Wayne Mason-Drust, Managing Director of Accident Express, a vehicle repair and maintenance operation based in Birmingham, provides ATF Professional with his view on green parts, and whether their use in car repair is a ‘fad’ or the right way to go.
As a repairer, sometimes I am asked about my position on green parts and their usage. Is it fair an insurance claim should have them fitted? Are they an opportunity to use? Or are they a fad or seen as the latest trend for some to validate as doing the right thing?
My past experiences of having little disposable income led me to always look at repairing items first or replacing them with second-hand ones to save costs. Based on function and needs, I can choose a nice-looking washing machine that saves on water and detergent but also fits with the kitchen’s décor. Still, the primary function of washing clothes efficiently is the most important. When it stops working, the inconvenience of not having its primary function takes precedence when looking to fix it. If the parts required are not available within a reasonable amount of time or are too expensive, seeking a replacement machine may become a priority. I would use this viewpoint across all household appliances and tools but should the same be for my car?
I know I should buy a better deal for vehicle maintenance or mechanical failure. Still, restoring or maintaining the car’s primary function to minimise inconvenience in my daily life becomes a priority. When faced with an estimate for the repairs, which includes new OE parts asking for a reduction in costs often means using an alternative. Many control mechanisms are placed around affordability because I know I will cover the costs.
People may choose to wrap their reasonings around doing the right thing for the environment to sideline the affordability issue, or simply repairing and reusing is an ethic they sincerely believe.
The throwaway society and need for instant gratification are coming under scrutiny from the environmental and sustainability issues with the need to question the requirements of the function of the items we consume or use.
The message around using second-hand parts for accident repair needs to be consistent, balanced and informed by industry stakeholders to attract public interest in their increased usage.
Providing clear objectives and reasoning explaining the benefits of using green parts and restoring the vehicle’s primary function without affecting future value is essential. However, using green for insurance-funded repairs will be difficult to promote when the personal affordability requirement is no longer a priority due to an insurance claim.
Advice to policyholders and consumers from the repair community will require a greater focus on the environmental and sustainability responsibilities all humans have to each other and generations to come. Playing down the commercial activities of insurance pricing and approved repair schemes to safely, speedily, and sustainably achieve reinstatement in restoring the primary function efficiently.
The question of indemnity is challenged depending on the viewpoint addressed at the chosen route of the repair facility, but it cannot be verified until the repairs are complete.
Many paths can equally match the complexity of repairing a vehicle to achieve the result, but to claim indemnity has not been met because new parts haven’t been used defies logic, in my opinion.
My viewpoint when repairing a vehicle is one of safety first, with future indemnity for the repair undertaken. Commercially, it is currently more attractive to use green parts from many insurers, but in reality, my experience ethos is to repair, reuse and recycle. Green parts can play a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions through knowledge and understanding of the environmental/sustainability benefits having no detrimental effect on indemnity.
In life, we all have our reasons for our chosen paths, often with a biased slant based on our own unique experiences. The challenge is to build our future expectations without bias from the lessons learnt in the past.
If you would like to get in touch with Wayne, please email him at email@example.com