BMW April 2022

There has been a shift towards the use of “green” and “grey” parts over the last few years with some insurers choosing those parts over genuine parts from the manufacturers. Innocent Driver managing director Tony Parris explains why he asks repairers to use only genuine parts.

He said: “Having worked in motor claims for 25 years, I’ve noticed that the use of second-hand parts and non-genuine parts has snowballed during the past few years.

“For example, I recently read a report that said more than a quarter of all insurance repairs used either grey or green parts now. In the past, however, using a second-hand part was frowned upon by most insurers and non-genuine parts were almost unheard of. “It’s easy to see why there’s been a change of direction and an upturn in interest with regards to green parts. There has been an enormous demand to go green in all industries as cultural demand focuses on recycling and protecting our planet, but there is also a cost implication with said parts often costing much less than genuine parts. And it’s the latter that may be of more interest to insurers rather than any planet-saving – using green or grey parts will save insurers a lot of money.”

Parris stressed that he and his company are in full support of protecting the environment, fully believing in recycling and sustainability, but will not compromise on quality and safety.

“We at Innocent Driver are in support of protecting the environment, but we won’t compromise on the quality of repairs or the safety of our customers, which is why we ask that, when parts can’t be repaired and have to be replaced, they are replaced with genuine manufacturers parts only.

“While we recognise that our main objective is to get our clients back up-and-running as quickly as possible, we also want their vehicles to be in the same position that they were in pre-accident. There is often the argument that recycled parts could save time if there isn’t a genuine part readily available. We all fear the dreaded words ‘back order’ appearing on our screens when a part is ordered, but while in such cases it may take longer to get a vehicle back on the road, there is no obligation on repairers or clients to accept green or grey parts purely to speed up the repair time.”

Parris’ main concern with using green parts is that he believes nobody would want a second-hand part if they were entitled to a new one. “It would feel like we were short-changing our customers,” he said.

“As for grey parts, I’ve heard so many horror stories of parts not fitting, and having to be worked on, that I’m just not comfortable with the idea of fitting grey parts to our clients’ vehicles when they are entitled to genuine parts. Reputation is everything in this industry and using green and grey parts is something that I’m not prepared to stake my reputation on, and neither should repairers be asked to. If given the choice between a new genuine part, a second-hand part, or a non-genuine part, just about everyone would ask for the new genuine part,” Parris concluded.