No matter how well you look after your car, we all need the odd bit of work done here and there. With that in mind, when you’re in need of a repair where do you go? To an official dealership’s repair department? Or to an independent repair shop? That’s the difficult question many car owners ask themselves every time their vehicle needs a repair.
While it may be cheaper to go to an independent garage, you’ll likely receive aftermarket parts as opposed to genuine ones at an official dealership but just what does that mean and how important is it to go genuine every time?
We spoke to Cox Motor Parts, a supplier of genuine Honda parts who explained: “While people may sometimes be sceptical to spend that little bit extra on genuine parts, the quality that you receive is ultimately worth it. “Compromising quality on one aspect of your vehicle can have a much bigger knock on effect than you realise, so is it really worth taking the risk?”
So just how big a deal is this? Is that extra money worth anything? We’ve taken a look at the pro’s and con’s of both, but as you might imagine, the bottom line is you get what you pay for!
Aftermarket basically refers to any part that are not sourced from the vehicle’s manufacturer. These parts are manufactured by other companies and are usually (but not always) of a poorer quality than those from the manufacturer. On the whole, aftermarket parts are considered to be cheaper than the ‘genuine’ alternatives.
However, a 2014 study found that for certain jobs, a genuine dealership can be just as competitive, so it’s definitely worth shopping around before making a choice based purely on saving a couple of quid. There’s also a much greater choice when it comes to aftermarket parts, with hundreds of different company’s offering their own alternative on the part you need, all at different prices. However, the flipside to this is that can you end up spending a lot longer actually deciding which parts to use, especially if you have a fairly limited knowledge of this kind of stuff.
The main downside to aftermarket parts however is their fairly questionable quality. While some parts may perform just as well as genuine ones, they often use lower quality materials and don’t come with a warranty. A car is one of the most expensive purchases you can make, so do you really want to put it (and yourself) at risk by purchasing lesser quality parts?
On the other hand, genuine parts are guaranteed to be produced by the manufacturer and were specifically designed with your vehicle in mind.
Firstly, it makes the decision-making process a lot simpler. Instead of trying to process the plethora of aftermarket options available, you’ve usually just got the one available type from the manufacturer. But of course the main advantage is the guarantee of quality. As said, the parts were made to fit with your vehicle in mind, and it’s great to have the peace of mind that comes with your trusted manufacturer.
Yes, they may be more expensive however the difference may not be as much as you might think, and as we said, you get what you pay for!
Something else which is worth noting is that a lot of insurance companies prefer you to use aftermarket parts when making a claim, as seen in this instance from a couple of years ago in Northern Ireland. Make sure to be vigilant and keep an eye out for your own insurance company trying to shave a little off their bill by getting aftermarket parts installed on your car!