4 Largest Car Recycling Countries in the World – 2024 Review

Recycling is the easiest way of gaining raw materials for manufacture. The car industry has a high demand for various materials, and recycling is an irreplaceable part of this process. According to the statistics, almost 80 percent of a vehicle can be recycled. Also, vehicles represent the most recycled product in the world.

While it is less expensive, it also has a huge influence on ecology and environmental awareness, since creating a new product by recycling has much smaller emission of CO2, then when we produce various products from raw materials. In most countries, increasing the amount of recycling is a trend, and many states are thriving to reach the level of no waste at all, with the ability to recycle and use some materials that were considered garbage before.

However, the amount of recycling is different from country to country, and we can see how more advanced states tend to increase the level of recycling on maximum. Recycled materials lead to much cheaper production of new vehicles, which also creates a possibility to invest more in the development of technology and some new features and solutions, but still offering the new vehicle for a reasonable price. In this article, we are going to introduce you to the countries with the highest trend of recycling used vehicles.

1. United States

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According to some analysis, the consumers in the United States are recycling more vehicles than buying new ones per year. There are various reasons why there is a reduction in the Car Industry and sells new vehicles. Besides the slight economic crisis, people in bigger cities, especially younger generations, tend to use public transport much more, since they have a greater awareness of the environment and ecology.

Car recycling is very popular in this country, and there are many companies experienced in this job. Check USJunkCars.com who is offering you quick payment and quality service when you want to sell them your used vehicle for recycling. This company is from Oklahoma, and they are known for an increased level of safety for the environment.

The precise data say that during 2019, there were around 14 million vehicles recycled, while less than 10 million cars were bought. This also significantly reduced the total number of vehicles on roads, which was 250 million in 2018. One of the main reasons why there is a smaller need for vehicles is rapid urbanization and greater environmental awareness. Also, the community is changing, with younger generations being less interested in driving.

2. Germany

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Germany is one of the leading countries when it comes to the recycling process, especially because it is also a great producer of vehicles, with some of the most popular brands like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Opel, and others. The average German driver is known as someone who often changes its vehicles after every few years, which as a result has a great amount of exported used vehicles, and recycled as well.

According to CarBrain, the main division during recycling is related to the quality and usability of materials, and their possibility to become dangerous to the environment if not treated correctly.

Moreover, this country is a system where 100 percent of the vehicle with all of the additional parts is being used again in the production. Also, the country is motivating its citizens to recycle more, by giving them special discounts and other benefits when they decide to buy a new vehicle. Germany managed to create a near-perfect cycle o production and recycling of vehicles, having around 50,000 cars on their roads.

3. China

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China is now the biggest producer of various products and raw materials in the world. However, they are also using recycling as part of their industry, and have tendencies to increase the level of reuse of old products even more in the future. We can see some analysis from 2017, that say how there were over 3 million vehicles recycled that year. However, that number is really low when we compare it to the total amount of vehicles in that country, which counts over 300 million.

There are around 700 Chinese companies that are dealing with the recycling of vehicles, and most of them are smaller companies. In China, there is a great number of recycled vehicles, but it is still a much lower percentage than in the United States, Germany, and many other countries. The main reason for that is that the average Chinese would rather choose to sell his used vehicles in whatever condition, as a vehicle that could still be on roads, than scrapping it, because he will get a much better price. The government of China will have to find a proper way to raise the percentage of recycling.

4. Japan

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Japan is another country with a huge number of vehicles on roads that are near 70 million and is an average of 9 million vehicles recycled every year, while more than 5 million old vehicles are being restored or kept for collection. The Average Japanese will drive his car for around 10 years after he decides to change it, and it is usual for people to drive cars for a much longer time. With that fact, their actual percentage of recycling is pretty high. This country is now as advanced methods of recycling, with minor damage to the environment.

The Japanese people became especially motivated to recycle old vehicles, mostly ones from the 60s and 70s with the new trend and popularity of Electric Vehicles. Japan is one of the leading countries when it comes to promoting its citizens to get on the vehicles with batteries, since they are much more efficient and cleaner, with no emission of CO2.


We can see a high tendency in many countries to increase recycling and improve its methods. We have mentioned some of the greatest markets in the world with the biggest amount of vehicles on their roads. On the other side, we have some smaller countries with a much greater percentage of recycling, like Denmark, Belgium, Hungary, and many other European states, with an average rate of around 75 percent of vehicles being recycled. Also, during the process, 95 percent of all parts is used again in production.