Test Driving a Vehicle on a Car Lot – Who Pays When You Get In An Accident?

February 16th, 2012 Chad Posted in Accidents No Comments »

You are on a car lot and choose a car to test drive. You pull out into traffic and—wham! An accident! What now? Are you responsible for the damage to the car? Doesn’t the car lot have insurance on its vehicles?

car lot test drive crash - who pays?Who pays the deductible for this claim? These are all questions which may occur to you after such an incident, and it is important to know the right answers.

Otherwise, you might be stuck with paying bills which are not rightfully yours, or believe you are exempt from paying damages you actually owe.

Car lots do carry insurance on their vehicles. In most cases, this insurance covers anyone who drives the car, so a “test-driver” would automatically be covered.

However, if the test driver caused the accident, the liability scenario may change. Further, if someone else caused the accident, it is possible that their insurance will be responsible for the damages to the vehicle, as well as paying your medical expenses.

One other variable is whether the state you are in is a liability or no-fault state. In order to understand how each of these factors affects the outcome of this situation, let us look at them individually.

First, think about a scenario where you are not at fault in the accident, and where you live in a liability state. Suppose, for example, you are test driving a car in Georgia and someone rear-ends you, causing damage to the vehicle and causing you to have whiplash.

In this case, the other person’s insurance policy would have to pay not only for the damages to the vehicle, but also the medical expenses you incurred.

However, if this same accident happened in a no-fault state, such as Michigan, then the at-fault driver’s insurance would only pay for damages to his vehicle and his medical bills. The dealership’s insurance would be required to pay for your expenses and the damage to the car.

The dealership could also try to “subrogate,” or claim against your personal insurance policy, to recover their deductible, and their insurance company could attempt to get your insurer to reimburse them for the cost of the damages. Of course, this would be between the companies and you would not be charged any money.

What about a scenario where you were at fault? If you live in a liability state, depending on the laws of that state, your insurance policy or the dealer’s would have to pay for the damages to both the car you were driving and the victim’s car.

Further, if the dealership’s insurance did pay, it could attempt to collect from you or your insurance company for the amount expended. Normally, drivers who hold a liability policy are covered by that policy for any car they drive, so your insurance would likely pick up the claim, even though you did not own the car in question.

In a no-fault state, your no-fault policy would pay for your damages but not the other person’s. In this case, the victim’s no-fault policy would pay his damages.

If you did not have no-fault insurance, the dealership’s insurer would be forced to pay, and might try to collect the amount from you.

In most cases, dealerships carry sufficient insurance to allow them to make a quick claim for damages against their own policy, and will not try to collect from a test driver.

However, if you are liable for the accident, the dealership has the right to attempt to collect the deductible they paid as well as the damages from you or your insurance company.

If the accident was a serious one, with severe injuries or loss of life, it is more likely the insurance companies and individuals involved would attempt to subrogate or would file suit against the at-fault driver for the damages, which might exceed policy limits.

How Can You Obtain Your Vehicle’s Diminished Value From Your Insurance Agency?

February 9th, 2012 Chad Posted in Accidents No Comments »

If your car has been in a wreck, one unpleasant fact which must be faced is that it is now worth less than the same model of car which has not been in an accident.

This decrease in value is known as “diminished value.” What is not commonly known is that your insurance company, or the insurance company of the person who caused your accident, can be made to pay you the difference in the diminished value of your car.

car, salvage crashThe trick to getting this payment is first, knowing about it, and secondly, requesting it.

Many insurance companies will deny such a claim at first, trying to keep customers from cashing in on this value. However, it is important that you get a check for your diminished value because when you sell your vehicle, you will probably receive less than market price.

In these days of “show me the Carfax,” a car which has been in an accident will not go long undetected.

Buyers are aware of this, and often seek out reports which show the history of the car which they are buying. It is almost certain that a car with an accident in its history will bring less in a sale than one which has not been wrecked.

Because of this, it is vital that you claim your diminished value immediately upon having a claim filed on your vehicle.

There are steps you can take to ensure that your company pays you the full diminished value claim, and does not try to put you off with unnecessary roadblocks.

You must realize that your diminished value claim will be filed and handled separately from your liability, collision, or comprehensive claim. You will be dealing with an adjustor separately from your original claim, although the same adjustor may handle both and some of the same paperwork may be involved.

There are three basic types of diminished value claims, although only one is commonly granted. You might have a diminished value claim if the repair work on your car was substandard, or if the adjustor wrote up an estimate which notes that, for example, aftermarket parts were used when factory parts should have been utilized.

Both of these types are uncommon and may require a bit of expert help. The third type, the inherent diminished value claim, is the most common and easiest to file.

You should notify your insurance company that you want to file a diminished value claim after your liability or collision claim has been handled.

The company will assign an adjustor to your claim who will contact you for information. You should have the following pieces of information ready to show to the adjustor:

1) You were not at fault in the accident.
2) The at-fault party was insured or you have uninsured motorist coverage if the at-fault party was uninsured.
3) Your vehicle is a newer model (less than 10 years old).
4) The damage totaled at least 10 percent of the value of the car, or $2,000 minimum.
5) The car was not “totaled,” in which case you would have been paid the value of the vehicle anyway.

If you can show these things to the adjustor, then insist that the claim be filed. If you continue to run into problems, you may have to resort to having a lawyer or professional review the case and write to the insurer to pursue the payment.

However, it is well worth it if you can get the money you will be losing due to the stigma of having a car which has been wrecked.

If You Hit an Uninsured Motorist, Do You Still Have to Pay?

January 24th, 2012 Chad Posted in Accidents No Comments »

Experts currently estimate that almost 25 percent of drivers on the road are operating their vehicles without insurance. This is a huge problem for everyone, as accidents caused by uninsured motorists cost money not only in property damage and personal injury, but in higher insurance premiums for drivers who do insure their cars.

uninsured motorist accidentThere are also costs to the taxpayers associated with prosecuting uninsured drivers, such as court fees and incarceration costs. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the situation or what happens when an uninsured driver is involved in an accident.

If you hit an uninsured motorist, you have several options. However, one of the options is not to “just forget it.” Most states have reporting requirements for accidents, especially if the damage is over a “threshold” amount which varies from state to state. If you fail to report an accident, you can be fined and penalized for this fact alone.

Further, if you have insurance and the accident is your fault, then your insurance must pay for the damages you caused. Failure to do so could be considered an illegal act, whether the other driver had insurance or not.

Reporting an accident to your insurance company will likely make your rates go up, but the alternative is to possibly have your coverage dropped or to face legal consequences.

However, if the other driver is uninsured, it is very possible that he or she will not want to report the accident because of possible penalties which might be assessed for driving without insurance. So, in reality, you may not find yourself having to pay much or any of the damage, especially if the accident was minor.

A word of caution is in order, however. There are several situations which might bring about negative consequences to you if you fail to report an accident. Between various state laws and possible scams, you are often better off reporting an accident immediately no matter what the consequences to either driver.

One such scenario is when you hit an “uninsured” driver who turns out to have insurance. If the other driver believes the accident to be his or her fault, the person could say that he or she has no insurance to try to keep you from filing a claim.

If the accident turns out to be that person’s fault, your insurance company will find out any relevant insurance information so you can make a claim.

If the accident is your fault, your insurance company will need to know the other person’s coverage to see how much liability you are assessed; in no-fault states, for example, a person must cover his or her own damages up to a certain amount.

Another possible situation is when you are the victim of a scam. There are people who will set up an accident—for example, one gets behind you while driving fast, scaring you into speeding up, and the other gets in front of you and slams on brakes.

The “victim” of the accident will then try to make a claim against your insurance, or worse still, tell you that he or she is uninsured in order to get you to pay cash to avoid having the accident on your record.

In each of these scenarios, your best bet is to call the police. While you may be in for a rate hike, it is preferable to being taken advantage of or to putting yourself in a position where you have inadvertently broken the law.

Celebrity Auto Accidents – What are the Top 5?

August 24th, 2011 Chad Posted in Accidents No Comments »

A serious auto accident is a nightmare scenario. Looking at some tragic celebrity car accidents reinforces the value of auto insurance and provides a lesson in the need for safety behind the wheel. Here is a rundown of five infamous celebrity auto accidents through the years:

Death of Jayne Mansfield

One of Hollywood’s most beautiful starlets, Jane Mansfield was only 34 at the time of her death. On the night of June 28, 1967, Jane left Biloxi, Mississippi following a show at the Gus Stevens Supper Club, with attorney Sam Brody, three children and driver Ronnie Harrison, and headed toward New Orleans for an appearance the following day.

Around 2:25AM on a stretch of US 90, Mansfield’s 1966 Buick Electra plowed into an insecticide truck, killing Harrison, Brody and Mansfield. The children all survived. The top of the Electra was sheared off by the impact, causing Mansfield’s death by cranium and brain avulsion. Whether driver fatigue played a role in the crash is uncertain; but the Mansfield tragedy illustrates the importance of safe driving at night.

The Chappaquiddick Incident

An accident the night of July 18, 1969 ended the life of Mary Jo Kopechne and the presidential hopes of Sen. Edward Kennedy. That night around 11:15PM, Kennedy left a party on Chappaquiddick Island to take Kopechne home. The next morning, his car was found in a tidal channel with Kopechne’s body inside.

After pleading guilty to leaving the scene of an accident causing injury and serving a suspended sentence, Kennedy decided not to run for president in 1972. His explanation for the accident indicated lack of familiarity with the driving route, which he said led him to inadvertently drive the car off a bridge. The “Chappaquiddick Incident” permanently tarnished Kennedy’s reputation and demonstrated the far-ranging impact an accident can have beyond property damage, injury or death.

Black Sunday at Daytona

Dale Earnhardt, seven-time NASCAR champion and one of the sport’s greatest drivers, was known as “The Intimidator” because of his aggressive, often ruthless racing methods. Near the end of the 2001 Daytona 500, Earnhardt was running third, with teammate Michael Waltrip leading and son Dale Jr. second. Earnhardt worked in the final laps to block Sterling Marlin and others from passing and threatening to take away Waltrip’s impending victory.

A crash in the third turn of the last lap caused the number 3 Chevy to spin out of control, killing Earnhardt. He suffered numerous injuries including a basilar skull fracture that proved fatal. Earnhardt’s death led NASCAR to implement many new safety standards, leading to the development of the “Car of Tomorrow”. The day became known as “Black Sunday” by race fans and proved the need for even the most skilled drivers to always focus on safety.

Princess vs. Paparazzi

Perhaps no one in England’s royal family ever caught the attention of the paparazzi quite like Princess Diana. Even after her divorce from Prince Charles, Di’s every move was still international news. On August 31, 1997, Diana and companion Dodi Fayed were in Paris riding in a Mercedes-Benz W140 limo driven by chauffer Henri Paul, who was driving at high speeds to evade paparazzi when he lost control of the car and crashed, killing all three passengers.

Paul was found to have been legally drunk at the time of the accident. The Royal Courts of London concluded that Paul and the paparazzi shared responsibility for the crash. Significantly, the victims were not wearing seat belts, and the vehicle was traveling over twice the legal limit when it crashed. Di’s death underscores the importance of safe driving behaviors, from avoiding drunk driving to keeping speeds down and wearing seat belts.

James Dean Dies Young

At age 24 in 1955, James Dean was already a Hollywood star, thanks to the successful release of his debut movie, East of Eden and two more films on the way, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. Dean loved fast cars, and by spring 1955 had gotten into road racing.

In September 1955, he replaced his old Porsche 356 with a silver Porsche 550 Spyder. The car had numbers painted on the sides and back, along with his nickname, “Little Bastard”. On September 30, Dean was on his way to a race in Salinas, California along with his mechanic Rolf Wuetherich. The Spyder was pulled over around 3:30PM for speeding; and a few hours later while traveling west on Highway 466, it collided with a Ford Tutor traveling eastward trying to complete a left turn onto Highway 41.

The driver of the Tutor suffered minor injuries; Wuetherich was thrown from the Spyder and sustained serious injuries but survived; and Dean was killed. A promising career and a life were cut short because James Dean chose to drive recklessly.

These and other shocking celebrity auto accidents remind drivers everywhere of the importance of safety. Avoiding accidents saves money as well as preventing property loss and injury. Major insurers like Progressive, Farmers and State Farm incentivize safe driving by offering lower rates, discounts and deductible rebates. Save on auto insurance by focusing on safety.

Most Dangerous States for Drivers

August 16th, 2011 jess Posted in Accidents No Comments »

In the United States in 2009, there were more than 30,000 fatal car accidents, and over 5,000 of these were the result of distracted driving. One study used this data to determine what states had the worst drivers, since a car accident is an objective way to view someone as a bad driver. It focused on the fatal accidents reported that year, since all states have to disclose these figures. After the number of accidents was gathered, the study focused on the number of crashes that were caused by drivers making mistakes such as irresponsible driving, failing to stop at red lights or stop signs, driving under the influence of alcohol and distracted driving.

To make sure that the size of the state did not have an influence on the results, the study took an average of the number of crashes that occurred in each state with the number of licenses issued in the respective states. The study also took into account the states where drivers were on the road more and thus increased the risk of accidents by factoring in exactly how many miles each driver traveled, as well as how long each driver was in the car.

Results of the Study

Some of the results were expected: drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 were the most dangerous on the road in almost all states. However, while most Americans may assume that big cities such as Los Angeles or New York City boast the worst drivers, the results of the study show otherwise.

North Dakota ranked number one among all states as the area with the worst drivers. There were 116 fatal crashes in this state alone and North Dakota ranked number one under the “failure to obey traffic signs or signals” section. Second on the list, Montana, reported 198 fatal crashes and ranked number two in the “driving under the influence” category. The third state with the worst drivers, Kentucky, reported 730 fatal crashes and came in third under the “careless or inattentive driving” section.

What Can We Do?

How can we improve the quality of our driving, especially in the Midwestern states? First, we can try to be safe at all times. Avoid aggressive driving and always pay attention to the road. We need to always be aware of our surroundings and get into the habit of scanning 20 to 30 seconds ahead of our vehicles so that we can react in the event of an emergency.

Don’t assume other drivers will drive carefully or make the moves you anticipate. Always assume the other driver is about to make a careless move and prepare yourself accordingly. Keep a 3-to-4 second distance from the car ahead of you, giving adequate time to stop if the other driver slams on his brakes.

Speed limits are posted for a reason—follow them. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure he is in control of his vehicle at all times. If you see multiple risks on the road, separate them and deal with them one by one. Finally, one of the best ways to improve our driving is to eliminate all distractions such as talking on a cellular telephone, eating, playing with the radio or engaging in a heated discussion with a passenger.

You Never Expect It: Children in Pedestrian Collisions

August 12th, 2011 jess Posted in Accidents No Comments »

When you think of car safety, you usually think of how a car reacts when it is in a traffic accident at an intersection or on a busy street. People rarely consider how safe a car is when it is not on the road. Unfortunately, most vehicles have blind spots and are not equipped to keep pedestrians safe in parking lots or driveways. Non-traffic collisions are common, which is spurring the development of new car safety gear designed to cut down on the number of pedestrian injuries.

Non-Traffic Collisions Happen Frequently

Hundreds of children under the age of 14 are killed in parking lot or driveway collisions with motor vehicles in the United States each year, while thousands more sustain injuries. The most typical pedestrian collisions happen when a child unexpectedly moves in front of or behind a vehicle before it begins to move. Smaller children are particularly susceptible to backing accidents. They fall below the driver’s line of sight, even when looking behind to back up. Even though the car is moving slowly, children can suffer severe injuries in these accidents because cars are so heavy. An unprotected pedestrian doesn’t stand much of a chance against a large automobile, no matter how fast the car is moving.

Legislation Introduced to Make Driveways and Parking Lots Safer

The death of Cameron Gulbransen, a 2-year-old who was accidentally run over in the driveway by his father, has inspired new legislation that is meant to force auto manufacturers to improve the parking lot and driveway safety features on new cars. The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act would give the federal Department of Transportation the power to require automakers to install safety equipment to help prevent pedestrian accidents. The Act has been approved, but it is currently making its way through committees and faces several more years of discussion before it becomes a law.

Car Manufacturers Working to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

Many automobile manufacturers are making safety changes ahead of any legal requirements or changes to the safety laws. Volvo has always prided itself on the safety of passengers, and now the automaker has begun to shift its attention toward the safety of people outside their cars. A new feature on the 2011 Volvo S60 uses radars and cameras to detect objects within a certain range of the vehicle. The alert system works day or night and sounds an alarm if it detects someone within the specified danger zone when the car is in motion. If the alert sounds but the driver doesn’t respond quickly enough, the car will automatically apply full brakes to avoid hitting the object.

Passenger Safety Better than Pedestrian Safety

Parents and car manufacturers have focused much of their attention toward the safety of children inside the automobile. New car safety seats, car safety features, and safety regulations have reduced the number of injuries and fatalities of children in traffic collisions. Proponents of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act are hopeful that the new regulations could have the same positive impact on the injury and death rate of children outside the cars as well.

Source: http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/safety/car/the-car-accidents-you-dont-think-about/

Never Hit another Car in the Rear Again

August 11th, 2011 jess Posted in Accidents No Comments »

As part of its ongoing attempt to make cars safer for everyone, Volvo has introduced an innovative new technology that is designed to reduce the number of rear-end accidents on congested highways. The new system involves a laser that mounts on the front bumper of the 2011 Volvo XC60 SUV. Called City Safety, the laser system measures the distance between the front bumper of the SUV and objects in front of it. If the car moves within a certain range of an object, the City Safety system will automatically apply the brakes without waiting to alert the driver.

Technology for Slow Moving Vehicles

While there are other systems designed to prevent crashes at higher speeds, City Safety is the first system specifically designed to protect against low-speed impacts. The system only engages when the car is moving at 20 mph or slower. It monitors any object within 18 feet of the front bumper and works in both daytime and nighttime conditions. According to national insurance company data, rear-end collisions at slow speeds are the most commonly reported accidents. City Safety is designed to focus specifically on reducing this type of accident.

Rear End Collisions Reduced During Congested Traffic

The reason rear-end collisions are so common is because they can happen in any traffic jam situation. When cars line up in slower moving highway traffic, it can be easy to accidentally run into the car in front of you. Many of the rear-end accidents result in several accidents at once because the cars behind the initial accident are unable to stop in time. Cars that are involved in fender benders on busy highways increase the danger of further accidents until they can move out of the flow of traffic. The people involved in these accidents also have a greater risk of personal injury because they usually exit their vehicles and stand on the side of the busy road until the accident has been fully investigated and reported.

Claims are Less Expensive

City Safety may not be able to prevent every rear-end collision, but it does help keep the insurance claims costs lower if an accident happens. The system will engage in situations when a driver may have been unaware of the danger and reacted more slowly. City Safety slows the car down enough that a more serious accident can be less serious because the impact happens at an even slower speed. The system could save time and money for insurance companies as well as drivers.

Federal Agency Monitoring Safety Technology Improvements

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is keeping a close eye on new technology that increases the safety of new vehicles. David Strickland, the NHTSA Administrator, is excited about the innovative changes under development for new cars. The Highway Loss Data Institute reports a noticeable reduction in the volume of insurance claims processed for drivers who own the XC60. High-speed crash rates have remained constant, but the City Safety system has made a tangible difference in the amount of money insurance companies are paying out for rear-end collisions at slow speeds.

Ford Innovates Inflatable Seatbelt

August 2nd, 2011 jess Posted in Accidents No Comments »

While airbag technology has made great strides in protecting front seat passengers, the people sitting in the back seat have relied solely on their standard seat belts to keep them safe in accidents. Ford is introducing a new safety technology that should reduce the risk of head or neck injury for back seat passengers without sacrificing comfort. Inflatable seat belts look and feel much like standard seat belts, but during an impact, they deploy a small air bag along the shoulder strap. Cars equipped with these belts are likely to benefit from lower car insurance rates.

Technology Combines Seat Belts and Air Bags

Ford is touting this new innovative safety device as a combination air bag and seat belt. The belts inflate when they are triggered by quick pressure, which is similar to the way dashboard air bags are triggered. Unlike the front air bags, these seat belt air bags deploy more gently. Passengers don’t experience the same explosive inflation that is notorious for causing burns and other injuries in front seat passengers after air bag deployment. The small cushion of air that surrounds the shoulder harness of the seat belt provides just enough give so that the passenger wearing the belt experiences less force when thrown forward during an accident.

More Protection for Back Seat Passengers

Most of the passengers who ride in the back seat are children and the elderly. These passengers tend to be more frail and prone to injury during even a minor accident. The addition of inflatable seat belts could provide better protection for the passengers who need it most. Since the inflatable portion of the seat belt is along the harness part of the mechanism, it shouldn’t interfere with standard car seats for infants. It’s not clear whether Ford plans to include a way to turn off the inflation feature if necessary.

Dealers Can Reset Inflatable Belts

Unlike traditional dashboard air bags, the inflatable seat belts can be reset after they are deployed. Car owners must take the seat belt to a certified dealer for the repair. Inflatable seat belts are only effective when they are returned to their factory standard. Using the seat belts after they have been inflated could be less safe than traveling with a standard traditional seat belt because the harness has a different structure to allow for the inflation mechanism. It is important for rear passenger safety that the seat belt air bags be reset as soon as possible after inflation.

Belts Expected to be More Widely Available Beginning in 2012

Right now, Ford only offers inflatable seat belts as optional safety equipment in the 2011 Explorer. The auto manufacturer intends to use the innovative seat belts in a wider range of vehicles during the next model year. This test period with the Explorers will give Ford a chance to make any necessary changes or improvements on the inflatable seat belt design before it becomes more widely available. The slow release of new technology also allows time for the company’s mechanics to learn how to replace or repair the mechanism properly.

Car Insurance Fraud Crackdown in Florida

July 25th, 2011 jess Posted in Accidents, Costs No Comments »

Most people are aware of car insurance fraud, but they would probably be surprised to learn how often it occurs. The frequency and serious nature of the problem have prompted many states, including Florida, to take increased action against it. Anyone who considers involvement in a car insurance scam is treading down a dangerous path. The intensified focus on this crime makes imprisonment of those involved a more likely outcome than ever before.

Tricks of the Trade

Car insurance fraud is perpetrated in several ways: staged car crashes, false claims of bodily injury, and false claims of stolen cars are a few examples. To determine payouts, car insurance companies rely on reports from adjustors and medical records from physicians and other providers. Unfortunately, vehicle owners do not always act alone, and car insurance fraud rings, including attorneys, physicians, office administrators, and others, are not uncommon. By staging crashes or lying about the facts of legitimate accidents, fraudsters are able to walk away with money they do not deserve. We all pay the price when these crimes cause our car insurance rates to rise.

Why Florida?

Thousands of questionable claims have been filed in the state of Florida with more than 1,500 in Tampa alone for the year 2010.[1] The suspicious claims filed in Tampa nearly double those filed in Orlando.

There are many reasons credited to Florida’s high number of car insurance fraud cases. Most relate purely to monetary gain. However, immigrants often stage car “accidents” to obtain the money to illegally enter the United States.

Another reason is the abuse of Florida’s mandatory Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) policy.  The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law requires all owners/registrants of motor vehicles with four or more wheels to carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP to cover medical bills (paid directly to providers) and lost wages. The policy is known as an easy target of corrupt clinic owners and suspect attorneys and is abused in several other states as well. While PIP was created to help those in need, criminals have found ways to use it to access large amounts of money. In truth, the problem is becoming worse. Fraud arrests this year have already surpassed last year’s total.

Taking Action

Of course, car insurance companies are not happy about people lying on accident claims. While there is no surefire way to know which accidents are staged and which truly are accidents, law enforcers are taking more time to examine each accident. They have even worked to get communities involved, offering up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information leading to an insurance fraud arrest.

The state of Florida has stepped up and taken notice. State lawmakers, regulators, and law enforcement officials are working to make sure every person who receives an insurance settlement rightly deserves it.


[1] http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/banking/state-authorities-target-staged-crashes-in-insurance-fraud-crackdown/1180106

What You Need to Know about OEM and Aftermarket parts

July 22nd, 2011 jess Posted in Accidents, Costs No Comments »

If you’ve been in an accident, you’ve likely faced a tough decision: should you buy OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts for your vehicle or go with aftermarket solutions that appear to be the exact same offering? There are distinct benefits to choosing each path, but the good thing to know is that — in most cases — your car will emerge fully repaired and perfectly fine no matter which option you choose.

Aftermarket Parts: Benefits and Other Considerations

Perhaps the number one benefit of choosing aftermarket parts for your vehicle repair is the amount you’ll save at the point of sale: up to 60 percent in some cases. That’s huge savings, especially in the world of vehicle parts where prices can be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. If cost savings is your number one deciding factor, there simply is no contest: you need to shop for aftermarket parts to repair your vehicle properly.

However, the potential savings on aftermarket parts can be a negative thing, as well. First and foremost, for OEM enthusiasts, insurance companies are not on your side. Like other corporations, they seek to save money wherever possible. For this reason, insurance companies will almost always complete repairs of a vehicle with aftermarket parts made by a third-party supplier.

Another consideration is that aftermarket parts vary widely in quality, unlike OEM parts, which are produced in a standard fashion by one company — typically in one factory, as well. While this is not generally an issue for most drivers, it can and does affect quite a few each year when their repairs don’t last.

OEM Parts: The Good, the Bad, the Expensive

Buying OEM parts for a repair is a guarantee of quality for your vehicle. It’s the exact same part installed before, only newer — in most cases. You’ll have peace of mind that simply doesn’t exist with standard aftermarket parts. However, it’s worth noting that these parts can be extremely hard to find as your vehicle ages. And, as their rarity increases, so does the price you’ll have to pay to pick them up and use them for your repair.

And that’s to say nothing of the fact that these parts are, on average, much more expensive than competing aftermarket brands. However, deep pockets will be heartened to know that a thorough search and a big wallet can likely secure any piece of OEM equipment, no matter how rare. And there is something to be said for consistent quality throughout an entire vehicle’s parts.

Aftermarket parts are the discounted option that most drivers will definitely want to pursue, and they’re certainly the option of the nefarious insurance industry. However, OEM parts offer the peace of mind that comes with quality and consistency, which can’t be overrated in something as important to your safety as a vehicle. There’s no harm in trying aftermarket solutions, but those with the wallets and desire to avert the risk will want to stick with OEM replacements.