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Green car parts explained

  Friday, 21 December 2018

Parts warehouse at ASM in Thame coloured in green hue

Green car parts are widely recognised as an affordable and environmentally-friendly source of used parts from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).  Every green part purchase contributes to the hugely valuable recycling industry in the UK, delivering enormous benefits to wider society.

If you’re unsure about any aspect of green parts, keep reading – this article covers everything you need to know.

What are green car parts?

Undamaged and reusable parts of end-of-life and written-off vehicles are routinely reclaimed during the dismantling and recycling process.  These are “green car parts”, also known as “recycled”, “reclaimed” or “used” parts.

By utilising these and other vehicle recycling processes, over 80% of every vehicle is made up of some recycled material.

Because green parts were fitted in the factory or production line during the car’s creation, they are classified as “Original Equipment” (OE).  However, it is worth noting that – in most cases – the car manufacturer does not design the parts themselves.  The majority of factory-fitted parts are provided by dedicated parts manufacturers such as Bosch, Hella or Valeo, often called Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).

Due to being designed and manufactured to a vehicle’s exact specification, OE parts are often considered to be the best available in terms of quality.

What are the benefits of using green car parts?

Low cost

The most obvious benefit of buying green car parts is reduced cost.  Prices can be half as expensive, even up to 90% cheaper, than sourcing a brand-new OEM part from the manufacturer.  Yet with rigorous testing and warranties available, there’s no need to worry about quality or reliability.


Despite their affordability, there is no compromise on choice, with extensive availability of green parts for practically every car brand in the UK.  This is because cars are typically built in bulk, so unless your vehicle is a rare limited edition, high quality green parts are usually easily accessible on the market.  In many cases, buying second-hand is easier than sourcing new parts, as spare parts are not manufactured as frequently as whole vehicles.


Using recycled car parts is a significant boon to the environment, hence the “green” in their name.  Buying a green part prevents the need for a new part to be manufactured, making significant energy and resource savings worldwide.  It is estimated that recycled parts save 80 billion barrels of oil each year in manufacturing and transport processes, while also increasing the lifespan of countless existing vehicles.

How safe are green car parts?

Many customers have reservations about buying used car parts which have been salvaged from a vehicle, particularly if it was potentially involved in a crash.

Much of the bad publicity around used car parts originates from new part manufacturers, who naturally benefit from misinformed customers trying to buy expensive new parts rather than second hand.  Horror stories about rogue organisations (or ‘cowboy operators’) have also contributed to public concerns.

It’s also worth being aware that, although the industry is regulated, enforcement of rules can be poor.  Naturally, any signs of obvious damage like cracks, leaks or bends in your used car part should raise alarm bells.

Despite these factors, you should know that there’s often no need to worry: green parts are subject to extremely strict inspections and quality standards.  The simplest way of avoiding any problems is to buy used parts only from approved members of the Vehicle Recyclers’ Association (the VRA, formerly the MVDA).  The VRA is involved with promoting the use of reclaimed parts in the UK repair industry, encouraging the adoption of Automotive Recyclers Association of America (ARA) standards to ensure product quality.

VRA membership is one of the few indicators of a company’s good reputation and high quality of product, backed by warranties and guarantees.  To ensure safety, you should also always ensure that a qualified and informed mechanic is used in any installation.

Used car parts with ASM Auto Recycling

ASM Auto Recycling stocks and supplies thousands of genuine used car parts reclaimed during the recycling process.  Every part is cleaned, tested and fully covered by our 90-day guarantee.  We’re a member of the VRA and we offer an online catalogue of green parts, as well as courier delivery and direct collection from our parts depot in Thame, Oxford.

Contact us today by email or call now on 01844 268 940 (Option 1).

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