• 60'
  • Author : Guillaume Barthélémy
  • 09-05-2021
  • Master : 3052


In 2020 three times more second-hand cars were sold than new ones. Cars that need maintenance. Driven by the health and economic crisis, anything goes that will lower the bill at the garage. For several months we got our hands in the grease can. Investigation, surprises and discoveries: welcome to the world of used car parts.

It is not widely known and few garages will shout it from the rooftops. And yet, since 2017, for any repair, professionals are obliged to provide one quote for new and another for used parts. The car belonging to young Parisienne Ambrine has dents all over. This young woman agreed to go around the garages for us. Do they all observe that obligation? Don’t be so sure!

Yet the market in second-hand parts is flourishing. Every year more than a million vehicles go for scrap and supply the market. A huge business that Yohan has grabbed. “It seems important to me to promote a revolving economy for future generations and to protect the environment. To stop producing and then destroying, when we are now able to recycle 97% of a car!” This company boss is head of the biggest vehicle scrapyard in Europe. In his brand-new plant, 200 employees take one hundred cars apart each day. And this businessman has decided to go even further. By opening the first car parts “drive-in” in France.

In Creil, in the Oise, because of the economic crisis, the traffic in second-hand parts has never been so great. Alongside Sébastien and his Special Territorial Brigade you will discover the black market in second-hand parts. And witness a major operation in an illegal scrapyard. “Creil is a real hub for second-hand parts trafficking. A scourge we fight every day while knowing that a subsequent legal penalty might not be forthcoming.” The police also trace stolen cars. On the A1 motorway, Pierre, from the gendarmerie patrol, will strike gold. A city car built almost entirely from parts obtained from traffic in stolen cars.

Tally knows all about stolen cars. They even cost him a two-year prison term. Now “reformed”, he has created a start-up to develop an anti-theft device… for cars! “I’ve put my all into this change of life and I can’t afford to fail. It’s the only way I can wipe out the past that is a daily burden for me.” He’s managed to get a meeting with one of France’s biggest insurance companies for a full-scale test. Will he be able to convince them?

In Orleans, Mahmoud uses second-hand parts to give a second life to cars that have run out of steam. In his solidarity project garage, he trains unemployed mechanics and repairs cars that should have gone to the scrapyard: “I feel I’m part of that surge of solidarity that we all need in these difficult times. It warms my heart to be able to help people in need in my own way.”

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