On average, you will probably spend about 168,880 pounds on cars during your lifetime.
Fortunately, you can cut some of these cost by buying used auto parts when your car needs maintenance.
Take a look at this quick used car parts guide to save yourself some extra money this year.
Why Should I Buy Used Auto Parts?
Car dealerships can charge a lot of money for auto parts you could get for a fraction of the cost used. Most of the time, used auto parts function just as well brand new parts. When you buy used parts, you can keep your car running and save a heap of money.
Buying used parts is also good for the environment. When you buy used parts, you keep those parts out of the landfills.
Used parts are relatively easy to get your hands on as well, but you do need to be careful and do your research. You don’t want to end up with a part that doesn’t work for your car or that doesn’t work at all.
So here are seven tips that will help you buy the best used auto parts.
1. Pick a Place to Buy
There are a lot of different ways to buy used auto parts. You can find them at a used auto parts store, at local breakers yards, or even online.
Before you shop anywhere, you’ll need to do some research and see what the car part you need is selling for in the area. This will let you know how much you should pay for the part and if some places are asking a price that’s too high.
If you decide to buy at a breakers yard, you can usually haggle with the price a bit, but be polite and respectful. Don’t try to get them to sell you a part that’s in good shape for the price of a part that isn’t.
You need to be extra careful when you’re shopping online. The part that’s shown in the picture may not be the actual part you’re paying for. Call the seller to figure out exactly what part they are selling and if it will work with your car.
Always ask around before making your final choice. You don’t want to waste your time going to breakers yards that are below average. Check with your friends and family or take a look at some online reviews for the places that interest you.
2. Make Sure You Know the Exact Auto Part You Need
You should know everything you can about the part before you buy it, including things like your vehicles identification number, or VIN.
If the part is small enough, you should bring it with you when you go to buy a new one. This will help make sure you get the correct part you need, and it will also help you spot a duplicate part.
Duplicated parts aren’t hard to make, and because they are only copies, they are not safe. The good news is they are usually easy to spot. A duplicate will look slightly different from your part or will have small errors like an incorrect logo.
3. Know the History of the Used Auto Part
Before you buy anything, make sure you know the history of the part you want to purchase. You’ll want to know how old the part is and the part’s mileage.
You should also ask how the part is being sold, as a used part, a repaired part, or a remanufactured part.
You don’t want to end up with a part that is going to give out after a few more miles.
4. Check the Return Policy
If you do end up with a part that doesn’t work for your car or really does give out after a few miles, you’ll want to make sure you can return or exchange the part.
You need to know all the conditions and fine print before you buy. If the seller you’ve decided to buy from doesn’t offer any kind of warranty, you should probably just find a new one.
If there is no warranty and you buy a used part that doesn’t work, you’ll have to spend double the money to get the part again.
5. Try to Buy Used Auto Parts That Match the Rest of Your Car
This is especially important if the part you’re buying will be visible from the outside.
It can be expensive to repaint the car so it’s all the same colour. If you find a part that works for your car but that isn’t the right colour, you may be better off trying to find another part that will work.
Try your best to make the colour match, or even if it is a different colour, try picking a colour that will at least tie into the rest of the vehicle. Of course, this is all based on your personal preference. If you don’t mind a mismatched car, you can pick whatever colour part you want.
6. Check the Safety of the Used Part
Some car parts play a bigger role in the overall safety of the car than others. If the part you need to replace is a large safety part, you may be better off buying it from a dealer.
But this isn’t always the case. Ask around and use your discretion.
7. Car Dealerships Should Be Your Last Choice
If you’re trying to save money, car dealerships are the last place you want to go.
Buying used auto parts is usually a better option, but if you can’t find the part you need for your car model at a local used parts store, a breakers yard, or on the internet, you may have to use the dealership.
But this shouldn’t be a common problem.
Don’t Break the Bank for Your Car
Keeping your car running can be expensive, but it becomes much more manageable when you buy used auto parts instead of new ones. Be patient, be careful, and go out and find the part you need.
Need help finding used parts? Let us know and we’ll help you get what you need!