Even though reverse logistics has existed as long as forward logistics, growing social concern for the environment has caused reverse logistics activities to become a critical function for many organizations. Yet, barriers to implementation of environmentally oriented aspects of reverse logistics still exist. The aim of the present study is to identify the barriers that impede or hinder the implementation of environmentally oriented reverse logistics practices, with a focus on the automotive industry. Empirical evidence and robust statistical analysis provide insights into the practices of environmentally oriented reverse logistics and barriers encountered in the Spanish automotive sector. Using structural equation modelling we are able identify two types of barriers, external and internal, and to study whether these barriers, previously identified in the literature, hinder environmentally oriented reverse logistics practices. The model also allows for identification of the most relevant barriers for the automotive sector.