Has your car broken down again? Well, we feel for you, but you’re definitely not alone. Indeed, the American Automobile Association rescues more than 30 million American drivers from the roadside every year!
If you’re like most people, you’ll want the repairs to be made ASAP, to a high-quality, and without being too expensive. And that’s where sourcing your own car parts comes into play! Unlike people who leave it to the mechanic, the DIY approach means you know exactly what’s being installed and how much the parts cost.
The tricky bit’s identifying the best place to buy car parts from in the first place! With so many suppliers out there (both online and offline), how do you know which one to use? For help with that endeavor, check out our comprehensive guide on where to buy car parts.
Buying car parts in-store from local suppliers has been the go-to method for generations. Heck, before the internet came along, it was essentially the only way to buy parts! Whether your vehicle’s broken down or you’re trying to upgrade it somehow, going to a local supplier’s still a viable option.
Imagine someone who wants to install a high-flow cold air intake system to make the most fuel efficient pickup truck possible. Their local auto parts store might be the perfect place to start the search. The prices will be higher, but they’d be able to talk to knowledgeable staff, ask for recommendations, and compare parts to find the best ones possible.
Even if the first supplier you visit doesn’t have what you need, they may direct you to another store that could help. An added bonus? Any purchases you make will support a local business instead of a big-name brand.
Affordability’s one thing that most small independent auto businesses can’t offer. So, if you’re on a tight budget, huge nationwide chains could be an ideal alternative. Don’t expect the same level of customer service, but the economies of scale in play mean you can purchase high-quality parts at discount prices.
Walmart’s auto section’s a prime example of this in action. Few people associate Walmart with car parts, but they offer a good range of basic items at the competitive prices we know and love! You also have the luxury of buying in-store or through their website.
Furthermore, anyone who orders online can choose to collect their items in-store. The result? You skip the shipping costs and enjoy further financial savings!
Any list of the best place to buy auto parts online would be incomplete without Rock Auto. A reputable name in the industry, it’s an incredible resource for anyone who knows which car part(s) they need. Visit their site and you’ll have access to a huge range of auto parts for every vehicle under the sun.
Rock Auto sources parts from hundreds of manufacturers too. That level of choice brings the cost of parts down, helping you find makes and models that fall within budget.
The only issue? Unlike some online stores, the buyer has to cover shipping costs. In some cases (such as bigger, heavier orders, for example), this could negate the financial savings you make on the parts themselves.
Advance Auto Parts
Another big name in the industry, Advance Auto Parts has a whopping 5000 stores spread out around America. No matter where you are in the country, you should have access to one! And that’s good news given:
- Their extensive catalog of car parts, and
- The price incentives you get from operating at scale.
Go to Advance Auto Parts and you can purchase everything from brakes and batteries to auto accessories and essential engine fluids. We love the fact that customers have myriad purchase options too. You can shop in-store, get items delivered to your door, or order online and pick them up when they’re ready.
It even has an app! Download the Advance Auto Parts app onto your smartphone and you’ll be able to a) find the part(s) you need and b) order them if they’re available!
eBay’s been used for years as a reliable online source of car parts. An enormous website that connects buyers with sellers, you can purchase almost anything on it nowadays! Whether you’re searching for specific engine parts for a particular model or generic engine oil, you should find it here (and eBay Motors).
Another advantage of shopping on eBay is its powerful search tool. You can use this feature to filter specific years, categories, conditions, types, makes, and models, and so on. This narrows down your hunt and speeds up the entire buying process.
A word of caution though: always read the reviews and avoid offers that seem too good to be true. Untrustworthy sellers are less common on eBay than they used to be, but they definitely exist (especially when you’re buying aftermarket parts). A diligent, cautious approach will help you avoid rip-offs and cons.
On the subject of internet giants, why not turn to Amazon for your car parts as well? Similar to eBay, this digital marketplace sells almost everything under the sun! It boasts the same ability to filter your search results too, facilitating efficiency throughout the process.
Top tip: Amazon can be of particular value if you need new tires. The online retailer has a ‘Home Services’ section through which you can either pay to have tires either:
- Fitted at a convenient local location, or
- Shipped to your door and installed by the pros there and then.
Remember the Best Place to Buy Car Parts
Sourcing your own auto parts is a great way to save money and take control when your car breaks down or requires upgrades. The only downside? With endless stores and suppliers to choose from, finding the best place to buy car parts online or offline can be a struggle!
With any luck, though, the suggestions in this article will help you do it. Keep them in mind and you’ll have your hands on quality car parts in no time. To learn more about these kinds of mechanical matters, browse the ‘Car Repair’ section of the website now.