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Survey reveals that repair volume, cash flow and parts availability are bodyshops biggest concerns

As the government looks to ease lockdown restrictions as a move to a ‘new normal’, according to the latest COVID-19 survey by Trend Tracker Ltd, it appears that UK bodyshops continue to suffer significant capacity shortages. 


survey parts availability concern for bodyshops post

Bodyshop owners/managers who responded to the second COVID-19 survey stated the devastation of accident repair volumes along with cash flow and parts availability and discounts required as the three biggest concerns for their business. Nearly 55% of survey respondents do not see repair volumes returning to pre-pandemic levels before the end of Q1 2021 if they are to return at all.

When it comes to the supply chain, body repair businesses are reliant on an effective and efficient one. In ordinary times, the supply chain is effective and extremely supportive. Businesses from manufacturing plants to wholesalers and distributors have all been subject to their own business disruption as a direct result of COVID-19, and this has, in turn, affected UK bodyshops. 

The survey asked how businesses rate their relationship (for service and support) with their immediate supply chain during the ‘lockdown’ period. 8% of businesses who took part in the survey, found the service was very poor from their green parts supplier whereas compared to non-OEM parts suppliers, the percentage was considerably lower at 2%. Although, it appears that a higher percentage of users of non-OEM suppliers are happier to use their service when compared to green parts suppliers. See the charts below comparing OEM, non-OEM and green parts suppliers.

survey parts availability concern for bodyshops chartThe survey asked: On a scale of 110, with 1 being very poor10 being excellent, how would you rate your relationship (for service and support) with your immediate supply chain during this period? (number of responses)

Other aspects of the survey included that as a direct result of the decline in motor claims, 73% of businesses are operating on a reduced basis, with 94% of bodyshops placing staff on Furlough.  

The loss of revenue is also taking its toll, and while the government has introduced measures for businesses to receive grants and business rates relief, access to financial assistance appears to be somewhat of a lottery.  

The survey shows that 37.5% of the respondents believe they have lost 11%-20% of their annual turnover. 19.3% stated they had lost 21%-30% while 17.7% believe the impact to be far greater and only 1.1% believe that COVID-19 will have no impact on their annual turnover while 13.1% believe the impact will be below 10%.

When looking to the second half of 2020, there is cautious optimism from the majority of bodyshop businesses, some 58.9%, as they see the pandemic as an opportunity to engage with their insurance customers and reset business terms.

However, not all bodyshops take that view. Around 20% are less optimistic now compared to at the start of the pandemic or that they have no confidence in surviving at all. 

About the survey

The survey was conducted between 28th April and 4th May 2020 by Auto Body Projects Limited.

The Report was published on 6th May 2020. It can be obtained FREE OF CHARGE via a download link at

The survey came about during the ARC360 webinar on 25th March 2020, where it became clear that many UK bodyshops were remaining open as an ‘essential service’. Still, many had also decided to close following the PM’s announcement. As the nation went into ‘partial lockdown’ it was clear that motor claims, and therefore notifications to bodyshops had instantly declined; many are suggesting by 75%-80%.

The collaboration of Trend Tracker, National Body Repair Association (NBRA) and ARC360 followed the webinar. They decided to form a survey to ascertain the current position of the body repair industry – Trend Tracker known for its independent research and analysis, NBRA as the repairers’ representative body and ARC360 as the communication and networking organisation for the motor insurance claims and body repair sectors.

As matters have evolved and peoples’ perceptions and behaviours have changed, the group felt it appropriate that six-weeks into ‘partial lockdown’ and one-month after their initial COVID-19 survey – to present the latest position and views of UK bodyshop owners/managers in a second survey.


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The views and opinions expressed on ATF Professional are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the editor, publisher or staff of ATF Professional.


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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.

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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. 

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