Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

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The Black & White of Green Parts

Nik Ellis Laird Assessors
Nik Ellis

As recycling becomes ever more important we ask motor engineer Nik Ellis from Laird Assessors to give us an independent view on the pros & cons of green parts.

The Bodyshop Perspective

From a financial point of view green parts may seem less profitable than fitting manufacturers parts (OEM). The greater the price of the parts, in theory the greater the mark-up and thus profit for a repairer. However, when estimating a repair using OEM parts that renders the vehicle a total loss, it can sometimes be converted into a repair proposition by using less expensive green parts, by bringing the total under the write-off threshold. For a bodyshop, a repair proposition means work, whereas a total loss brings little financial reward.

The bodyshop takes a more practical point of view regarding green parts. They often come with minor items attached; for example an OEM door shell requires every single clip, bracket, moulding swapping from the damaged part to the new. With a green supplied door, very often many of these items are left inlace, thus reducing the trimming (MET) time.

One concern can be supply, although the last few years have seen salvage agents morph into large, automated parts distributors more akin to a manufacturer than the German Shepherd guarded scrap yards of yesteryear. Professional API driven databases of parts with efficient distribution channels give bodyshops the confidence to expect a timely and correct supply. Clearly recycling agents can only supply parts from vehicles they’ve dismantled so there is no guarantee of a full vehicle part coverage. Many work in collaboration with each other to reduce this issue.

With real concerns over Brexit, which let’s face it has been very damaging to the British car manufacturing industry already, the ability to source parts within our borders, from UK companies, is clearly an advantage.

A manufacturer approved repair may suggest a conflict of interest as they compete with green parts but many recyclers guarantee the parts and indeed the age of them to be no older than the vehicle being repaired. The car will ultimately be repaired with genuine parts.

The Policy Holder Perspective

There can be some concern and possibly even some condescension over used parts by the general public. Somewhat ironic bearing in mind around 80% of car sales in the UK are bought used each year. Recycling taken to the max. To my mind, this is a case of educating the public about the cost, speed and Brexit advantages of used parts. Many agents supply parts that are no older than the vehicle being repaired.

In some cases green items can look better than new when paired with a faded or aged part. Lamps can be a great example of this; an off side headlamp faded and turning opaque, juxtaposed to a bright, fresh looking nearside one is a clear indicator (no pun intended) of a repair.

Non-genuine new parts have been utilised by the industry for many years without upsetting the policy holder (possibly through lack of awareness). Speaking as an ex-repair who spent a great deal of extra time struggling to make misshapen panels fit, I’d rather fit a genuine recycled part.

The Insurer Perspective

The insurer on one hand would appreciate the savings that green parts give, either directly or reducing total losses. The caveat being that this does not compromise the quality of repairs or service nor jeopardise the length of repair, especially when providing a hire car.  On this point, green parts can also come to the rescue when OEM parts are back ordered, reducing repair times & thus hire car charges, whilst increasing policyholder satisfaction.

Keeping vehicles as repairable propositions can also reduce the global claim costs in many cases, so again green parts can play to the insurer’s advantage.


There is a mix of advantages and disadvantages to be considered here. Provided the supply of green parts continues down the much improved route then I can see adoption  escalating across the industry together with seeing a better understanding an acceptance from the public. Ultimately green parts are great for the environment and very often the industry’s & policy holder’s pockets.

If you would like to contact Nik, please call him on 07989 853101, alternatively send an email to 



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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

e2e awards logo

e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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