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Auto Repair: Are You Entitled to Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts?

The aftermath of a car accident can be a nightmare. Not only do you have to deal with no car, you also need to pay for it. Insurance will cover a lot of the cost in most cases. However, you need to know what you’re getting when you go to the repair shop.

One of the biggest distinctions is between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and non-OEM replacement parts. People generally prefer OEM parts; but getting these can lead to a few challenges, as you’ll see below. Are you entitled to OEM parts when you need auto repair? The answer is a bit complicated.

What Is the Difference Between OEM and Non-OEM?

The main difference between OEM and non-OEM is their origination. OEM parts were made by the company that built your vehicle, for your specific vehicle. Non-OEM parts are created as aftermarket items to as stand-ins. The benefit of non-OEM parts is that they’re generally less expensive than their OEM counterparts. Though, some people argue the lower price comes with a decrease in quality.

The reason why non-OEM parts are so much less expensive than OEM lies in initial costs. Car companies needed to spend a lot of money to develop their own vehicle systems. This required research, advertising, and other expenses. Aftermarket suppliers don’t have these obligations. They can just reproduce parts without the initial legwork.

Can You Get OEM Parts?

When you get in an accident, your instinct will be to get OEM parts for your vehicle. After all, the pieces are specially made for your car. It will likely cost you extra money if you want to do this. Insurers will often cover the cost of aftermarket parts, but make consumers pay the difference if they want OEM ones. This might seem unfair at first; but let’s consider the picture holistically.

One of the great benefits of aftermarket parts is that they create a market for replacement goods. If there were only OEM parts, auto companies could price gouge everyone else. This would end up costing insurance companies much more money. And if they need to pay more to fix your vehicle, your rates will rise accordingly. Without the existence of non-OEM parts, you would probably be paying much more for auto insurance. But you can still do an auto insurance rate comparison to see what’s out there. Some plans might always include OEM part costs in repairs. If this is important to you, consider opting for one of these plans.

What About Salvaged Parts?

In some cases, it’s possible to use salvaged or recycled parts for repairs. This is typically only offered when individuals have cut-rate auto insurance policies. This is certainly the most cost-effective way to go about vehicle repairs. The obvious drawback here is that refurbished parts have already been used. And for that reason, they won’t have the lifespan of a brand-new product. These parts will typically be OEM if they’re been recycled. However, in almost all cases, it’s better to get aftermarket parts than ones than have already seen a lot of use.

It makes sense that people will naturally want OEM parts for their automotive repairs. Still, it’s important to understand why this isn’t always the best thing for insurers or consumers. If people only used OEM replacement parts, costs would be dictated entirely by car companies. This would essentially afford them a monopoly over the entire process. Consider the cost-benefit of each piece when deciding if you want OEM or non-OEM parts.

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