Twenty National Salvage Group members have signed up to the trade body's online stock locator, which offers recycled parts for most makes and age of car and light commercial vehicle.
The parts locator service, accessed via the www.nsg.ltd.uk website, will bolster a three-month pilot scheme, where selected NSG members have been supplying discounted recycled parts to insurers and repairers.
Alison Carey, NSG general manager, said: “Recycled parts and accessories can be as good as new and motorised parts come with a guarantee. Our salvage members get new vehicles which, of course, have almost new parts on them.
“The NSG parts locator uses the latest technology to ensure a fast, efficient service. Gone are the days when people went to a yard and clambered around picking off scrap – our members run professional, organised outfits.”
The savings, which can run into hundreds of pounds for items like electric window mechanisms, radiators and power steering racks, will help cut the growing proportion of insurance write-offs, caused by rising repair costs. It will also challenge the growing use of non-original parts – claimed by repairers to be ill-fitting – that insurers demand on older vehicles.
Bodyshops are likely to complain that they will lose more profit if they are forced to use cut-price recycled parts, which offer a smaller margin. But they will benefit from additional work on cars that would've previously been written off.
Ian Hill of NSG member Hills Salvage Recycling in Ormskirk, Lancs, said: “Insurance companies are frequently using the site, especially for parts that are no longer available or hard to source. We have parts available up to 2001 model-year cars, all cheaper than buying new.”
He expects the service to increase in popularity as awareness improves, particularly with impending environmental legislation like the End of Life Vehicle directive.
“Because most accidents are front-end, insurers would rarely have to buy new rear-end parts if they used recycled parts,” he said. “This would save everyone money.”
NSG has been supplying discounted recycled parts to bodyshops and insurers for selected vehicles and non-fault accidents as part of a popular three-month trial. For cars aged up to three years old, discounts range from 30-40%, rising to 50% for cars between three and five years old.
“The pilot scheme has enabled insurers to reuse parts that they already owned, saving money and the environment,” said Mr Hill.
“There are no warranty issues with using recycled parts, unless they are mechanical items. Bodyshops provide their own warranties on the repair and we offer guarantees on the product of up to one year.”