In a perfect world, every auto body shop would use brand new OEM replacement parts straight from the manufacturer. Unfortunately, it’s not the case. It’s very rare for an auto body shop to use OEM parts by default. They usually opt for aftermarket parts first. Why, though?
Most insurance carriers only want to pay for the costs of aftermarket parts. OEM parts are usually more expensive than aftermarket parts. Insurance carriers don’t want to spend money on OEM parts when they could save money on aftermarket ones.
It's always a good idea to use OEM replacement parts instead of aftermarket ones, though.
Why OEM Auto Body Parts Are Better Than Aftermarket Parts
First, let’s talk about why it’s worth the effort to get your auto body shop to use OEM parts. OEM parts are a much better investment than aftermarket parts. It’s because:
- OEM parts are exact replicas of the parts that came with your Ford. That means you won't run into any fitment or quality issues with an OEM replacement part.
- Aftermarket manufacturers imitate OEM parts. Yet, aftermarket parts often are not close to the real thing. It's common for aftermarket body parts to be made with inferior quality materials. These parts don't always fit right either.
- OEM parts typically last much longer than aftermarket parts. It's common for aftermarket body parts to not offer as much rust protection as OEM body parts.
If you're set on using OEM replacement body parts on your Ford, you need to convince the body shop to use OEM parts. Luckily, it's not hard to do. Here's what you can try:
Sometimes All You Need To Do Is Ask
Image Credit: Kondor
The first step is to ask. First, ask the body shop. Next, ask the insurance company.
First Step: Asking The Body Shop
Many body shops want to help you. You can ask them if they would use an OEM replacement part instead of an aftermarket one. Sometimes they’ll comply, but they may ask you to pay the difference. Sometimes they won’t comply because they’re at the insurance company’s mercy. In that case, ask the insurance company to work with you.
Second Step: Asking The Insurance Company
Call the insurance company and ask them if they'll cover the cost of OEM parts. The insurance company will likely respond in one of these three ways:
- Find the request too expensive and refuse it
- Accept the request
- Accept the request but charge you an extra fee to cover the higher cost of OEM parts
The Last Resort: Paying The Difference
If the auto body shop and insurance company won’t cover the cost of OEM parts, all is not lost. You can offer to pay the difference. You can ask the shop to bill the insurance company for the aftermarket part, but use an OEM part instead. Tell them that you'll cover the cost difference between the two parts.
You can save yourself some money by having the shop order OEM replacement parts from us. We're authorized sellers of genuine OEM Ford parts, including a variety of auto body parts. You'll save money by shopping with us because we offer wholesale prices. In other words, you'll save about 30% with us. If you need help finding the right part(s) for your Ford, feel free to contact us.
You Don’t Have To Use The Auto Body Shop Recommended By Your Insurance Company In Some States
Here’s a secret: the insurance company can’t force you to use a specific auto body shop. In some states, it’s against the law for an insurance company to do that.
If you tried everything we suggested above to no avail, look up your state’s laws. If you’re allowed under your state’s law to use the body shop of your choice, look for a new body shop. Don’t give up until you find a body shop that will use OEM parts!