Determining Best Part for Body Shop Aftermarket Parts Vs OEM Parts VS Recycled Parts

If you’ve been in an accident and you’re looking to have you car repaired, you’ll have to make a choice on the type of parts you want to use. Our customers are often confused by the difference between the kinds of parts out there. So, I’ll do my best to explain the different choices and why one might be better than another.

If you have to have parts replaced when your car is repaired, it’s likely you’ll have a choice of parts: Aftermarket Parts Vs OEM Parts VS Recycled Parts.

OEM Part

This is the part your car came with on it from the factory. It’s usually the easiest to get, the most likely to fit and least likely to cause you any concerns. For that, you pay a premium. It will be the most expensive option.

Aftermarket Part

These are parts made to replace the part that the factory made. Just because they’re not made by the original parts manufacturer doesn’t mean aftermarket parts aren’t high quality. Sometimes, like with mechanical parts, they are made in the same factory and just don’t have the factory stamp. Other times, they may not fit as well or not be an exact replacement. The key is knowing when to use them and when not to. The cost savings is sometimes makes this the sensible choice.

All that said, your insurance policy likely say that the aftermarket parts should be, “Like Kind and Quality.” That really means there shouldn’t be a difference. That leaves the judgment up to the shop installing the part to make sure that it’s a good part that looks good, is safe and will hold up over time.

One point I want to stress, is you can and should, use certified aftermarket parts. If you’re wondering about the quality about aftermarket parts, look for a certification. CAPA and NSF International are two certifications you should insist on. The certification means they are checked and certified to be the same as the factory part.

Recycled or Used Part

If you want to be sure that you only use factory parts and you want to watch your cost, you may choose to use recycled parts. If they are undamaged, they are literally the same thing and the cost savings can be substantial.

Why Do Insurance Companies use Cheaper Parts?

Most of the time when you buy an insurance policy it requires or allows the insurance company to buy the most cost effective part. At first look this seems like the insurance is cutting corners. In my opinion, this isn’t really true though.

To be fair, over the last 20 years, consumers have overwhelmingly chosen to make price the number one driver insurance policy purchase. To be competitive, the insurance companies have had to choose ways to cut cost. They use the same methods of controlling cost that many of our customers choose when paying out of their own pocket. One of them being making the most prudent cost conscious decision on parts. It’s sometimes the best decision for you, your car and to keep those insurance rates affordable.

Do I Have to Use Aftermarket Parts if My Insurance Company says I do?

This is a great question and it’s really a policy and coverage issue. If your policy requires the most cost effective part, then you likely have to stay with that agreement. It is what you bought and the insurance company is contractually held to repair per the policy. Sometimes, they will make exceptions. It’s always worth the discussion.
At the end of the day, only you get to choose what goes on your car. You choose the shop and the repair method. What this might mean is that you are paying the added cost over and above what the insurance contract agrees to.

If you are trying to decide whether your car is better to be repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts, ask your local body shop. At Collision Pros our staff is always here to help you make the best decision on what’s best for you and your car. Collision Pros have locations in Red Bluff, Chico, Paradise, Woodland and Auburn, California.

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