Used parts pilot to go ahead without two major motor insurers

Two of the UK's largest motor insurers have turned their backs on an industry-wide push to use recycled parts in the repair of accident-damaged vehicles.

Norwich Union (NU) and RBS Insurance (RBSI) have declined to participate in the Recycled Parts Group.

The group, which comprises Admiral, CIS, Fortis, Highway, MMA, Allianz Cornhill and Provident, will be piloting the use of used parts in Poole, Doncaster and Gloucester from 1 June.

A spokesman for Direct Line, part of RBSI, said: "We do not feel it is viable from either a practical or service level perspective at this time. In our view, a great deal of work would need to be done to ensure that customers would find this a satisfactory approach."

Under the pilot, policyholders whose vehicles are at least five years old or are so badly damaged that it would not be economically viable to repair them using new parts, will be given the option of recycled parts.

Parts will be supplied by members of the National Salvage Group at a cost to insurers of 30% of new parts.

According to Gary Brench, chief engineer at MMA, all used parts will be cosmetic-only and policyholders will be given a clear choice. This will not be forced on policyholders.

Brench said: "Our research shows that 70% of customers would be happy to use some recycled parts to save their car from being written off and 50% of customers whose car was over five years old agreed to their use as part of an economic repair."