Have you walked into an auto parts store and wondered at the array of parts available?
Perhaps you’ve gone to get your car repaired after an accident and been asked to consider whether you want aftermarket or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts?
Have you thought “Why do we need all of these different parts? Aren’t the OEM parts all I would want?”
There are good reasons why there are aftermarket parts – including price, availability, and even the power of choice.
Why are there Aftermarket Parts?
There are millions of cars on the road today, all needing repairs or part replacements at some point or another. Third-party part manufacturers fill a need, making it easier and less expensive to repair your vehicle, whether you’re replacing a cosmetic part after an accident or a structural part that has worn out.
Importantly, alternative parts – a much better name than aftermarket parts – are available to consumers even after the OEM part has been retired by the car company. If your vehicle is older or no longer produced, alternative parts will keep you on the road long after the OEM parts are no longer being made.
But there is one more reason that there are alternative parts available – and that’s because even the car companies don’t make all of the parts that go on your car, even when it is new off the assembly line. Many of the parts on a brand new car were manufactured by someone other than the car company. So if the automobile industry can choose to use parts made by others, why can’t you?
With more than $16 billion worth of alternative parts sold online in 2020, using alternative replacement parts instead of OEM parts is both common and sensible.
What’s the Value of Aftermarket Parts to Consumers?
Alternative parts have a lot to offer consumers, and that value starts with the fact that many alternative parts are as good if not better than the OEM parts that the dealer sells. Some parts, namely those that have been CAPA certified, have been tested and verified by an independent testing laboratory to ensure that they perform exactly the same or better than the OEM part. But even parts that haven’t yet been tested by CAPA still offer safety and reliability for less.
You see, alternative parts cost as much as 50% less than their OEM counterparts. This means that these parts save you money on the repairs that you do today.
Additionally, there are a larger number of manufacturers for alternative parts, giving you an extensive choice over what goes into your vehicle. But it also means that parts for your car are available when you need them, where you need them.
The value goes beyond the immediate savings and availability. Because alternative parts cost less they help keep the repair cost of your vehicle down after an accident. This trickles down into insurance premiums, helping everyone save money.
It’s been estimated by the APICIA that if the OEMs had their way, and required that only their parts be used as replacements, the repair costs of collisions would increase roughly 7%. That may not seem like a lot at first, but with 13.5 million crashes in 2017 alone, the increased costs would be astronomical. At the end of the day, that increase would be paid by consumers in their insurance premiums or out of pocket if they have a high deductible.
Alternative parts offer further cost relief for car and truck owners by their very existence. It’s a foundational truth that competition drives down costs. With alternative parts on the market, OEMs must keep their prices low to stay competitive. If OEMs didn’t face competition from high-quality alternative parts, an APICIA Micra Report estimated that the cost of OEM parts would increase.
Why are Aftermarket Parts a Good Choice for You?
There are thousands of high-quality alternative parts. Many are even certified to provide extra assurance in their performance and workmanship so the consumer can buy with confidence, whether it’s a mechanical part or a body part. That means that you can use the more cost-effective alternatives on your vehicle and still know that your car or truck will perform as you expect.
Using an alternative part can result in you having your car up and running sooner, possibly performing even better, and have more left in your wallet after the repairs are complete. Even when you aren’t repairing your vehicle or replacing parts, alternative parts save you money by reducing the costs of insurance premiums.
Why are aftermarket parts a good choice? Because it is a choice, your choice! You have paid thousands of dollars for your vehicle and you own the right to decide how it is repaired, who repairs it, and what parts are used when doing so.
You should have a choice in the parts that are used on your car after a collision.
If so, take action now. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the FTC Complaint Assistant website. Also, contact your state and federal representatives and let them know that you want a choice in what goes into and onto your vehicle. Questions? Would you like more information? Please contact us