When you take your car in for a repair do you take it to a manufacturers dealership? Or to an independent garage?
You may wonder whether there’s any real difference other than the price, but going to an official dealership means you’ll be getting genuine parts as opposed to aftermarket ones.
So what does this mean? Why should you choose genuine car parts over aftermarket ones?
We’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of both to help you make your mind up.
The term aftermarket basically refers to any car parts that are not sourced from the vehicle’s manufacturer.
The first thing that is important to note is that an aftermarket part may void your vehicle’s warranty, although it isn’t as straightforward as this.
This article from Autotrader does a good job of summing up what will and won’t void your warranty when it comes to vehicle modifications.
Aftermarket parts are designed to basically mimic the part they’re replacing, although their quality can vary.
The main reason people choose to opt for aftermarket parts is that they’re usually less expensive than the real deal.
While this is an obvious benefit, always be wary of what you’re buying, and if the price seems to be too good to be true, it likely is. As with anything else, you get what you pay for.
Of course, this isn’t to say that all aftermarket parts are of a poor quality, as many are made to be as close to the genuine thing as possible.
However, the risk is that the quality can vary quite a lot with aftermarket parts. This is because to bring the cost down, lower quality materials are often used in the production.
Something which can be considered both a positive and a negative of aftermarket parts is that the market is just so big.
There are hundreds of companies manufacturing aftermarket parts, and the industry is worth billions of pounds.
This means that as a customer you have a great range of choice when it comes to choosing your parts, which means more variety and a wider range of prices.
On the other hand, this can also be a bit overwhelming if you aren’t particularly knowledgeable when it comes to car parts.
On the other hand, genuine parts are made by the car’s manufacturer and will be exactly the same as the parts that your vehicle was fitted with when it was made.
Unlike aftermarket parts where there are seemingly endless variants of the different parts, genuine parts there’ll just be one standard part, meaning you won’t have to worry about choosing the best quality or price.
You also know that you are guaranteed quality as the part you’re buying is going to be a like for like replacement and work exactly the same as your old one. The peace of mind that this offers can’t really be understated.
Perhaps just as important is that a genuine part will usually come with a warranty of at least one year.
We spoke to Lancashire-based Honda car parts dealers, Cox Motor Parts who supply genuine Honda parts and they told us: “No matter which manufacturer, we always recommend buying genuine replacements.”
“In any vehicle, each part works in conjunction with the others to produce a single output. If you compromise one part, you may unknowingly compromise a whole system.
“Genuine parts have the quality, reliability and performance that make them the easy choice every time.”
As we’ve highlighted, genuine car parts are likely to cost a little bit more, but we believe that if this little bit of an extra cost guarantees better quality then it’s worth it!
While aftermarket parts may be appealing because of their lower price tag, we think it’s always best to play it safe and go for the real deal, if only for the peace of mind that they bring.