Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Thursday 17 December 2015

Re-Consider Green Re-Cycled Parts

There has been lots written over the years about green parts and their use within the vehicle repair industry, and many attempts have been made over time to bring green parts into mainstream use in the UK Vehicle Repair sector.

The product isn’t “sexy”; it is boring and often misunderstood, so we need a clearer understanding about the recycling of vehicle parts in today’s marketplace.

Green Recycled Parts have many advantages including environmental and cost savings, and don’t forget these parts were designed by the vehicle manufacturer and fitted on their production lines, so they are a quality product.

Many drivers and owners insist on new parts for their vehicle - that is their choice - but no matter how old their vehicle is, they are still driving a used vehicle so where is the benefit of brand new, original equipment parts that could be 3 times the cost of a quality green recycled part from a professional vehicle recycler?

There are many scrapyards out there, and not many professional vehicle recyclers - they are not the same!
Professional vehicle recyclers buy damaged or salvage vehicles from a variety of sources, they inspect each vehicle, inventory the quality green parts that can be re-used, de-pollute the vehicle to very high standards, dismantle the vehicle and store the removed parts ready for re-sale. They are able to tell every customer where the component came from, the age of the vehicle, mileage, the quality of the part and much more. Many scrapyards cannot do this!

Used Parts Recycling Networks are an elite group of auto recyclers who operate best management practices and strive for perfection in everything they do, and this includes supplying the best quality green recycled parts for the vehicle repair industry.

These Recycling Networks acknowledge a number of factors. including: 

Speed of repair. This has now become an important standard for all UK insurers, and the use of green parts can slow down this process so recyclers are challenged to get green parts price and availability to vehicle repairers in minutes rather than hours.

Loss of Revenue. Vehicle repairers cannot lose any revenue by doing this, so parts discounts will be similar to main dealer discounts available. 

Additional Labour. It is acknowledged that there may be additional labour required when fitting a green recycled part - this could be due to the green part being a different colour to the original or some minor paint damage requiring re-work - and allowances need to be made to the vehicle assessment to reflect this.

This all means that auto recyclers need some guidance to help them price their green recycled parts and make them cost effective for vehicle repairers and work providers to consider, which is where professional Recycling Networks can assist and help members sell more quality Green Parts into the vehicle repair industry.

Are we on the brink of a revolution in how vehicles are repaired in the UK? Will we see an increase in the use of Green Recycled Parts in 2016? Do you want to be part of this revolution and sell more quality green recycled parts in 2016?

If you want to be part of this revolution, then contact Reco Auto through their web site ( and become part of their recycling network - they can’t promise instant parts requests, but they can promise that you will be part of a revolution that is changing how UK insurers and UK vehicle repairers complete vehicle repairs in the future.

Friday 18 September 2015

Changing the way Insurers repair accident damaged vehicles

I started working for the number one motor insurer in the UK over twenty four years ago and Green Recycled Parts were being discussed then, although in those days they were described as second-hand or salvage parts.
Since then the terminology has changed, but the desire to introduce Green Recycled Parts into business as usual for insurance repairs is as strong as ever, but has never been realised. Until now.

Reco Auto is now on the cusp of changing attitudes to these practices in the repair of accident damaged vehicles for insurers and fleets.
Having recently signed an agreement with a major accident management company to supply Green Recycled Parts for total loss prevention and repair cost reduction purposes Reco Auto are now working closely with the network of repairers to raise the volume of Green Recycled Parts that are used in accident repairs.

How is this initiative different to previous attempts?
Reco Auto are working at different levels to achieve these goals, including the introduction of a new Recycling Network to supply the parts. This new network focuses first and foremost on Quality; this includes the condition of the part, how it is handled and how it is delivered to the repairer.
Reco Auto are also working very hard to bring more insurers on board, even to the extent of proposing a new insurance policy where the use of Green Recycled Parts is written into the policy.
Also Reco Auto are including vehicle manufacturers in the discussions and already have agreement from one premier vehicle manufacturer that Green Recycled Parts can be utilised to save a vehicle from a total loss decision, this manufacturer knows that a total loss decision could inevitably result in the loss of that customer from their ‘brand’ when they receive their payout and purchase a vehicle from another manufacturer to replace the written off car. 

To sum up this initiative, Reco Auto have the support of vehicle insurers, fleets and vehicle manufacturers for the use of Green Recycled Parts in the repair of accident damaged vehicles, an initiative that will result in total loss prevention and repair cost reduction. The new Recycling Network focuses on quality which means that price is no longer a driving factor in the purchase of parts; the suppliers of these parts will be chosen from the best auto recyclers in the country, and those recyclers have the opportunity to be part of a programme that changes how vehicles are repaired in the UK after an accident.

Join the Reco Recycling Network now by signing up at

Wednesday 5 August 2015

8.9% of 34,000 used car imports has been previously written off in the UK

As reported in ABP Club newsletter 05/08/2015

.  The risk in Ireland of buying a potential death-trap car from the UK can be highlighted today as new research shows that one in 10 vehicles imported in 2015 had previously been written off in the UK.
.  Sources claim that unscrupulous sellers – not legitimate businesses – are increasingly using Ireland as an easy route to 'wash' cars with dubious histories
. Over 25% of cars in Ireland are imported 
.  4% of cars registered in Ireland are category A/B write offs

The research, which was undertaken for the Irish Independent by consumer car-history check experts, also shows that the number of imported write-offs is rising month on month.

Sources claim that unscrupulous sellers - not legitimate businesses - are increasingly using Ireland as an easy route to 'wash' cars with dubious histories.

The study, covering the first six months of 2015, found:
.  Out of 33,486 vehicles imported, 2,963 (8.85pc) had previously been written off.
.  These cars had been in crashes so serious that, at best, they required major repairs and, at worst, they should never have been allowed back on the road.
.  The risk for buyers lies not just with older vehicles. A number of two-year-old cars with potentially dangerous defects had been brought in for sale too.
.  All classes of vehicles are included - cars, vans and even motorcycles.
.  A total of 22 cars reported stolen in the UK were also imported and registered here in the first six months.

The report is based on an analysis of the complete database of UK market write-offs - providing an extensive insight into the movement of cars to the Irish market.
It is believed that it is much easier to sell a used import under the regulatory radar here than it is with Irish-based cars. spokesman Niall Kavanagh said that while there were good controls to manage Irish write-offs, those for imports were not nearly as effective. 
"We are seeing a disproportionate number of vehicles (that were) written off in the UK being imported into Ireland."
He urged the Government to bring in strict, mandatory cross-checks.

The term 'write-off' covers a multitude, but essentially there are four categories.
A and B are also known as 'mechanical' write-offs. These have been so badly damaged that they should not be put back on the road under any circumstances, although some parts from category B cars can be re-used.

Categories C and D are known as 'economic write-offs', where an insurance company decides that the cost of repairs is higher than the worth of the car. But they can still be viable for repairers to make roadworthy and sell profitably - provided the work is carried out to specific standards, is fully inspected and the cars' histories are recorded.

Mr Kavanagh said he was worried at the rate and level of imported write-offs.
"We are concerned about the safety of some of these cars for those who buy them. Many category C and D write-offs are back on the road, but anyone planning to buy needs to take precautions to avoid ending up with an unsafe or uninsured vehicle.

Weeding out the scammers
.  When an Irish car is written off, insurers notify the National Vehicle and Driver File office in Shannon.
.  A 'lock' is put on those vehicles.
.  The registered owner is told the vehicle needs a major mechanical check-over before being passed.
.  With used imports, cars go through an NCT test if they are four years or older.
.  The NCT test is reckoned to do a good job, but by its nature it is not designed for detecting all write-offs.
.  According to the Department of Transport's own memo, detecting write-offs requires specialist engineers taking a lot of time to assess a vehicle's repair history and structure.

Monday 22 June 2015

Non-Deployed airbag sales to be made illegal in UK

The Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association has advised that this is what may happen if you don’t act NOW!

As part of the ongoing review of the Salvage COP, Insurers have asked Government to make the sale of non-deployed airbags illegal in the UK. This includes all pyrotechnic devices (airbags & seat belt pre-tensioners), from all salvage categories.

In reality, it will be impossible to distinguish ‘salvage’ from ‘non-salvage’ airbags, and of course the same concerns would apply to all airbags irrespective of source. So the only practical approach is to ban all airbag sales.  This is despite the fact two EU Directives on pyrotechnic devices currently being implemented by the UK do NOT make the sale of used airbags illegal.  Far from it.

Instead of reducing the availability of non-deployed airbags, this may simply drive the trade ‘underground’, into the hands of illegal operators, or overseas. Customers will simply buy non-deployed airbags from abroad – there’s already plenty available on-line. Or is Government also going to make it illegal to purchase non-deployed airbags?

It would also seem that insurers are not concerned about the effects on repairable salvage of a ban on non-deployed airbags. Or are they simply happy to see more salvage move abroad?
This has very serious implications for UK vehicle recyclers, and may only be the ‘thin end of the wedge’! Will we see the sale of other ‘safety critical items’ being banned – tyres? Suspensions? Brakes? Steering? Wheels?  The list goes on & on….

The significance of this cannot be over-stated.  What view will insurers & Government take on new-technology such as Autonomous Emergency Breaking, Lane deviation etc.? Will we see a ban on the sale of these parts?

It is by no means certain that the Salvage COP will become law. Currently it is voluntary, so vehicle recyclers are under no greater obligation than insurers. Even though the ABI has asked Government to legislate – this Conservative Government is strongly ‘de-regulating’ & is not keen on more regulation.

We understand that Thatcham will shortly be undertaking some work on non-deployed airbags, but we have no way of knowing or influencing the outcome. Despite UK vehicle recyclers having handled more than 225 million pyrotechnic devices since they were introduced into mass market vehicles in 1994, we are not aware of any evidence which shows non-deployed airbags are a safety problem. And as you know, MVDA has already undertaken research which shows that non-deployed airbags are safe to re-use.  But this all seems to be ignored.
So, we need your help – NOW.

Government does respond to business. So we need all MVDA members to write to Department for Transport saying that the proposal to ban non-deployed airbag sales is not based on fact and will cost UK jobs.

To help you do this MVDA has drafted a letter for members to send. All you need to do is add your name & address, sign it & post it!

We will be e-mailing this letter to all members TODAY


Thursday 19 March 2015

Electric and Hybrid Accreditation

Salvage Wire’s Safe Handling of Electric and Hybrid training course has recently been accredited by the Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board or WAMITAB. 

This accreditation confirms that the training offered by Salvage Wire will support professionals in the Auto Recycling and Motor Salvage industry as they raise their standards of knowledge and competence and their continued professional development.

This accreditation also provides national recognition of the added value that training  programmes bring to workers in terms of quality, job specific knowledge, skills and experience.

Arrangements for future training courses are already in progress, dates and locations will be released shortly, and for more information please contact Salvage Wire via their website or find us on Facebook and Twitter.  

Friday 6 February 2015

Friday Reflections

So much publicity on accident damaged vehicles this week, the BBC’s Inside Out programme on Monday with John Dwyer, items by Fox News in the US, Auto Express in the UK, and the Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association.

Every single one of the above highlighted issues in the handling of accident damaged vehicles that insurers decide not to repair and the devastating effects of these vehicles re-appearing on the road following poor quality repairs and being involved in another incident.

Putting aside the past and the reasons why this current state of affairs exists, as an industry we need to take steps to stop this happening in the future; most of the pieces mentioned above highlighted the need for better controls, improved standards and greater professionalism, but no-one is stepping out to lead this issue and make a difference, why?

Is it because we are comfortable where we are, and have a fear of standing apart from our peers and colleagues? Or is it because we do not want to make a commitment because of the trouble that this creates for us as we are challenged, questioned and tested? Or is it just because it will cost both financially and personally?

If you, like me, want to eradicate the people who constantly bring this industry down, who cut corners and endanger consumers and the environment, then please add your comments and thoughts to this blog and together we can build a future where the Auto Recycling and Motor Salvage industry is seen as professional; as a partner of other professional industries; a power to save money for consumers with quality Green Recycled Parts; provider of lower cost, well repaired, safe and reliable vehicles; and an environmentally aware and compliant industry then it is time for you to make your voices heard, to make a commitment to improve the quality and professionalism of your business, your industry and leave a legacy of strength for your children and grandchildren to build upon.

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Professional Standards in Auto Recycling

Following an inquest into the death of a six-year-old girl in a previously written off vehicle the coroner said that he would be raising the issue with the relevant authorities, especially as the police report stated that a poor repair had compromised the integrity of the vehicle and may have contributed to the death of the little girl.

To date there has been little done so it is now time for the auto recycling and vehicle salvage industries to get their business in order and set out some minimum professional standards.

As is the case in the retail motor industry, anyone can set up a business repairing vehicles without previous knowledge, qualifications or experience, and the recent campaign by the Institute of the Motor Industry challenging government to introduce a licensing scheme for vehicle technicians (see more at shows the need for professional standards, licensing and, potentially, legislation.

Auto recycling and motor salvage is a serious business, incorrect recycling techniques can be harmful to the environment, create health and safety risks and ultimately cause distress to the public, staff and consumers.
Correct handling of vehicles being recycled or dealt with as salvage can result in cost savings for consumers as quality Green Recycled Parts could give a major cost saving in vehicle repairs, correctly repaired salvage would be seen as a cheaper, safe, alternative to showroom sticker prices, and 95% of each scrapped vehicle will be recycled or re-used.

There is currently a plethora of various laws and regulations covering the auto salvage and recycling industry, from the operation of Fork Lifts, Cranes and the like, through to Certificate of Technical Competency that is designed to show that the yard management has the ability to run the yard correctly, however there is little else to show professional standards in all the other areas of the business. 
It is now time to combine all of these standards and training into a tier of qualifications that are able to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and occupational competence of the holder in areas such as Electric and Hybrid, Green Recycled Parts, Airbags, Vehicle Dismantling, LPG Vehicles, Parts Grading and Standards, Vehicle Body Repair, Vehicle Mechanical Repair, Air Conditioning and so-on.
These could include diploma’s, apprenticeships, and higher level qualifications, all accredited by various training organisations, giving professional status to the holders of these qualifications and the business they work for, and ultimately improving the safety of vehicles returning to use after an accident, giving consumers the confidence to use quality Green Recycled Parts and protecting the environment.

The biggest question is how to get there? This must be industry led otherwise the Government will come in with legislation that may force the industry down a route that could harm the many businesses that make up this sector. If the UK salvage federations or associations can’t or won’t start this then another organisation needs to take over and raise the standards and professionalism of the sector before it is too late.