Eventually, every car will need to be upgraded with automotive accessories to ensure the vehicle is road and driver safe. However, there is a lot to consider when deciding on vehicle accessorie4s, and one of the most important considerations is whether to purchase OEM or aftermarket car accessories. At times it can be challenging to choose between the two when there are so many different options available in the current market.
A savvy consumer finalises their decision after researching and looking at a brand’s reputation, warranty, availability, perceived quality, and price. Plus, vehicle owners will also want to consider personal requirements such as budget, lifestyle, and safety. So, let’s take a closer look at the differences between OEM and aftermarket accessories to help you make your personal choice easier by weighing out all the factors
Aftermarket Accessories vs. OEM/Genuine Accessories
Aftermarket vehicle parts are manufactured by a different company than the vehicle manufacturer. Aftermarket parts are often produced to be compatible with as many makes and models of cars as possible. For that reason, they may look different to OEM or genuine parts.
On the other hand, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, meaning that the parts are made by the same vehicle manufacturer, not by a third party.
3 Reasons to choose aftermarket accessories
Cost: Purchasing car accessories through a third-party provider will almost always be cheaper. How much you save will also vary by the aftermarket brand you are buying from, but generally, OEM accessories will cost 60 per cent more in value than an aftermarket one.
Shop around to discover the best price and get a good idea of how much that accessory actually costs. Depending on your situation and requirements, you can easily save a lot of money going for an aftermarket accessory with the help of a reputable aftermarket specialist.
Choice: Usually, a manufacturer will offer only one or a very limited number of options for accessories. When it comes to aftermarket accessories, you will have a vast range of car accessory options to choose from – all having differences in terms of price and quality. Aftermarket components will have a lot of options for you.
Furthermore, aftermarket accessories tend to be more easily accessible from most automotive professionals. On the other hand, you may only be able to find OEM accessories at a specific shop or from your local dealership.
Another thing to consider is that some accessories may not be available as a genuine product from a dealer. For example, the range of OEM accessories available on a specific model is directly down to the manufacturer. Some brands have plenty of options, and others offer the bare minimum. This can be especially true for accessories such as a back support for car or suspension accessories.
Quality: In some cases, the quality of the aftermarket accessories that you purchase may be of equal or more outstanding quality compared to OEM accessories. Years ago, when aftermarket products first started to compete with OEM suppliers, some vendors would have compromised quality to be price competitive. Nowadays, however, many aftermarket vendors realise the importance of quality, hence why you can find accessories that are close competitors to OEM counterparts.
There may also be the availability for better accessory options, primarily if the manufacturer has found ways to improve aspects of an OEM product. This thereby produces a more durable, reliable product and does not break the bank.
4 Reasons to choose Genuine/OEM accessories
Convenience: Purchasing a brand new car from a dealership is a significant investment financially, emotionally, and time-consuming. Even a straightforward purchase will consume an equitable amount of research to guarantee that you have made the right choice for the best price.
You can get your car delivered with all the accessories fitted rather than running around after delivery to add the final touches to your vehicle. For example, if you are after a car dash cam, ordering it as an OEM accessory at the time of your car purchase can ensure that the dash cam is prepared and installed for you as soon as you are ready to leave the dealership with your newly beloved car. So, if you do have accessories that you want to add to your purchase, it may be more convenient to buy them straight from the dealer.
Warranty: As a general rule, manufacturers warranty their genuine parts and accessories. No matter the quality of your aftermarket accessories, dealerships can claim that third-party installations may void particular parts of the standard new car warranty. This is particularly the case where certain modifications and additions impact the safety and performance of the vehicle.
Quality: OEM products offer greater quality assurance as they are manufactured directly from the car manufacturer and provide peace of mind regarding their familiarity and performance. They undergo rigorous industry and manufacturer testing before they are qualified for use and fit for sale. However, with a quality aftermarket manufacturer, they will always use high-quality materials and undertake the same safety training.
Resale: Not as notable as other factors, but if you plan to sell your car in 4-5 years, fitting your vehicle with a range of OEM accessories can sometimes add value to the vehicle. However, you can anticipate expecting a more excellent resale price if you have gone with genuine accessories in the first place.
Which Makes the Best Investment?
Whether you are looking for a back support for car installation or a high-quality car dash cam, both reputable OEMs and trustful aftermarket manufacturers can provide high-quality and safe products. However, if you are familiar with a range of brands or like to work on your own car, aftermarket accessories can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you are not so familiar with aftermarket brands, get all your accessories purchased and fitted at the dealership. OEM accessories are also a perfect choice if you don’t mind spending that extra penny for that piece of mind that dealers provide you.