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How to Save Money on Car Parts and Supplies

I’ve spent a whole lot of money on car parts and supplies over the years, and I’ve learned (the hard way) how to control costs. While the game was built to extract profit from the unwitting, the Internet leveled the playing field. A little knowledge goes a long way. If you do just a little bit of homework before you head out to the store, you’ll get a better deal and keep more cash in your pocket.



Here’s a quick list of tips that can help you save a buck on every purchase you make at the auto parts store:

  1. Never walk into a parts store without doing your research. Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s also costly. You should know how much to shell out for each and every part.
  2. Join the parts store rewards programs. Loyalty programs accrue benefits with most (but not all) purchases. The numbers aren’t huge, but they’ll add up over time.
  3. Watch the flyers. No one likes to receive junk mail, unless they can save a buck. When you sign up for the loyalty program, you’ll land on the mailing list.
  4. Stock up on your favorite brand of oil and filters when they’re on sale. Keep two or three oil changes on the shelf, if you can. This will avoid the need to run to the store at the last minute (when you may end up paying full price).
  5. Use discount codes & coupons. The big retailers run promotions constantly with discounts ranging from 15% to 30% off. You need to know the codes.
  6. Hit the discount point. If a retailer is giving you $15 off a $50 purchase or $30 off a $100 purchase, that’s a 30% discount … if you stick to your guns. Keep your invoice total to as close to the discount point as possible.
  7. Don’t buy junk. Inexpensive poorly made parts will not save you money in the long run. When the part breaks, your wallet will open again.
  8. Keep your options open. Don’t buy from one single source. Consider all of the options.
  9. Buy online, pickup in the store. Big retailers like Pep Boys and Advance Auto allow you to buy your parts online and pick them up at a local store within thirty minutes. Not only does this save you time (they should have the parts waiting for you), but it will also save a good chunk of change. Online discounts often exceed the discounts offered to walkup customers.
  10. If you buy a lot from Amazon, get Prime. With Amazon Prime, you pay one amount each year for unlimited two-day shipping. This can be a great deal if you buy a lot of stuff from them. If you don’t, it’s not such a good deal (although they do have a nice selection of Amazon Prime free music, movies and TV shows.

Stay tuned!

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11 comments ↓

#1 David Acosta on 10.19.15 at 10:47 am

I’d say that unless you need a part TODAY, you should just forget the parts stores entirely and shop online instead. You’ll end up finding the best prices there almost 100% of the time.

#2 NWCP on 11.27.15 at 6:31 am

There’s some fantastic places online to get cheap car parts these days, it just takes a bit of effort to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take a bit of time to shop around and you’ll always find the best deal.

#3 Jack Palmer on 03.07.16 at 8:06 am

I like how you explained, “Inexpensive poorly made parts will not save you money in the long run.” That makes sense, I always try to buy the least expensive options whenever possible but when it comes to car parts I think it would be better to go for quality. I rely heavily on our car and need it to get me where I need to be. I’ll make sure to remember this next time I need a part. Thanks for the tips!

#4 Jack Palmer on 04.04.16 at 10:46 am

You’re absolutely right when it comes car and truck parts, “A little knowledge goes a long way.” I think if I had a better understanding of spare parts, I would be able to find them a lot easier. Or at least know which parts were worth the effort in getting, you know? One day I hope to be a lot better with car knowledge, but for now, I rely on others opinions. Thanks for the article, it was a good read!

#5 Kyler Brown on 04.19.16 at 11:50 am

I’ll never turn down advice when it comes to saving money. I loved your first tip about never walking into a parts store without doing your research. I also liked your point about keeping your options open. Thanks for sharing.

#6 April Cook on 04.22.16 at 8:46 am

I like the first tip about doing your research. It’s important to know what you are looking for so you can make an educated choice. My brother is looking into some repairs his car needs, so I will pass along this information to him.

#7 Sarah Smith on 05.12.16 at 2:21 pm

My husband is often buying used auto parts for his projects. Thanks for the advice about not buying the cheapest things you can find. It makes sense that the more inexpensive the object the more likely it is to break quickly. I’ll have to make sure my husband know this for when he buys his parts online.

#8 John Carston on 05.16.16 at 8:20 am

I think its a great piece of advice to never walk into an auto parts store without doing research. I usually research everything before making a big purchase but I hadn’t thought to research auto repairs in as much detail. I’ll have to use this advice before taking my toyota in for repairs. Thanks for the advice.

#9 Pancho Cham on 05.19.16 at 11:01 am

I’ve been looking for some parts to fix up my car, and after reading I’ll be sure to use your advice. I’ll make sure that I search around for the best deals, and I’ll also make sure that I get a good quality part. That way I can get a great working part for a steal.

#10 Jack Mulligan on 08.03.16 at 1:16 pm

I like your idea to never go to a parts store without knowing what you’re getting. If you get the wrong parts you will waste a lot of time and money. I think if you go to the right store you can get some good help though.

#11 Lillian Schaeffer on 11.15.16 at 3:18 pm

These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to do some research before checking a car parts store. My car has been having problems starting, and I’m pretty sure it’s the alternator that’s causing these issues. I’m going to replace that myself, so I’ll definitely make sure to do plenty of research online to figure out about how much I should pay for one. Thanks for the great post!

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