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Finding Parts for a Used Car

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 3 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Finding Parts For A Used Car

Used cars are rarely perfect. Most have the odd scrape or dent or may have developed a fault or two. When parts are needed for repairs, there is a simple choice to be made – buy new parts or used parts.

Car manufacturers want owners to buy new car parts direct from their dealerships and most will make a strong case for doing so. This is, in general, the most expensive way to buy car parts, but there are certain benefits. For instance, many dealerships will claim that the quality and warranty that comes with their car parts cannot be beaten.

Indeed, in most instances, a customer who buys direct from a car dealership can feel reassured that he has the best parts available for his used car. There will be guaranteed performance and safety from parts designed to meet the manufacturer’s specifications, and these parts should meet or exceed European Union safety and environmental regulations.

Cheaper Labour Costs

A car manufacturer's parts tend to be easier and quicker to fit, so can save on labour time and costs. They should come with a minimum 12-month, unlimited mileage warranty from the date of purchase and if defective due to faulty manufacture or materials will be repaired or replaced free of charge. Certain parts, such as alarms, clutches, exhausts, shock absorbers, batteries, ignition lead sets and sheet metal body parts will often have much longer warranties. Parts will be packaged properly to ensure they arrive undamaged and ready to fit.

If the cost of the car dealership’s parts is prohibitive, there are other leading car part manufacturers who offer new parts at reduced prices. While these parts do not carry the car manufacturer’s seal of approval, they are perfectly legal. Most vendors will claim these parts match the quality of the original parts. Fitting them can save money, but be aware that using these parts may affect any manufacturer’s warranty on the car.

The alternative is to buy a used part. Gone are the days when owners would scour local scrap yards searching for a used car part. Since the birth of the Internet, the business has become a great deal more sophisticated. This makes it far easier for owners to find used parts, as it can be done from the comfort of their own homes, and the cost is still generally very favourable when compared to new parts.

Find the Right Part

Internet search engines will hunt the databases of salvage experts throughout the UK to find the right part. In many countries insurance companies insist on salvage parts being used to fix vehicles and this is set to become the norm in the UK soon, because by buying used parts, insurers can get the same parts they would get from dealerships, but at a fraction of the price.

Remember when buying used car parts online that the price shown is the price payable if the part is collected from the supplier. Postage will be payable and will depend on the size and weight of the part. Charges usually start from around £10, but check with the supplier. Also, note that some delivery companies and couriers will not insure glass items, such as windscreens and door windows, and that some prices are subject to VAT at 17.5 per cent.

When the part arrives, take it to a local garage for it to be fitted. Some DIY enthusiasts may want to fit the part themselves, but most dealerships and even some independent garages will not fit parts unless they have supplied the parts themselves.

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