 30 miles to one of the 1,340 authorised treatment facilities.
Each manufacturer has approved one of the two recycling companies – Autogreen and Car Take Back – but you don’t have to take your brand of car to its named facility.
Around two million cars and vans are scrapped every year, often at a cost to the owner.
Malcolm Wicks, Science and Innovation Minister, said: ‘As 2007 gets under way, it is the perfect time to look at ways we can all do our bit to help the environment.
‘There is already an 85 per cent target in place to recover scrap cars, and the free take-back will help us achieve it.
‘With such an extensive network of facilities in place to receive scrap cars, there is now an increased incentive for cars to be treated responsibly. This is an absolutely positive development for the environment and car owners.’
Christopher Macgowan, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: ‘The motor industry has worked hard with the government and other parties to get these ‘free take-back’ requirements into place.
‘We are confident that we are now in a position to offer an excellent service for final owners of vehicles when they wish to dispose of them.’