When to Buy New Vs. Used Volkswagen Parts

In a fiercely competitive European market, Volkswagen (VW) have performed consistently well, maintaining a strong market share and selling some 1.7 million cars across the continent in 2018, and already have sold about 1.4 million to date in 2019 according to figures from carsalesbase.com. Even such a clearly popular brand of car, however, is not immune from the need for spare parts at some point. Car parts are made to higher and higher standards of quality, but that doesn’t take away the fact that, on occasion, they need changing.

Rear View New Volkswagen Beetle Red

When it comes to new car parts, many people turn to the dealership or burgeoning aftermarket parts market to purchased brand-new items. The logic is clear for them — a new part should mean a new part. Others opt for used parts, looking to the UK’s many Breakers Yards to get their hands on pre-owned car parts that are still in fine working order. For them, the potential savings are important since you are buying parts for an already depreciating asset.

Who’s to say who is absolutely right? Perhaps neither are. Below we’ll look at times when it’s best to consider new parts, and times when it’s better to consider used parts for your VW car.

New VW parts

Every situation is a bit different, but there are certainly some situations in which it is better to always go with a new part.

When the part is connected with the car’s safety, braking or exhaust systems — let’s face facts, would anyone be willing to buy a used brake pad? Unlikely. When it comes to car safety features, a replacement should mean a brand new one. Just as you wouldn’t put old batteries into your smoke alarms at home, you wouldn’t want old, used parts in your key safety systems.

Exhausts for example become at greater risk for cracking as they get older. Could you really count on a used exhaust to serve you well?

When you’re worried about quality — if you need firm guarantees on the quality of a VW part, and if you want to be sure to remain within the conditions of your warranty, then a new part might be the only way to go. If the warranty is in effect and you are relying on it as part of your overall insurance, then new parts are the only choice.

When it’s an inexpensive item that needs regular changing — here we’ll use brake plates as an example again. These will always wear out as long as they are being used. That is their destiny, if you will. If you buy used ones, therefore, it means that they will inevitably have a shorter lifespan and you’ll end up buying more. This is nothing short of a false economy.

Used VW Parts

Before even considering purchasing used parts (of any brand), it’s important that you locate and take note of your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This can be found in your car’s manufacturer data table. The VIN forms the basis of your subsequent search for the right car part. The next thing you need to locate is the part code. Sometimes this number might be directly written onto the part you’re looking to replace. If not, you can do online searches to identify the specific part number you require, which will help ensure you get exactly the right thing. Never forget that your car’s engine is a very precise arrangement of moving parts, so introducing even one unsuitable part can disrupt the harmony of the entire machine.

So now that you know about how to get used VW parts, what are the right times to even consider them in the first place

When you have severe budget restraints — it’s no secret that second-hand parts will cost you less, and if you have genuine financial constraints, then purchasing used is the best option for you.

When the part is highly durable in itself — silencers, shocks, struts, clutches, transmissions and some other parts are designed to be used for up to 75,000 or 100,000 miles in their lifetime. It stands to reason, therefore that the used market will have many high-quality items in this regard.

When you have all the information you need — when you are working with a used part dealer that can offer you a full confirmed history of the used part, tell you whether it is used, repaired or re manufactured, and if they can give you a guarantee on it, then this is a good time to go with a used part.


When you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint — let us not forget that buying used parts is essentially a form of recycling. It’s less wasteful and a more sustainable way to run our cars.

What Is Your Choice?

It’s clear that there are choices on both sides. In the end, you have to consider your own situation quite carefully. It’s always a good idea to consult with a mechanic if you are unsure, and get professional advice before pulling the trigger on a used part, especially if it’s your first time buying.