Buying replacement car parts can be expensive, especially if you don’t know your stuff when it comes to cars.

It’s important to do a little bit of research before buying a replacement car part, so here are a few things which you should be on the lookout for.

Getting the Right Part

It may sound obvious, but getting the right part for your vehicle can be more difficult than it actually sounds.

For example, many vehicles which have been in production for a long time will have several variants of the same part, based on the year of production.

Make sure that you check and check again before making your purchase that the part that you’re purchasing is actually compatible with your car.

This is doubly important if you’re buying from an aftermarket parts dealer, as these will often not accept returns.

Thankfully, many online parts sellers will require your registration number before letting you make a purchase, so you should be able to find the right part for you fairly easily, but if you’re in any doubt, refer to your vehicle owner’s manual.

Avoid Auction Sites

Many people are now choosing to buy their car parts online at auction sites such as eBay, however, we’d recommend looking elsewhere, as sellers are unlikely to check your vehicle registration, meaning you could end up with a wrong part which you can’t exchange or have refunded.

Many parts sold online are also likely to be aftermarket parts, meaning that they’re NOT parts which have been made by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

While aftermarket parts aren’t always of a lesser quality than genuine parts, you do take something of a risk when purchasing them, as they’re not designed to fit specifically with your car.

If in Doubt, Stick with A Mainstream Dealership

At the end of the day, your safest bet will always be to stick with the manufacturer’s official dealership, as they will know exactly the piece which you need for your car.

We spoke to genuine parts dealers VW Motor Parts who said: “While they might be a little bit more expensive, the peace of mind that you get from genuine parts is more than worth it.

“It’s also a lot easier to choose, because instead of being faced with loads of different variations on the same part, there’s just the one type, giving you less of a decision to make, and assuring that you get the right quality.”

What’s more, the parts might not be as expensive as you might have thought, as the amount of competition in the market these days has forced many manufacturers to lower their prices.

Warranties & Guarantees

It’s always important to have a warranty or guarantee to fall back on if something should go wrong with your car parts.

Unfortunately, many aftermarket parts are not covered by warranty, and what’s more, fitting them to your car will actually void the warranty of the vehicle as a whole.

This, of course, depends upon the specifics or your car’s warranty, but check out this blog post from Edmunds for more information on what will and won’t void its warranty.