As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

Should I Buy Genuine or Aftermarket Car Parts?

There are a whole host of options to choose from when you are considering parts to repair your car.

The most well-known ones are genuine and aftermarket, which are perhaps the most popular choices as well. However, the other options extend to rebuilt, reconditioned, and recycled car parts. As a motorist, it’s important to know about each of them. Inevitably you will choose between these categories when you are required to carry out repairs and/or maintenance on your vehicle – or that decision will be made by a mechanic on your behalf. Let’s take a look at some of the considerations and differences.


The difference between genuine and aftermarket parts

Genuine and aftermarket car parts carry longer warranty coverage. Repairs conducted through a vehicle manufacturer or their dealer network will often utilise (new) genuine car parts. Independent repairers and mechanics will readily carry aftermarket replacements. While both are sourced new, the key difference is that genuine parts are those specified as the original equipment installed in the vehicle. They are the specific (OEM) parts listed in the vehicle’s build specifications.

Meanwhile, aftermarket car parts are those which at least conform to said specifications, and may even provide superior quality – think drive belts and coolant hoses which potentially last longer. With quality that rivals the OEM parts available, motorists often choose aftermarket parts because they can sometimes be significantly cheaper. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the parts to be manufactured by the same provider, with branding details instead carrying aftermarket branding, or scratched off altogether.


What are rebuilt and reconditioned parts?

Depending on the age of your vehicle, or the difficult associated with sourcing certain parts, it may become viable to use rebuilt or reconditioned parts. This is typically an option that mechanics will offer to motorists driving older vehicles, or classic cars, where the parts may cost a disproportionate amount compared to the value of the car. Rebuilt parts involve full disassembly, followed by remanufacturing the part to restore or include new components. Such parts are tested for conformance to manufacturers’ specifications and will typically have a generous warranty period.

Motorists often assume that reconditioned parts are the same as rebuilt parts. Although they are similar in their disassembly, their remanufacturing typically does not guarantee ongoing performance like rebuilt parts. This is because reconditioned parts are designed mostly to the extent that they will become functional once again. Nonetheless, both rebuilt and reconditioned parts can be significantly cheaper than OEM parts, and slightly cheaper than aftermarket parts.


How about recycled car parts?

Last but not least, recycled parts are from vehicles no longer in operation. They may be sourced from vehicles which were involved in a crash, no longer viable to run, scrapped, and so forth. Often favoured by DIY hobbyists who are repairing their own vehicle(s) on a budget, or owners of vehicles that have ceased production long ago, recycled parts vary considerably in their condition. As always, it’s beneficial to search for parts from a newer vehicle, or one with a lower odometer reading as its condition is likely to be better.

Cosmetic or functional parts may be attained with less concern for their condition. Performance parts, however, require greater attention to detail. They may mask hidden problems and are likely to have a shorter lifespan compared with other options mentioned earlier. In addition, they may not be covered by warranty. It’s also important to ensure the part matches your vehicle. If seeking help with installation, make sure your mechanic is comfortable installing said parts.

Even after all these years of increased regulations, and our last guide around the importance of authentic car parts, fake parts are still quite prolific. Always obtain your parts from a reputable supplier, merchant or qualified mechanic, since no dollar figure is worth your safety or that of your family.


  1. Car wreckers Auckland says:

    Wonderful information, thanks a lot for sharing kind of content with us. Your blog gives the best and the most interesting information. I wonder if we can gather such practical information about should I buy genuine or aftermarket car parts. Great one!! Do check out this it has some great and nice ideas to look for.

    September 1st, 2020 at 6:27 pm