Revolutionary scheme for used parts in the repair of insured vehicles to be put on hold

A controversial scheme to use recycled parts in the repair of insured vehicles has ended in failure after only a few months, Insurance Times can reveal.

Under a pilot which began on 1 June, policyholders whose vehicles were over five years old, or so badly damaged that it would not be economically viable to repair them using new parts, were given the option of having used parts fitted.

Insurers Admiral, CIS, Fortis, Highway, MMA, Allianz Cornhill and Provident were all signed up to take part in the scheme which was touted at the time as a revolutionary means for insurers to slash the £500m they collectively spend each year on vehicle repairs.

But the pilot has now been put on hold indefinitely because MMA chief engineer Gary Brench, who was overseeing the scheme, has left the company.

Brench's replacement Derek Tweddle said: "It is true that since Brench left, the scheme has been put on hold. It must be frustrating for insurers who put a lot of time and effort into making it work."

The scheme is also understood to have been plagued by problems in getting policyholders and repairers to fully embrace the widespread use of recycled parts.

Keith Walsh, project manager at Admiral, described the scheme as "dead in the water" owing to difficulties in keeping insurers, policyholders and repairers happy.

Jeremy Seal, business development manager at the National Salvage Group, which represents the salvage companies who provided the parts, said: "In the end it proved logistically very difficult to find the right part and repairers weren't getting the best deal. We are disappointed because recycling is still a priority."

It is unknown at this stage whether there will be attempts to revive the scheme at a later date.