Online automotive marketplace EBay U.K. has relaunched its Certified Recycled parts business after it achieved a 10% year-on-year increase in sales in 2022, according to a statement.

EBay said customers looking to repair their vehicles or who are searching for spare parts can save up to 70% on the cost of used parts, compared to the recommended retail price for those parts from the original equipment manufacturer.

The company says U.K. motorists saved £99 million ($124 million U.S.) in 2022 by purchasing used car parts. The cost-of-living crisis is attracting motorists but also retailers and mechanics to use the service to save money. The company found that 38% of British bodyshops are reporting a shortage of parts for up to 20% of jobs, and 79% are now turning to recycled parts.

The sector also provides EBay with a huge opportunity as car parts and vehicle accessories are a top five focus category in which the company has been expanding globally. EBay said in 2022, sellers on its online platform sold more than one million exterior parts and accessories, 400,000 lighting and bulb parts, and over 130,000 engines and engine parts.

Certified recycled parts are sold by businesses that have undergone checks and been certified by the Vehicle Recyclers Association (VRA) and have to pass an annual audit of their processes. VRA-certified recyclers test all parts to ensure they operate correctly before they are taken apart and graded. All engines, transmissions and drivetrains receive a visual inspection to identify any defects.

It means that any part listed as Certified Recycled must be sourced from and can be traced back to a vehicle that has reached the end of its life and must have been accurately identified, recorded, tested and graded. All Certified Recycled vehicle body parts come with a 12-month warranty and all mechanical parts have a three-month warranty.

The company has supported the relaunch of this business unit by releasing a white paper that looks at the benefits for repairers, insurers, bodyshops and motorists of switching to used parts.

EBay said that U.K. consumers using its service to buy used car parts and accessories had saved over 16,000 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) and stopped 2 million kg of waste from ending up in landfills. The new business hopes to attract insurers and bodyshops who want to offer a more sustainable alternative to buying new parts.

This point reinforces others initiatives from EBay that show it is trying to promote sustainability as well as tap into a growing consumer trend to change its image and appeal more to younger consumers. Earlier this week it launched a homeware hub to encourage more users to buy used and sustainable items for their home interiors from its marketplace.

EBay first introduced Certified Recycled parts in June 2020. It now has 81 certified sellers in the U.K. Sales of Certified Recycled parts increased by over 10% between 2021 and 2022.

EBay said its research shows 16.1% of motorists often buy recycled parts to save money and 14% do so to reduce their carbon emissions. One in ten of those surveyed said they prefer to buy recycled parts from a professional service centre rather than having to source the product themselves.

“Certified Recycled parts can be a huge benefit to customers and businesses alike,” said Dr Tony Tong, head of automotive at EBay UK.

“With parts delays, rising costs and more focus than ever on making the right choices to reduce our carbon footprint, these parts have the potential to help save money, time and the environment.”


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