When your car requires repairs, do you head back to the official dealership? Or do you chance your arm at an independent garage?

There might be a bigger difference than you’d think, and while you might think you’re getting a better deal heading to an independent garage, we’ve got three reasons which might change your mind.

It comes down to the fact that original dealerships use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, whereas others are more likely to use aftermarket parts.

Quality

The most important thing about any parts is their quality. After all, using less than adequate parts not only means that your car is more likely to break down again in the near future, but it also puts you and your family in danger, should anything go wrong.

We spoke to genuine Honda parts dealer Cox Motor Parts who said: “Like with most other things, you get what you pay for when it comes to car parts and it’s not worth taking the risk with aftermarket parts.

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“While they’re not necessarily all of inferior quality, aftermarket parts are usually able to be sold at such cheap prices because they’re made with inferior materials compared to OEM parts.”

So unless you know your stuff and you’re sure that you’re going with a reputable aftermarket brand, we’d recommend not taking the chance and playing it safe.

Also bear in mind that many insurance companies encourage garages to use aftermarket parts to keep their own costs down, so it’s important that you check this and make sure to request they use OEM parts if you wish.

Selection

While this could be spun as either a pro or a con, aftermarket parts have a huge selection of product for you to choose from.

Even the smallest and seemingly simple parts will have multiple variants from many different brands at an independent garage.

While this might initially seem like a great advantage over OEM parts, unless you’re an expert, the amount of choice is likely to be overwhelming.

If you don’t know what you’re doing and simply make your choice based on the cheapest part, you could be putting yourself at risk of buying a part of a lesser quality.

On the other hand, OEM pieces only come in one type, which is exactly same as the one they’re replacing on your car.

Not only does this give you peace of mind, but it makes your decision a lot easier!

Warranty

Most OEM parts are backed up by a warranty of at least a year, meaning you’re covered if anything does happen to go wrong.

On the other hand, a lot of aftermarket parts will not have a warranty as a way to keep costs down.

It’s something of a grey area as to whether installing aftermarket parts will void your vehicle’s warranty.

According to Autotrader, an aftermarket part can only void your warranty if a dealer can prove that it was that part that caused the car to need repairs.

However, it’s up to you whether you wish to take the risk, as buying aftermarket parts may be a little bit cheaper to begin with but could wind up landing you with a much bigger bill in the long term.