Totnes resident Sue Sheldon has been able to keep her precious car thanks to help from Ageas Insurance and its green car parts programme.

Sue’s Skoda Yeti was bought for her by her late husband before he passed away. So when Sue had an accident on the ice during December’s cold snap, it was even more important for every possible step to be taken to save it.

“I’d got up early to go to the supermarket,” Sue said. “I reversed out of the garage and thought, ‘that felt slightly different’. I opened the door to have a look and it the road was just like an ice rink.

“Every time I tried to go forwards I went back. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t even get out of my car, every time I tried to get out it was like a skating rink.

“I turned the engine off and put the handbrake on hard, and waited for a while when I suddenly started to slip backwards, then increased speed down my neighbour’s very steep drive, hitting her garage with a bang.”

Luckily Sue was unharmed but she said it was a scary experience.

“I was very shocked and shaken up. I’m just grateful it wasn’t worse.”

Sue reported the incident to her insurance broker, AA Insurance Services. The policy is underwritten by Ageas Insurance, which also handles any claims.

“My son said the car might be written off but I’m so pleased they’re able to repair it. It was the last car my husband bought for me. It’s perfect and I love it. I’m very, very, grateful it’s been mended so I can keep it.”

Sue sheldon with her repaired car

Some green parts were sourced to repair Sue’s car, reducing the impact of the process on the environment.

Green car parts are parts taken from one vehicle to fix another. As well as reducing the amount of glass, metal, plastic and energy needed to make a new part, it means parts that are already in existence get a second life, extending their use and reducing unnecessary waste.

It also reduces the likelihood of damaged cars being scrapped because the cost of a new part outweighs the value of the vehicle.

Green parts are never used for safety-related parts. They are safety checked and are guaranteed for 12 months in the same way as new parts are.

Sue’s car was fixed and cleaned by experts at Fix Auto Newton Abbot, one of Ageas’s approved repair centres, before being delivered back to her at home.

Sue said: “I am very grateful this car is not being written off, it’s not just a “lump of metal” to me, as my late husband bought it for me, and it’s the best car I have ever had.”

Natasha Metcalfe, who works for Ageas and took Sue’s call after the accident, said: “I’m so glad Mrs Sheldon escaped unharmed and has been able to keep her car. The reason I enjoy doing what I do is helping people like her in their time of need; it’s the most rewarding part of my job.”

Find out more about the Ageas Green Car Parts programme.