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

Adam Hewitt
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Charles Trent celebrates 95 years in vehicle recycling

Vehicle recycling company, Charles Trent Ltd, provide us with some details on how the company has evolved over the past 95 years and how green parts are very much part of their business model.


Charles Trent celebrates 95 years in vehicle recycling feat

Charles Trent Limited (CTL) has been a part of the vehicle recycling industry since 1926 and is one of the largest family-owned vehicle recycling and salvage business in the UK. This year Charles Trent Limited celebrates 95 years within the vehicle recycling industry. It is safe to say that looking back over its history, its technology, processes, and structure have developed and evolved to align with the increased demand for vehicle recycling and green parts.

The business was founded in 1926 by Charles Trent (great grandfather) in Poole, Dorset who later passed the business down to his son Charles Trent (grandfather). Being a family business, in 1977 John and Peter Trent stepped up as Directors and took over from their father Charles Trent who passed away, thus making the business third generation lead.

The company introduced new technology to aid vehicle processing and changing key infrastructure to become market leaders, highlighting the drive for growth.

When discussing with John Trent about his time as Managing Director, he recognised the need for a more professional approach in an antiquated industry. John Trent mentions that the “introduction of latest machinery, laying concreted surfaces and building a modern warehouse with a front counter operation was a key innovation I introduced when I ran the business”. This made the business processes faster and more professional and allowed things that the business could have never done before to be achieved, complimented with making employee jobs easier and more efficient. Continued innovation has been a trend in Charles Trent’s continued growth over the years and the significant importance this has on ensuring they can provide the best quality service and products for their customers. 

As the business grew throughout the 80s and 90s, experimentation with processes and procedures was key. Charles Trent Limited partnered with the Rover Group as they wanted to experiment with plastics and understand how vehicle recyclers processed vehicles to improve Rover’s manufacturing. This demonstrates the market focus that CTL had and continues to develop. They appreciate the importance of continuously innovating to maintain pace within the industry and continue to meet demand.

Digitalisation and stricter employment laws in the 1990s called time for John at the helm, so in 1999 his three sons Marc, Neil & Jonathan took the reins but still with John very much in support and alongside. 

Fast forward 21 years and the business continues to be run by Marc, Neil, and Jonathan Trent. When stepping into the director roles, the three brothers’ goal was to continue to scale the business and develop what John Trent had created during his fifty-year service as Managing Director. The continued growth and success of Charles Trent is down to the appreciation for this industry and the understanding of the significant importance of development in green parts. With a more environmentally aware market today, the increased demand for green parts signifies how strategies to improve vehicle processing have led to a high-quality green product now being readily available to the public, trade, fleet, and insurers.  

When talking to Marc Trent, it is clear that he has witnessed how “the entire industry has seen a massive shift that reflects professionalism and highly regulated practices over the years” and how this has aided in the growth and appreciation of environmentally friendly products that Auto Recyclers produce. The demand for green parts has exponentially grown over the last ten years, and this has been an opportunity that Charles Trent Limited continues to build its business on by developing its people, processes, and infrastructure.

Charles Trent Limited has committed to a £12 million infrastructure investment during 2020/21 to align with their commitment to growth within the Industry. The business has just completed its £4 million distribution centre project which can receive and store over 60,000 green parts ready for same or next day delivery. With the latest technology in place, the business is set to use this as a continued expansion plan and maximise the benefits of using green parts in the insurance repair chain and the fleet market.

Over the next ten years, Charles Trent Limited has committed to ongoing investment into infrastructure, technology, processes, and people. They continue to value the importance and contribution each aspect has for successful growth and opportunity within their business. Reflecting on the development of Charles Trent’s growth allows for a deeper understanding of how important the vehicle recycling industry will continue to be as the rising cost of new parts and supply chain issues continue. Ultimately this will lead more people into using quality green parts.

To find out more about Charles Trent Limited, visit

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