After an auto accident, you want to get your car back up and running as soon as possible. When working with the body shop and insurance company to coordinate your repair, one option that you may encounter for your vehicle's repair parts is aftermarket parts.
Aftermarket parts are vehicle components that weren't specifically created for your vehicle. However, they aren't used parts; they're new parts that are designed for use in auto repair. Here's what you need to know about using aftermarket parts to repair your car's collision damage.
1. Aftermarket Parts are a Cheaper Option
One of the top reasons that aftermarket parts are used in body shop repairs is that they're cheaper than original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. OEM parts are produced specifically for your vehicle's make and model, while aftermarket parts are more of a catchall product that may work for many different vehicle types.
If you're paying for a portion or all of your own vehicle repairs, aftermarket parts are one alternative that will help you keep your costs as low as possible. Should you have difficulty locating OEM parts (an increasingly common scenario for older vehicles), you may need to turn to aftermarket parts out of necessity.
2. Not All Aftermarket Parts are Equal
Some individuals shy away from aftermarket parts due to concerns over their quality. Others avoid them because they feel they don't look the same as or fit the same as OEM parts. While it's true that there are low-quality aftermarket parts, there are plenty of parts that function as well or nearly as well as OEM parts.
When using aftermarket parts, it's essential to stick with a reputable company known for producing quality parts that last. Your body shop can offer guidance as to which aftermarket part production companies are known for creating superior products.
3. Some Insurance Policies Require Aftermarket Parts
Whether your insurance policy requires you to use aftermarket parts depends on the specific details of your policy. Some policies require you to use aftermarket parts when available, as long as they perform as well as and maintain the same quality of their OEM alternatives.
If you know that you prefer OEM parts, it's possible to add a rider to some insurance policies that will cover the additional cost of these parts. However, if your vehicle has already been in an accident, it's too late to adjust your auto insurance for this collision. Instead, tell the auto body shop that you want to pay the price difference to use OEM parts to repair your vehicle out of pocket.