Many of us will have used a supermarket ‘bag for life’ made from older plastic bags or even bought an item of clothing manufactured using recycled plastic bottles. But how many of us have ever considered the possibility of driving a recycled car?

Not many of us perhaps, however a recent announcement by Toyota GB means that this will soon be a possibility for British motorists.

An increased lifespan

All over the world, drivers are being encouraged to make the switch to electric vehicles as governments work towards their net zero ambitions. While this is an important change that needs to happen on an enormous scale, Toyota GB has brought a new innovation to the table by announcing its intention to refresh and refurbish cars up to twice to improve longevity and add value to vehicles during their lifecycles.

The lease cycle

As most car leasing deals last for 2-3 years, Toyota plans to take cars back to its factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire at that point in order to refurbish them to the best possible standard so that the next owner takes possession of as ‘new’ a car as possible. At the stage when the car is destined to go to its third owner after another 2-3 years, the focus will move to recycling the vehicles so they perform as efficiently as possible during their third phase of ownership.

Commenting to Autocar on these ground-breaking plans to reduce waste and limit the environmental impact of new car production, Toyota GB’s managing director Agustin Martin said, “We need to stretch the way we look at life for both the vehicle and the customer. I think we’re very familiar with the usual two-to three-year cycles that are extremely popular in the UK, but we need to go beyond that two-to three-year cycle and say: ‘Okay, what happens in that second cycle and in the third cycle?’”

Building on success

Toyota’s bold new strategy builds on Volvo’s recent decision to remanufacture individual car parts. Since this policy was implemented last year, the company has saved 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions so far by remanufacturing 40,000 car parts.

The new drive by Toyota will focus on the car giant’s sub brand Kinto, an innovative venture which includes a leasing service as well as a car-sharing service for hybrid cars, which has been trialled in several cities, including Dublin.

Evolving for the future

While Brexit and the pandemic put the motor industry into firefighting mode as it struggled in challenging and uncertain circumstances, this kind of innovation proves that far from resting on its laurels or kicking the can down the road, the car industry is constantly looking to the future to plan what it can do to flourish in the post petrol world that is just around the corner.

As manufacturers of sealing and NVH solutions, this new approach to extending the lifespan of cars as opposed to merely focusing on the shiny and new is an exciting proposition and one we would like to see taken up by other manufacturers. As NVH and sealing solutions evolve quickly, this is certainly an area where improvements could be made as part of the refurbishing and remanufacturing process.


NVH solutions for the motor industry

For more information about Interflex’s products and services, including NVH and sealing solutions for vehicles including door seals, interior trim, under carpet and boot seals, please call us on 01949 861 494 or email