When you need to make repairs to your car, either due to wear and tear or following an accident, you will have the choice of either using official OEM parts, or aftermarket parts as replacement parts. But which should you choose?
Not everybody knows the difference, so with that in mind, we have put together this quick guide to hopefully demystify this topic for you and help you to make an informed decision.
What Is The Real Difference Between OEM And Aftermarket Parts?
OEM parts are those that are made by the manufacturer of your car, and they will be the same as those your car rolled off the assembly line with. They’re made to fit your exact make and model of car and will perform in the same way as when the car was new.
Aftermarket parts are parts that are made by anyone other than your car’s manufacturer, and there are a whole host of different manufacturers who make aftermarket parts. These range from cheap knock-offs, to parts intended to modify the performance of the vehicle.
Some aftermarket parts may be of comparable or greater quality than their OEM equivalent, but the trouble is that it can be something of a minefield figuring out which are fit for purpose and which aren’t unless you know a lot about different manufacturers.
Which Should You Choose?
OEM parts are by far the best choice if you are in any way unsure, as you can rest assured that they will be safe and not cause you further problems down the line.
We spoke to VW Motor Parts who told us “while it’s true that OEM parts will set you back a little more, in the long run, it is worthwhile as not only will they last you longer, but they’ll also keep you safer.”
At times due to the fact that the aftermarket parts are made to fit a number of different types of car, they may cause excessive wear and tear on other parts and cause even more repairs to be necessary.
You should always use OEM parts for essential parts such as airbags, as counterfeit or poor quality parts can pose a serious safety risk. Even if the parts themselves appear genuine, you should only ever buy them from the official dealership, as highlighted in this case by the City of London Police.
Another point to consider is that if your car is still under warranty, using unofficial parts could actually void the warranty, although not in all cases so this is always worth checking before you carry out any work. Often if you are undertaking repairs through an insurance company they will opt for aftermarket parts to cut costs, so be sure to communicate with them and ask for transparency on their part.
Often people with older cars will choose aftermarket parts as priority shifts to simply keeping it running without spending a fortune, however, you should always put safety first and only do so if you know exactly what you are buying.
Should you find yourself in this situation, this article runs through some of the things you should make sure you check before buying aftermarket parts.
We hope that this has helped you if you were unsure about what exactly aftermarket and OEM car parts are, and which you ought to choose.