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    Used vs new car parts

    Which should you choose when repairing your car?

    Hannah | Oneflare

    When the time comes for a replacement part for your vehicle, you are often faced with a choice. Should you go for a used car part that’s cheaper and readily available to get your car up and running again? Or, should you head down to your local dealership, pay a premium price and wait a little longer for it to be delivered and installed?

    The critical difference is, you know you’re going to get a high-quality part if it’s new. You’ll also receive a manufacturer’s warranty. It seems like the new part is the most obvious choice.

    However, this isn’t always the case as you’d be surprised just how resourceful a second-hand part can be. A used car part is not only super cost-effective, but they are also more readily available. Choosing a second-hand part is often the faster option in most cases, and some even come with a warranty.

    Source: Deluxe Detail

    To help you decide between a new and used part, here are the pros and cons.

    New car parts

    There are three avenues to explore when purchasing a new car part. You can choose from either Genuine, OEM, or Aftermarket; each coming with their own set of pros and cons.

    • Genuine parts are parts which are supplied by the manufacturer of the vehicle and will generally come branded or packaged. High-quality, comes with a warranty, easier selection. However, it is usually more expensive, limited availability, and may take longer to arrive.
    • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) come from the same company which manufactured genuine parts; however, this partner company is usually employed by the original automaker to produce parts as OEM. Quality guaranteed comes with a warranty, easier selection, and usually cheaper than Genuine. However, it can be more expensive, take longer to arrive, and quality isn’t always guaranteed.
    • Aftermarket parts are that have not been manufactured or sourced directly by the original automaker. Usually the cheapest option of the 3, a more extensive selection of brands, parts and prices, and in some cases, quality is equal or better than OEM. However, may not come with a warranty, potentially made from lower-quality materials and poorly constructed, and can be challenging to make the right choice with such a wide selection.

    Used car parts


    • Cost-effective: Second-hand car parts are less expensive compared to new car parts and is one of the main reasons why people opt for used parts.
    • Increased availability: There is no shortage of used parts sellers, so there’s always plenty of choice and availability for the parts you seek.
    • Competitive prices: Because you have so many options to choose from, sellers are generally quite competitive with their prices, meaning you can get a lower price.
    • Large variety: With plenty of choices in brands, parts and prices, you’ll have your car up and running in no time at all.
    • Environmentally friendly: It might not be something you’d normally consider, but opting to buy a used part over brand new reduces the need for new parts to be made. This means fewer resources are used when being manufactured and therefore reducing your environmental impact.


    • Quality isn’t guaranteed: How does the saying go? “You get what you pay for”. To avoid purchasing a complete lemon, we’ve given a list of questions to ask before you buy a used part below.
    • Overwhelming selection: With so many brands, parts and sellers available, especially online where parts can be purchased from Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and eBay, it can be an overwhelming experience.
    • No warranty: Not all used parts come with a warranty, so it pays to purchase a used part from a credible supplier and always ask for a warranty.
    • Mechanics may decline installation: If a used part was to fail, resulting in a crash, who’s responsible? With concerns about liability, warranty and insurance, your mechanic may decline to install a second-hand part.
    • Unknown history: Purchasing used parts from auto wreckers or online sources may not always have the history of the part. Not knowing the history of the part you’re buying puts you at risk. What’s the remaining lifespan of the part? Has it been in an accident?
    Source: Tlc Automotive Services

    Essential tips for buying second-hand car parts

    If you plan to go down the path of buying a used car part, there are a few questions to ask to ensure you receive a high-quality part and not a lemon.

    Are you buying from a credible seller?

    Thanks to the internet, there are now many avenues to purchase a used part. However, there are just as many counterfeit products available on the market. It’s best to buy used parts from a reputable and trusted seller to ensure you are not wasting your money on low-quality parts.

    Know what part you need

    Before you go out and buy a second-hand part, find out exactly what you need. If you’re unsure of the part you need, do not hesitate to contact your mechanic or speak to a professional. This way, you can avoid unnecessary delays and costs on purchasing the wrong part.

    Have your vehicle details ready

    With such a wide selection of parts and brands to choose from, it is essential to have your vehicle’s make, model and year ready to go. Also, having your car’s VIN will ensure you purchase the right part for your car.

    Ask for a warranty and how long

    It goes without saying if you’re purchasing a used part always ask if there is a warranty and how long does it last. Most credible sellers usually offer a warranty or at least the option to purchase one.

    Find out the history of the part

    Attempting to find the history of a used part from a Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace purchase is near-impossible. Without knowledge in the automotive industry, it can be difficult to tell if it has been in an accident or the remaining lifespan. However, you can minimise your chances of getting a counterfeit part by purchasing used parts from a trusted local supplier. Make sure the seller is capable of giving you the history and expected life.

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