The recycling fee

Everyone in the Netherlands who buys a new car pays a supplement on top of the purchasing price: the recycling fee. It is a small amount, but it is well spent: it enables the Dutch car dismantling industry to collect all of the circa 200,000 end-of-life vehicles per year at no cost, and to dismantle them in an environmentally responsible way and to reuse almost all the materials.

One-off supplement

The recycling fee is a fixed, one-off supplement that every car buyer in the Netherlands pays when buying a new private car or light commercial vehicle. The price is the same for all cars, irrespective of the make or type, vehicle weight, motorisation or catalogue price. The dealer collects the recycling fee when the number plate is registered for the first time and transfers it to the Stichting Auto & Recycling (Car & Recycling Foundation), of which ARN is part of. Every cent goes to environmentally friendly car recycling.

A modest amount

ARN itself does not determine the amount of the recycling fee; it is set each year by the ARN founders, who are also the only shareholders. In 2021, the recycling fee is €30 per new car purchased – a relatively modest amount. But, with the sale of 400,000 new cars and light commercial vehicles this yields around €12 million per year. ARN can do plenty of good work with that.

Recycling fee

Where does the money go?

Thanks to the recycling fee, ARN can organise, monitor and continually optimise environmentally friendly disposal and processing of end-of-life vehicles. All of the almost 300 partners in the recycling chain can function optimally through a fair distribution key.

  • From fluid drainage installations to special boxes for transporting batteries: thanks to the recycling fee we can organise these issues together. ARN facilitates this process and provides practical solutions.
  • Moreover, ARN spends a part of the recycling fee to help the development of vehicles that are easier to dismantle, on protocols for safe dismantling of electric vehicles and on new, innovative recycling techniques and procedures.

Fee decreases sharply

The recycling fee has decreased sharply in recent years. At the start of 1995 the former ‘disposal fee’ was 250 guilders. When the euro was introduced, it became €45. And it remained the same until 2016. Since 2017, the recycling fee has decreased with €2.50 each year to €30 in 2021. How is that possible? Simple: on average vehicles last longer (now over 18 years), recycling is becoming increasingly more efficient and the yields from used parts and materials are rising. This means less recycling fees are required to meet the European 95 per cent requirement and to take further steps towards an even better standard of recycling.