Motorists warned against buying car parts online

Garage and factor owners urged to be even more vigilant in light of a surge in counterfeits

Motorists warned against buying car parts online
Image: Bigstock.

Vehicle owners are once again being warned about the dangers of buying car parts online in a bid to save money.

Research by Zero Deposit Car Leasing found that headlights were one of the most common parts available on the online marketplace, with over 70,000 units.

Just under 60,000 car tyres were found on eBay alongside 57,000 wing mirrors and 30,000 alloy wheels.

Related: eBay urges garages to use “recycled car parts”

An earlier government report found filters, brake pads, lights, wheel rims and airbags to be among the most-common counterfeited car parts.

Officials say such parts put road users at risk from a catastrophic failure of vital car components which may not adhere to safety standards.

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) and The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) are among the trade bodies that have voiced support to raise awareness about the risks posed by counterfeit car parts.

Neil Bailey, workshop technician at Zero Deposit said: “Buying car parts off eBay has become hugely popular.

“But while it’s great drivers can buy the car parts they need at a cheaper price than going to an independent garage, for instance, they should take the time to do their research to make sure suppliers are reputable and ensure products are of a high quality and not faulty.”

Related: Government report highlights counterfeit and customer-supplied parts problem

Audi is among the motoring firms which has collaborated with the government to stamp out the rise of counterfeit car parts in vehicles.

An Audi brand protection spokesperson said: “Identifying counterfeits has proven to be a real challenge.

“The sellers’ websites are becoming more and more professional, appearing legitimate to many buyers at first glance.

“But there are some clues that give counterfeiters away and should put buyers on alert, such as a comparatively cheap price or a typo appearing on the spare part or in the description.”

Garage and motor factor businesses are being urged to be even more vigilant in light of a surge in reported cases.

The worldwide counterfeit market is thought to run into billions of pounds with around a £1.7million revenue loss each year.

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  • #188583 Reply
    Tom
    Guest

    The fact that customers are buying such parts is of course putting other motorists in potential danger. I also feel that it is difficult for all garages to refuse to fit such parts, being that customers are not as willing to spend money on keeping their cars up together as they once were. The extra labour charges can be impossible to turn down for a struggling garage. The rise in ease of obtaining a hire/purchase cars is a contributing factor to this. However, how has it become acceptable for a customer to supply their own parts full stop. Profit in parts is what helps keep a business going. You don’t see plumbers customers supplying their own copper piping, so why should any car component be supplied let alone safety critical parts. Which as ‘all us in the know’ know, is near on every part that a customer can get hold of.

    #188714 Reply
    Dougal
    Guest

    Counterfeit parts exist because making them is profitable.
    This is partly because they bear no design costs but largely because vehicle manufacturers set the price so high for genuine.
    Should knocking your Fiesta mirror on the gate post cost £250 for parts ?
    Should driving light LEDs failure on a Kia mean a new headlamp at £550 ?

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