Consumer laws mean that you no longer have to buy expensive manufacturer-branded parts even if your car is newAs car repair bills continue their inexorable rise, more and more people are shopping around for cheaper parts, and for cheaper places to have them fitted.
Less well known is the fact that this freedom of choice isnt restricted to used-car owners. New laws allow you to choose who fixes your car, and which parts are fitted to it, even if the car is only a few months old and approaching its first service.
Fitting non-manufacturer-branded parts could slash your bill by up to 50% but there are catches to be aware of. Before you start shopping, get informed.
Will non-branded parts affect my warranty?
Your warranty wont be invalidated so long as any replacement part is either the original component that was designed and built for your car, or a part of matching quality (sometimes also called original-equipment quality). This means the part has been produced to the same design and technical specification as the original and is guaranteed by the parts maker to work in the same way.
Parts must also be fitted by a competent garage and in line with the car makers service schedule. You should always ensure the parts used are recorded in the vehicles service history, along with receipts and other paperwork, especially if you source the components yourself.
Fitting parts of original-equipment quality is also the key to retaining the cars residual value. Poor-quality parts that affect the cars performance could knock its value when you come to sell it.
Also be aware that, while car manufacturers must honour your warranty even if their own-branded parts have not been fitted to the car, they will be less likely to help out with the cost of a post-warranty repair if they consider you have been disloyal to their brand.