It wasn’t that many years ago that, if you needed a spare part for your broken car, you would go to your local motor factors shop or dealership and get them to source it.
But the massive growth in internet use, advances in technology and, to some extent, the Covid lockdown period, have all opened the (car) door to a much larger world of online shopping. And that includes motor spares.
Businesses have set themselves up exclusively to supply the demand for spare parts, and have computer systems, massive warehouses and fleets of vans and drivers just waiting to find, pack and deliver that elusive item you need, to repair your car and get it back on the road.
The Car Expert has put together this list of potential sites to visit for spares. This is for drivers who want to find the right part for their car, easily, conveniently and at a competitive price. If you’re looking for performance upgrades or sporty bodykits, there might be more specialist sites to look at.
You’ll notice that some of the sites have an asterisk next to their name. These sites are commercial partners of The Car Expert, so if you click through to their sites and buy anything, we may receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay, but helps us keep the site running.
Euro Car Parts*
They say: Keeping you moving
Servicing the UK and Republic of Ireland, Euro Car Parts’ 10,000 staff operate in 300 branches, fulfilment centres and distribution hubs.
The landing page takes you straight to the shopping area: choose from categories including batteries, oil, wiper blades, bulbs and tools from the drop-down menus across the top. Or go directly to the part you need.
For this you can either enter your car registration number to get specific information on ‘top searches’ or in ‘departments’, or if you don’t have a specific car go in via make, model, year, engine and fuel type.
There are latest offers, ‘trending’ products, special areas of interest such as ‘winter accessories’ and ‘travel and leisure’ and a news and blog section to keep you entertained.
They say: Find great deals
eBay is a massive online sales tool that is known the world over. So it’s no surprise that there’s a huge and varied choice available if you’re looking for that precise part for your car.
Type ‘car spares’ into the initial search engine and you get a huge sub-section to choose from including ‘car spares automatic’, ‘bmw’, ‘petrol’, ‘estate’ or ‘range rover’; the list goes on. Be a bit more specific in your initial search and type in, for example, ‘car spares ford puma’ and you’ll be presented with a wide variety of parts just for that car.
This is not as direct, nor as specific as going to a specialist car spares retailer, but you might find what you want from a private individual at a good price. If you are after several bits to fix your car, you’ll have to trade with a number of sellers, rather than getting everything from one source, but if you are prepared to do the legwork, it’s a trusted and reliable way to buy spares.
Many parts are brand new while others will be second hand but if it’s the right part, there are bargains to be had. Also be aware that with any second-hand marketplace, there is a risk of buying stolen parts – especially from private sellers.
GSF Car Parts*
They say: Specialist online shop
With a vast range of car parts, accessories, batteries, oils and tools available, GSF offers free UK delivery on all orders over £25. You can even click and collect at one of their 180 branches if you’re in a hurry for a part.
From the landing page, there’s the invitation to ‘search the entire store’ or you can use drop-down menus to narrow down your hunt for service parts, wipers, steering or lighting spares, for example. You can, as with other sites, enter your car’s registration number and call up spares that way.
An ‘accessories’ section brings up car security, technology and travel & leisure among other topics, while ‘tools’ will likewise present you with a wide range of well-known manufacturers to have a look through.
There’s a ‘knowledge hub’ full of guides and advice articles and even a ‘VeeWee’ section – now part of GSF – which supplies air-cooled parts for classic VW cars and camper vans.
CarParts4Less have a wide range of stock in one of the largest online parts stores for cars and vans in the UK. They focus on offering the best prices and will price match other competitors subject to certain conditions. Free delivery over £30 is offered.
To search for parts there’s the registration number search or you can input vehicle make, model, engine and fuel type and look at the results that way. A drop-down menu on the landing page lists a cross-section of all the most popular parts while giving – if you need it – specific information on items such as wiper blades, batteries and engine oil.
‘Latest offers’ are listed on the landing page which also contains a breakdown of all stock, sorted into categories such as ‘service parts’, engine parts’ or ‘body & exhaust’.
Car care accessories and performance spares are listed separately and there’s a newsletter available to which you can sign up and receive discounts.
They say: Explore the best prices
Operating in 27 European countries and with more than four million parts from 1400 for cars, vans and motorbikes, Autodoc is a big player in this arena.
Finding the right part is made easy by the fact that there are several ways to go about it. If you know the part number you can enter that into the search box immediately. Otherwise look via a make, model and engine search facility.
And if that doesn’t work for you, there’s the option to go to an online catalogue and search a category such as tyres, brakes, filters or body. If it’s engine oil you need simply input your car’s registration number and the Autodoc system finds the vehicle and the recommended lubricant, along with hundreds of other parts exactly for that model.
It even lists other recommended products for the car, right down to a 31p indicator bulb. The site contains a help centre, advice and tutorials and a news section.
They say: Save 24% on spare parts
A German organisation, Buycarparts has teamed up with Autodoc to supply spare parts, the latter is where Buycarparts gets its stock and is also a partner for sales contracts.
The set is bright and simple to use: there’s an initial search at the top of the landing page for ‘product, vehicle or brand’ or you can input your car registration number and browse that way, or just go straight to the category of product you’re after.
Products are also listed by ‘top car parts’, ‘top manufacturers’ for any part, or ‘top sellers’ if you want to know what everyone else is choosing and fitting.
Tyres and wheels have categories that are separated from the rest, there’s a ‘special offers’ catalogue and even a ‘Spin to Win’ competition to have a go at.
They say: Online shopping that really is convenient
This online spare parts shop has a product range of more than a million items, including 5,000 tyres, 2,000 car battery models, and more than 2,000 oils. The website offers spares from 500 premium manufacturers in ‘original parts quality’.
It’s an easy website to use and searching for a part can be done via part name, car (registration number), item ID or OEM number to find spares easily. If you go via the specific car details you are presented with a huge list of categories for that individual model, such as damping, clutch, electrics, glow plug system and towbar.
Scroll down further and there’s another easy-to-navigate system called ‘spare parts you need for MOT test’ which is useful if you have that particular safety examination coming up. There’s a final section showing discounted items and offers for the specific car too.
They say: New deals. Every day.
Another huge, worldwide organisation, Amazon is known for its ability to make sourcing parts and having them delivered quickly (same day in some cases) easy and convenient.
Like eBay, Amazon doesn’t offer that bespoke individual parts retailing service but it does have the ability and know-how to find you lots of parts that you might need for your car.
Typing in, for example, ‘ford puma wiper blades’ will bring you a large choice of relevant items to look at and consider, many of them with free delivery. Specialist car parts businesses have even taken to offering and selling their stock on Amazon now, which demonstrates the strength and reach the site has.
You might need to go to different suppliers for a list of wanted parts but if you have an Amazon account, and many people do, you won’t have to keep inputting your name and address details.
They say: Your one-stop shop for car parts
With more than a million parts in stock and a claimed 5.5 million customers, Mister Auto is another large Europe-wide parts retailer, operating in more than 20 countries.
From the landing page, a ‘cover-all’ search engine will look for products, reference numbers or brands of parts, or you can search using your car’s make, model, engine and fuel type. Scrolling down, the products are listed in sections such as filters, spark plugs, locks and steering.
Once you have found your car, a list of available parts is shown – there’s a further ‘refine’ tool if you input the vehicle’s first registration date. It’s an easy-to-use site with pictures of products to assist and a simple design and display.
A ‘top spare parts’ section lists the most commonly looked-for products, like tyres and brake pads, and there’s a newsletter option to sign up for.
YMF Car Parts
They say: We find the right part for your car
YMF Car Parts (York Motor Factors Ltd) was founded in 1969 by a husband and wife team out of an old butchers shop in York. Today the business operates from six sites in the North of England. They have a fleet of delivery vehicles plus there’s a trade counter collection service if you are close enough to one of their outlets.
‘All we need is your reg number’ says the message on the landing page: inputting that in the search box starts your hunt for parts for your specific vehicle. The smart-looking site is illustrated well by neat pictures and explanations of many of the parts.
Once you have found the spare you think you need, a click through to ‘view product’ helps you decide if it’s definitely right, with technical details, pictures and, of course, the price.
It’s a friendly site with offers of help along the way courtesy of a chat line. Free delivery is offered over £30 and there’s the option of signing up for a newsletter with ‘discounts and ideas’.
This article was originally published in February 2023. Last updated January 2024.
The Car Expert has commercial partnerships with CarParts4Less, eBay, Euro Car Parts and GSF Car Parts. If you click through to their websites and make any purchases, we may receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay.