eBay calls on UK insurers to make vehicle repairs more sustainable and affordable

Press Release

  • Only 2% of vehicle repairs in the UK use recycled parts, significantly behind comparative international markets

  • eBay estimates that increasing the number of recycled parts in UK repairs by 10% would prevent 390,000 car parts entering landfill and cut the need for 190,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually

  • Recycled parts can be up to 60% cheaper than new, drastically lowering the pressure on insurance premiums

  • eBay, the largest marketplace for vehicle parts and accessories in the UK, has today announced its sponsorship of a new, independent safety parts standards certification scheme to help increase the use of recycled parts in repairs. 

eBay is calling on UK insurers and independent garages to commit to offer consumers the option of purchasing a recycled car part, rather than just a new one, when their vehicle is being repaired.

Estimates suggest just two per cent of vehicle repairs in the UK use recycled parts - well behind nations including New Zealand, the USA, and Australia.  This is despite the fact that most insurance policies allow for the use of reused parts.

eBay estimates that increasing the use of recycled car parts in the UK by 10% could prevent 390,000 car parts going to landfill, and save nearly 190,000 tonnes in carbon emissions through reducing demand for the manufacture of new materials, each year. Additionally, refurbished parts can cost up to 60% less than new, meaning greater use of recycled components could lead to drastically lower insurance premiums for policyholders.

A commitment to always offer reused or remanufactured vehicle parts by insurance companies and garages would bring the UK in line with France, where the Government passed a Circular Economy Law in February 2019, in which the use of recycled vehicle parts in repairs is mandatory.

eBay today has launched a sponsorship of a new, independent safety parts standards certification scheme, run by the Vehicle Recyclers’ Association. Vehicle recycling businesses that meet the criteria will benefit from increased exposure on

eBay, which is the largest marketplace for vehicle parts and accessories in the UK, has 1.4 million customers buying recycled vehicle parts each year - with a car part sold, on average, every two seconds. 


Laura Richards, Senior Automotive Business Manager at eBay UK, said: “Increasing the use of reused car parts in vehicle repairs in the UK would see huge environmental benefits, as well as helping to drastically reduce pressure on premiums. However, the UK lags far behind other countries in the use of recycled parts, which is why insurers and garages should commit to always offer customers the choice when their vehicles are in for repair.

“The launch of our new pilot scheme will help provide extra guarantees for the safety and quality of used parts, building on eBay’s position as the biggest marketplace for buying and selling vehicle parts and accessories.”


Tania Tucker, Senior Advisor, Environment Agency, said: “We support eBay’s plans to encourage the safe use of recycled car parts.

“The scheme supports both the Environment Agency’s commitment to move towards a circular economy and the 95% recycling target set for end of life vehicles. It also enables consumers to make sustainable purchasing decisions.”

Marc Trent, co-owner of vehicle recycling business Charles Trent Limited, commented: “Car parts have become very expensive over the years, and increasingly we’re seeing consumers turning to recycled parts – not only does it make sense financially, but it’s also beneficial for the environment. Since we started selling our stock on eBay 15 years ago, our business has grown exponentially. 

“We’re absolutely in support of the idea of a certification scheme, as it would give customers the necessary comfort that they are buying from an accredited company. With eBay’s support, we’re hoping more insurers and consumers will start to recognise the advantages of using recycled car parts.”


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About eBay

eBay was the first online marketplace. Today, it’s a household name. A regular feature in lists of best loved brands, it connects millions of buyers and sellers, helping customers to find the item they’re looking for from its 1.3 billion listings. With 182 million buyers in 190 markets, trade is fast. The UK website sells a car part every second, and last year the online marketplace saw must-have items like LEGO Harry Potter flying off the virtual shelves every ten seconds.

This incredible interest directly benefits the small businesses who trade on eBay, giving them access to an audience once unthinkable for a small shop on the high street. Throughout its history, eBay has helped many thousands of small businesses to succeed. Small British firms regularly rank in the top five grossing sellers on’s biggest trading days like Black Friday, and over one thousand British sellers who started with a shop on eBay are now running million-pound businesses, providing jobs to people in their communities.

By partnering with sellers in this way, has helped hundreds of thousands of British entrepreneurs over its 23-year history. As a hub of retail in the UK, the marketplace also continues to welcome top brands to the site – including Currys, Halfords, GoPro, Canon and more.

eBay also makes it easy for customers to give to charitable organisations. Using eBay for Charity, sellers can donate a portion of their sales and buyers can shop while supporting their favourite causes – adding to the funds that has raised for UK charities to date.                                                                                                                                                           

Did you know?

eBay has 182 million active buyers around the world.

In the UK, eBay serves 26m Brits a month.

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