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OEM vs Aftermarket Parts – What’s the difference?

If your car is in need of repairs, OEM and aftermarket parts are both viable options for repairing your vehicle.

What’s the difference? Which type is better? In this post, we discuss whether a more expensive part is actually better.

What’s the difference between OEM and Aftermarket parts?

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer and means the parts are made specifically for the car manufacturer directly, rather than being available to everyone.

Typically, they’ll fit the specifications of your car exactly but will also cost more.

Aftermarket parts are manufactured usually as a more cost effective alternative to OEM. They’re made to match the specifications of the OEM part and are often produced at high volume to sell into the aftermarket suppliers.

Sometimes, they are mistakenly viewed as being of lesser quality compared to OEM parts, although this is largely untrue. Trusted aftermarket parts manufacturers produce high-quality parts similar in both like and kind to those made for original car manufacturers – the only difference is that they can on occassions not fit perfectly, however this is rare and they do tend to be far less expensive.

Which parts are better?

If your car has been damaged or in need of repair your priority is finding suitable parts in as short a time period as possible. Because of this, many of us are happy to buy aftermarket parts – after all, they’re cheaper, and they do the same job.

Those concerned with buying only OEM parts tend to be car enthusiasts and body shop repairers, as well as owners of brand new vehicles.

However, both parts are manufactured to do the same job, and if it comes down to a matter of price, you can’t be faulted for choosing aftermarket parts.

Does it matter which type of part I choose?

In all honesty, whether this choice matters is down to individual preference.

Buying OEM parts will ensure your vehicle is kept in as close to its original state as possible. If this is of great concern for you, it makes sense to purchase OEM parts.

However, if you’re less concerned with maintaining the ‘new’ feeling of your car and more interested in keeping it running, you may find aftermarket parts do the job for you.

Will insurance cover OEM parts?

Check your insurance policy carefully to see if it covers OEM parts. Usually, insurance policies cover only aftermarket parts because they’re more cost-effective, although some companies only cover used or recycled parts.

If you wish to only use OEM parts in the event of an accident, talk to your insurance advisor. They’ll be able to direct you towards a policy which covers repairs using OEM parts, though be prepared to shell out a little more monthly for this convenience.

Will using Aftermarket parts affect the value of my vehicle?

Take into account that a damaged vehicle will be valued lower than one that was never damaged, especially if there has been airbag deployment, or structural damage.

With that in mind, a car repaired using OEM parts and one repaired using aftermarket parts will rarely experience differentiation in value. The choice is there more for your preference, rather than to maintain the value of your vehicle.

Get in touch

Advanced Radiators sell brand new Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Aftermarket car radiators, commercial radiators, heaters, intercoolers, air conditioning parts, cooling fans and oil coolers nationwide.

If you’d like to make a parts inquiry, you can use the form on our contact page. We also encourage you to contact one of our specialist advisors, for help tailored to your situation. Give us a call on 0191 267 3312, or email We look forward to speaking with you.

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