Buying Re-useable Parts

Car-Auto Re-useable Parts

This part category is once again an important source of parts in the repair industry. It is also a long-term favourite of the individual trying to repair their car cost effectively. Once again key considerations are along the lines of:

  • Duty cycle
  • Quality
  • Consistency
  • Price

The advantages of the re-useable part can be many, but of course they can also have their potential problems if the buyer is not educated to the pitfalls. Further information on buying re-useable parts is supplied in each category on this site.


It should be pointed out that most reputable dealers of re-useable parts are supplying OEM genuine parts and those parts are within their normal duty cycles. In the early days the local wrecker was dealing in cars that might have simply worn out. This often meant the many of the parts were at the end of their duty cycle. These days the industry is a lot more a part of the general industry or trade landscape. Most modern dismantling businesses have their parts on high tech inventory systems and don’t need to run down the back and check if the part is still there. They can tell you in moments if the part is available in their stock or the stock of other dismantlers. The savings that can be gained from using a re-useable part can and should also be significant over many other part categories. The only time this may not be the case is when a part is not available any more and has become scarce.  Price can often be negotiated, with the industry having a long track record for price variation. Many of the re-useable parts that are supplied from reputable companies are taken from written off vehicles that are crash damaged and either not worth repairing or are damaged beyond repair. By carefully selecting parts that are not the subject of the collision many parts well within their duty cycles and with quality that is hard to fault can be removed and re-used. This has the added advantage of meaning that one less part has to be made in a factory somewhere often offshore. The environmental savings of this are significant.  It is also possible to ‘pick your own’ part at some wreckers.  This has been a favourite for the do it yourself repairer.  The important thing is that you will need to know what you are doing and how to assess the part quality carefully.  Often there are issues where parts get damaged from others also looking for parts.  Vehicles in this category can also sometimes be end of life, so watch for parts that are at the end of their duty cycle.  Having said all that, the astute and fast moving, do it your self picker that knows their prices, can make significant savings this way.

With the recent flood of import parts along with the changes to legislation on written off vehicles re-useable part suppliers have had to be more competitive to retain their position in the market. This means that it is well worth negotiating on price to make sure you get the best deal you can on these parts where there is an OEM Offshore part available as well.

Quality is also an important consideration on this part category. Making sure that you are getting a part that is great quality and will give many years of reliable service is important. In most cases a re-useable panel will be replaced in as good a condition as your original panel, if of course the work is done by a qualified and reputable smash repairer. This is why not all categories of parts should be assessed the same. A panel on a car does not really wear out and has a ‘life of the vehicle’ duty cycle. It is generally only replaced when it is physically damaged; whereas engines and transmissions do wear out and of course have a duty cycle. Engines and transmissions can be purchased with plenty of duty cycle left and can be expected to give many years of reliable service if fitted correctly. If you plan on doing the work yourself once again you can save a worthwhile amount of money by looking carefully at re-useable parts as a part of the total parts mix to complete your repair.

You will find a lot more specific information on assessing parts and what to look out for when you are sourcing, negotiating and buying parts either directly or indirectly as part of your next repair from the main page.



*The information on this site is based on the personal views and experiences of the author and are in no way an endorsement or critical appraisal of any particular supplier, product brand  or service provider.  The individual may experience quite different results in any of these areas than that of the author. Both paid and unpaid advertisements may appear on this site.  The author takes no responsibility for the performance of products and service provided by paid or unpaid advertisers or posters on this site.  Any person that uses information on this site uses this information at their own risk.