the purchase of second-hand spare parts encouraged by insurers

To reduce the price of your car insurance, think about the occasion! Not for the purchase of your vehicle… but for that of the spare parts, intended to repair it. Following a meeting on September 20 between representatives of insurers and the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, a working group should be set up. In particular, he will be responsible for seeking ways to develop policyholders’ recourse to so-called “re-use” parts for the repair of their cars.

This possibility is not new. Since 2017, a decree resulting from the energy transition law for green growth has required car repair professionals to offer their customers the use of reused parts for certain categories of parts, in particular those relating to optics, bodywork , or some mechanical elements.

“The law has excluded others from this professional obligation, for example what relates to running gear, steering elements or braking components, says Julien Dubois, president of the French Association of Automobile and Truck Remanufacturers (France Auto Reman). But if professionals are not required to offer reused parts for these categories, this does not mean that they are prohibited from doing so. »

Parts up to 50% cheaper

According to Julien Dubois, there are some 200 spare parts remanufacturing companies in France. “These are manufacturers who obtain their supplies from different sectors and who refurbish the parts so that they have the same performance and the same durability as the original equipment, he said. They pass on test benches before being sold to automotive professionals between 30 to 50% cheaper than new parts. »

According to the president of France Auto Reman, these parts are distinguished by their quality and safety from simple second-hand equipment that individuals can collect directly from scrap yards, or even from “reconditioned second-hand”, that is to say say cleaned and refurbished, but not renovated.

For insurers who pay claim repair bills, the savings could be considerable, even if Philippe Debouzy, president of the agents and self-employed branch at Mobilians (formerly the National Council for Automobile Professions), recalls that the part “parts” concerns on average only 50% of the cost paid to the garage.

“The supply of spare parts is dwindling”

“In addition, mechanics often need to rework these used parts; not to mention that people keep their car longer on average today, the stock of spare parts is dwindling, explains Philippe Debouzy. The deadlines forobtaining can be very long. »

The latter also explains that many customers do not understand why they should choose reusable equipment without benefiting from a premium reduction. It should also be noted that mechanics are not obliged to offer reused parts if they consider that they present significant risks for the environment, health or road safety.

According to a note from France insurers (formerly the French Insurance Federation) in January 2022, “In the context of claims covered by insurers, reused parts represent only 3% of replaced parts. However, we observe that this rate rises to 8% for vehicles between 10 and 15 years old and to 20% for vehicles over 15 years old”. A figure that can be explained because, today, these second-hand materials are used above all to save vehicles from destruction, for lack of new parts still available.

Sector restructuring

Specialists in the sector point out that this overall rate of recourse to second-life equipment reaches between 15 to 20% in the United States and that, due to the decline in purchasing power, the practice can only develop. It is still necessary to facilitate this progression. In its note, France insurers proposes in particular that the parts supply chain be better structured and that their traceability be optimized.

For his part, Julien Dubois, at France Auto Reman, is counting on better information for motorists but also for mechanics themselves. But he affirms it: more and more consumers are thinking of taking the plunge. According to a recent survey by the Groupement interprofessionnel de l’automobile, about 7 out of 10 motorists say they are interested in used parts.

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Goodbye to the insurance certificate

It dates from 1986 and its disappearance could be recorded in 2023. The Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire confirmed on September 20, after a meeting with the insurers, that the insurance certificate whose lack of visibility is liable of a fine of €135 was going to be dematerialized.

A deletion which is presented by Bercy as a new “simplification shock” for the French and a cost reduction factor. Not to mention the ecological gain, since insurers estimate that 50 million related documents are printed and sent each year. The police can consult the file of insured vehicles (FVA), a database supplied by insurers.

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