- Car Insurance
- Car Insurance Basics
Updated on March 24, 2022
Reviewed bySamantha Silberstein
In This Article
In This Article
- Definition and Example of Aftermarket Parts(Video) What Are Aftermarket Parts
- How Aftermarket Parts Work
- Types of Aftermarket Parts
- Aftermarket Parts vs. OEM
- How to Get Aftermarket or OEM Parts
Aftermarket parts are replacement parts used in car repairs. They are not made by the car's original manufacturer, unlike original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which are.
- Aftermarket parts are replacement parts used in car repairs. They're not made by the car's original manufacturer.
- Using aftermarket or generic parts in repairs should not interfere with your vehicle's warranty.
- There are no safety implications of using cosmetic aftermarket parts, but structural aftermarket parts must exactly replicate the original parts to preserve the vehicle's safety and crashworthiness.
- Policies about the use of aftermarket versus OEM parts can vary among states and insurance companies.
Definition and Example of Aftermarket Parts
Aftermarket parts are replacement parts for car repairs that are made by a company other than the car's original manufacturer. An insurance company may have the option of using aftermarket parts instead of original manufacturer parts (OEM) when it comes to repairing a carafter an accident. A number of auto body shops also use aftermarket parts in repairs.
Using aftermarket or generic parts should not interfere with your vehicle's warranty. Aftermarket parts may even have longer warranties than OEM parts in some cases.
The terms of your lease will state whether using aftermarket parts in repairs is allowed if you have a leased vehicle.
Data indicates that aftermarket parts are safe. There are no safety implications of using cosmetic crash parts or aftermarket parts, but using aftermarket structural parts such as hoods may have safety implications. Aftermarket structural parts must exactly replicate the original parts to preserve the vehicle's safety and crashworthiness.
- Alternate names: Generic parts, non-OEM parts, competitive replacement parts
How Aftermarket Parts Work
Aftermarket parts have gained popularity and acceptance as good alternatives to manufacturer parts. They may be superior to OEM parts in some cases. The manufacturers of generic or aftermarket parts may use more expensive materials or more advanced technology than a car manufacturer.
OEM parts cost 60% more on average than the average price of a comparable aftermarket part. They're used by insurance companies and body shops when repairing vehicles after accidents because of the cost savings.
The insurance industry is regulated at the state level, so the decision to use or not to use aftermarket parts is determined state by state. States may:
- Allow insurance companies the use of generic or aftermarket parts without the consumers' consent.
- Require that consumers be notified if aftermarket parts were used on their vehicle.
- Require consumer consent for the use of aftermarket parts.
- Ban the use of aftermarket parts to repair a vehicle.
Regulations on using aftermarket parts can also vary among insurance companies. Some may require the use of OEM parts. Others may use aftermarket parts when possible to save on repair costs.
You can ask your insurance adjuster what kind of parts will be used in the repair. Some insurance companies will allow you to use OEM parts or may offer you the option with additional costs attached to cover the difference in price.
Types of Aftermarket Parts
There are two main types of aftermarket parts. Understanding the difference can help you decide whether you're comfortable with a repair being done using generic parts, or whether you'd feel safer using OEM parts. Aftermarket parts can be either cosmetic or structural.
Cosmetic parts can impact how a vehicle functions or looks, but they don't affect its safety in a crash, such as the fenders, door skin, or trim. They don't change a car's safety and crashworthiness, so where cosmetic parts are sourced is a matter of price and availability. As long as aftermarket parts are reliable and well made, they shouldn't impact your vehicle's function, safety, or warranty.
Structural parts, such as the hood or safety cage, are responsible for absorbing the force of a crash. They protect the driver and riders. These parts should be certified by theCertified Automobile Parts Association (CAPA), which has high standards and guidelines for aftermarket parts.
The testing that the parts go through for CAPA certification must determine that they're "functionally equivalent" to OEM parts. This means they perform the same in safety tests and not simply of like kind and quality.
Aftermarket Parts vs. OEM
|OEM Parts||Aftermarket Parts|
|Made by the vehicle's original manufacturer||Made by someone other than the original manufacturer|
|More expensive||Less expensive|
|Won't impact cars' crashworthiness||Won't impact cars' crashworthiness if certified|
|May have limited availability||Easier to source and use quickly|
|Won't impact car warranty||Shouldn't impact car warranty|
The primary difference between OEM and aftermarket parts is price. Repairs are less expensive when aftermarket parts are used. This can save money for insurance companies and consumers and reduce total losses if insurance companies pay out less in claims and find less-expensive ways to repair vehicles after an accident. Consumers benefit by paying less for insurance overall when total losses paid out by insurance companies are less. They may have to adjust their overall car insurance rates when insurers pay high losses.
How to Get Aftermarket or OEM Parts
Many insurance companies may use aftermarket parts for collision repairs. There are steps you can take if you're concerned about this practice, so you can be aware and make a decision about wanting aftermarket parts used for your car.
- Ask your insurance company: Learn what policies are in place for using aftermarket parts. Some states have laws about generic or aftermarket part use. Each insurance company may have unique conditions in its policy wordings.
- Know your state laws: Check with yourstate insurance commissionerto find out which laws apply in your state. Determine whether the insurance company is following state policies on the use of aftermarket parts.
- Request the part you want: You can ask that OEM parts be used instead if youfind outthat the insurance company uses aftermarket parts. You may have to shop around for an insurance company that has an aftermarket crash parts policy that you feel more comfortable with if the insurance company denies your request.
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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Insurance Information Institute. "FAQs About Direct Repair Programs and Generic Auto Parts."
Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. "IIHS Responds to Tests Involving Aftermarket Repair Parts."
American Property Casualty Insurance Association. "Aftermarket Parts Are Good For Maryland Consumers."
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What are aftermarket parts? ›
What are Aftermarket Parts? Aftermarket parts are replacement parts that are not made by the original equipment manufacturer. Aftermarket parts are used to replace damaged parts in automobiles and other equipment, but their use may alter the coverage of an insured item.What makes a car part aftermarket? ›
Aftermarket parts, also called generic parts, are made by a company other than your vehicle's original manufacturer. They're brand new replacement parts—not used parts. They're made by a third-party manufacturer, so they might not be a perfect fit the same way OEM parts are.How do you describe an aftermarket? ›
- the market for replacement parts, accessories, and equipment for the care or enhancement of the original product, esp. an automobile, after its sale to the consumer. ...
- any additional market created by a product after the primary market. ...
- Stock Exchange See secondary market.
Aftermarket parts (also known as generic parts or non-OEM parts) are made by a manufacturer other than your vehicle's original manufacturer. These parts are designed to perform the same function as the original part and can be used as replacements for the car's original parts when doing repairs.What are examples of aftermarket? ›
“Aftermarket” includes vehicle parts, equipment, replacement tires, service repair, collision repair and accessories, sold after the sale of the original vehicle.Are aftermarket parts good? ›
High-quality aftermarket parts are as good as OEM parts, or in some cases, can perform better. You really do get what you pay for, and the higher the cost, the better the build or materials. There are hundreds of manufacturers to choose from, so be sure to ask your mechanic about your options.What is the difference between aftermarket and genuine parts? ›
A genuine part is a part supplied by the vehicle manufacturer in their packaging. Aftermarket parts are parts produced by any other company. Often they are reverse engineered to be a very close to the original specification. Many options are available which can vary wildly in price and quality.How can you tell the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts? ›
OEM parts are made by the car manufacturer's factory, not by a third party. They tend to fit perfectly because the car manufacturer backs them. Aftermarket parts are often manufactured by a company other than your car's manufacturer.What is the opposite of aftermarket? ›
Aftermarket. An OEM is the opposite of a third-party manufacturer that produces parts for sale in the aftermarket. An OEM refers to something made specifically for the original product, while the aftermarket refers to equipment made by another company that a consumer may use as a replacement.What is an aftermarket good? ›
Accordingly, the "aftermarket goods" mainly include products and services for replacement parts, upgrade, maintenance and enhancement of the use of its original equipment.
What is aftermarket condition? ›
Aftermarket parts are replacement parts for car repairs that are made by a company other than the car's original manufacturer. An insurance company may have the option of using aftermarket parts instead of original manufacturer parts (OEM) when it comes to repairing a car after an accident.Is AutoZone an aftermarket? ›
For more than 43 years, AutoZone has been committed to providing the best parts, prices and customer service in the automotive aftermarket industry. We have a rich culture and history of going the Extra Mile for our customers and our community.Are AutoZone parts aftermarket? ›
If something is wrong with your vehicle, take a quick trip to AutoZone for any car, SUV, or truck parts you need. We carry both genuine OEM and aftermarket parts that meet or exceed OE performance.Are tires aftermarket parts? ›
An aftermarket part may be directly regulated (ex: lighting equipment, tires, mirrors, brake hoses) or it may be indirectly regulated (i.e., a part may not take the vehicle out-of-compliance when installed).Are dealer parts better than aftermarket? ›
OEM parts are manufactured to fit your vehicle and work like they're supposed to with your car's systems. Longer life. Because they are made in the same way as genuine parts, OEM parts tend to be more reliable than aftermarket parts and last for longer.What is the difference between genuine and aftermarket parts? ›
A genuine part is a part supplied by the vehicle manufacturer in their packaging. Aftermarket parts are parts produced by any other company. Often they are reverse engineered to be a very close to the original specification. Many options are available which can vary wildly in price and quality.