The dos and don'ts of buying new car parts

The Dos & Don'ts of Buying New Car Parts

Sometimes accidents happen and cars can become damaged. For minor damage, it may be possible to replace damaged parts of the car yourself.

Alternatively, there are usually a wide range of cosmetic car parts people can buy to spruce up their vehicle.

While there are plenty of reasons to buy a car part either online or in person, the process can be tricky, particularly for somebody who is not particularly comfortable in the area of car maintenance.

Perrys Motors sells its own car parts - in fact, the Doncaster Vauxhall dealership has recently sold its 5,000th car part on popular auction website eBay - as an aftersales service.

To help you find the best car parts for your vehicle, you'll find some useful advice on buying car parts below.

What sort of car parts can I buy?

Probably the most popular car parts are cosmetic or practical parts such as roof bars, windscreen wipers, and a new light for the glove box.

However, the number and scope of parts is huge and can even include engine parts, brake parts and safety systems such as airbags.

With such a wide range of parts available, deciding on which ones to buy yourself can be a minefield.

Should I buy a new car part?

The decision to buy a new car part is based on a number of factors, not least the owner's mechanical knowledge, the importance of the required part and the cost of the part.

The first point to mention is that if the part is an important one and could damage the safety of the occupants or other people, it is probably better to take it in to a professional to fix.

Driving in a car that is not road safe is illegal and can result in prosecution, so you need to be extra careful when fitting your own parts.

However, parts such as windscreen wipers and gearstick knobs are cheap and straightforward to fit. These are the sort of parts that are much easier to buy and fit yourself.

Engine parts, brake pads and electronic devices will be much more difficult to repair and could result in the car being dangerous if fitted incorrectly.

The individual skills and experience of the owner is also important. Some people are comfortable fixing their car themselves and have the required skills and knowledge.

However, somebody who does not know what they are doing could get it wrong and even cause more damage to the car. If it is a major part, it could even invalidate a warranty (see below).

Car parts range from small things such as seat belt bolt covers to engine parts, and each decision to buy a new car part and fit it yourself should be based on the importance of the part in question.

Benefits of buying car parts

Buying a new car part can have a number of benefits. Firstly, fitting a replacement part for your car means you do not have to pay any labour costs (or VAT) at your local garage.

A little knowledge could save you money in labour costs and the owner can ensure the job is done properly. It also means the owner can track down cheaper parts than the garage by using unofficial instead of official parts.

Other benefits include the ability to customise the car to the owners' liking - not to mention the feeling of achievement after fixing a problem for yourself!

Cons of buying car parts

Sadly, for every benefit there is also a downside and each owner must make the decision by balancing the two.

For example, while labour costs are avoided, the security of knowing an expert has fitted the part is not there and the part will not have a warranty.

Secondly, unofficial parts may be more unreliable and could even invalidate a warranty if fitted, despite the savings.

Warranties and new car parts

Most new cars come with a warranty covering parts, usually with the exception of general wear and tear to items such as tyres and brake pads.

When parts are replaced at official garages, they are generally covered by a warranty as well and if they are not, an external warranty can be bought covering parts and labour.

If new car parts are fitted by the owner, they will not come under the warranty and some warranties will be voided if unofficial parts are fitted. It is important to read the individual warranty for your car to see what is covered and what isn't.

For example, under the General Motors warranty all Vauxhall parts offer a minimum of 12 months, unlimited mileage warranty. All GM warranties are Europe-wide and cover both parts and labour. In the unlikely event that a GM parts develops a fault due to a material or manufacturing defect, owners can call the service department of any Vauxhall dealer who will arrange to have the part replaced and fitted free of charge.

Where to buy car parts

To avoid any problems with warranties and to ensure any new car parts are of sufficiently high quality, it is always advisable to buy from a reputable dealer.

Perrys Motors has an extensive aftersales service and our service dealerships will be happy to talk you through the options including buying new car parts or having them fitted by trained experts.

However, more and more new car part buyers are looking for deals and the internet is the ideal place to start. You can find new car part news in our news section, or visit the Perrys car parts eBay pages for extensive new car part listings for a variety of different models.

With a 99.9 per cent feedback from over 5,000 sales, Perrys Motors is a respected seller of new car parts to a huge amount of customers.

What about used car parts?

Buying a used car part may be a cheaper option but it is also a riskier option because the part is more likely to fail or be less efficient.

If possible, it is always advisable to buy a new car part. However, with older or classic cars this is not always possible.

If that is the case, it is always advisable to get an expert to check the part over and even fit it if possible to reduce the risk of things going wrong.