Could the Covid-19 crisis kickstart a new era in car recycling?

Covid 19 has had a devastating impact on almost every industry in the world, and the automotive industry is one of the many that’s feeling the heat. In fact, some speculate that it’ll be one of the industries that will be the worst hit from the crisis, the effects of which may well trickle down to the salvage car market. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that so many in the industry are trying to look for any upside to current events. Luckily, it looks like there may be one - it may just galvanise the world’s car recycling sector. So, you might be asking… how? 

The new parts problem

Millions of cars all over the world go in for routine repairs by professional mechanics every year. As you’ll know if you’re a mechanic yourself, sourcing and replacing new parts makes up a significant proportion of that cost. Many of these parts are sourced directly from the manufacturers like BMW, Audi and Volkswagen, who have factories in Europe and Asia. Specifically, in places like China. See where this is going?

As the coronavirus crisis started to gain momentum in the early months of 2020, the Chinese government enforced a lockdown which meant the closure of many factories that European manufacturers heavily relied on for a steady supply of new parts. Obviously, that now poses a problem for many automotive professionals the world over. In the words of Chris Daglis, of Australian firm PARTnered Solutions, repairing and servicing the global fleet is likely to become significantly more expensive for a long time to come, and probably virtually impossible to do solely with new parts, given their newfound relative scarcity. 

After all, you can’t properly complete a repair unless you have every part that’s required for that repair. So even if you’ve got almost everything else you need, just one missing crucial part is enough to park your repair job for potentially months on end, which costs you money and costs the customer money.

So, where can you turn when you’ve not got any new parts on hand? That’s right, you guessed it - second hand parts, of course.

Second hand parts are now everyone’s first choice

Now that new parts are becoming rarer, it’s likely to galvanise a shift for drivers and mechanics to focus on second hand and recycled parts in order to get the job done, which may well end up giving the car recycling sector a welcome boost, helping cars to be more economical and less resource-intensive to maintain and run. 

Of course, the surge in demand for standalone second-hand parts likely means that there will be some shortages eventually of those too. So, the next logical option for many handy amateurs and professional mechanics would be to turn to salvage cars, which can be bought wholesale and stripped of valuable parts to repair others. Salvage cars can be a great source of batteries, exterior lights, spark plugs, catalytic converters and brake components, all of which are amongst the most commonly-replaced parts on the average car. 

Happily, salvage cars isn’t something we’re short of here at RAW2K car auctions. We’ve got makes and models from some of the world’s leading manufacturers, including Vauxhall, Peugeot and Renault, which means they can be fantastic sources of spare parts that you might have found tricky to track down otherwise. Why not take a look around our site, and see what you can find?