Genuine vs Aftermarket Car Parts – Which Should You Choose And Why?

When something goes wrong with your car, or you are involved in an accident, chances are you will need to replace some parts when it comes to having your vehicle fixed.

If you take your car to the official dealership, then your car will be fixed using genuine OEM parts, but if you visit an independent garage you will likely be offered the choice of aftermarket parts, often at a cheaper price.

So what is the difference, and which should you choose for your car? Read on to find out more.

What is the difference between genuine and aftermarket car parts?

Genuine OEM parts are parts that were made in the same factory as your car itself, and these parts will have been made specifically to fit your exact make and model of vehicle.

As a result, they should perform the same way as the parts your car rolled off the production line with, and you can be sure they will be a good fit.

Aftermarket parts, however, are not made by the official car manufacturer and are often made to fit a number of different models of vehicle, by a whole variety of different manufacturers. Some will be made from better quality materials than others, and unless you have a good knowledge of parts yourself, you could end up with an inferior part.

Some aftermarket parts are actually purposefully manufactured to perform better in certain ways than the original parts, by reverse engineering the OEM part and tweaking the performance.

So which should you choose?

While it ultimately comes down to personal preference, there are a few things to bear in mind when deciding between genuine and aftermarket parts.

Safety

We spoke to VW Motor Parts, who are suppliers of genuine Volkswagen car parts who told us “from a safety point of view, it’s very important to know exactly what you’re getting when you replace any of the parts in your vehicle.

In particular, when it comes to airbags and bodywork, it is vital that everything is correctly calibrated so that the airbags can sense when to deploy accurately. Parts that do not weigh the same as the original part, for example, may cause the airbags to not deploy when needed.

Often people don’t take these details into consideration when opting to use cheaper parts, but for safety reasons, we would always recommend using genuine parts.”

Road safety isn’t simply to do with how good you are at driving, but also how safe your vehicle is for yourself and your passengers. You can learn more about the safety of different parts in this article from America’s Auto Body.

Value for money

While genuine parts do tend to cost more, you may actually find that, in the long run, they are better value for money.

Genuine parts are usually made from higher quality materials so do not wear out as quickly as some aftermarket brands and therefore need replacing less frequently, and, as they will often fit better, there isn’t the danger of them causing further issues.

On the other hand, if your vehicle is particularly old, you may wish to keep it going for as little upfront money as possible and this is certainly a big reason why people do choose cheaper aftermarket parts.

And of course, if you are looking to modify your car in any way, you will most likely want to do so by using purpose made aftermarket parts.