Sparesbox Blog

OE vs OEM vs Aftermarket: The Definitive Guide

By Liam Ridings

Wed Mar 07 2018

Finding the right part for your car can be a minefield. Industry specific terms and debates such as OE vs OEM vs Aftermarket only complicate the issue, so let’s break them down to give you a clearer idea of what means what so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing replacement auto parts.


What does OE mean?

OE or ‘Original Equipment’ refers to the parts that are used by your vehicles manufacturer when they are building a new car. For example, the air filter that is fitted to your car from the factory would be the OE Air Filter.


What does OEM mean?

OEM stands for ‘Original Equipment Manufacturer’. The refers to the brand that manufacturers the part that goes into your car from the factory. Some of the most famous OE Manufacturers include Bosch, Hella, MANN Filters and Brembo.


What does Aftermarket mean?

Aftermarket refers to auto parts that, whilst they may be an ideal fit for your vehicle, are not manufactured in conjunction with the vehicle manufacturer in any way, shape, or form. It is important to note that this does not make them inferior to the OE part.


Should I buy OE or Aftermarket?

There is a common misconception that having your car serviced through an independent licenced mechanic such as Sparesbox Service may jeopardise your new car warranty. A myth that the manufacturer of your vehicle perpetuates to ensure you return to the dealership to have your car serviced.

The truth is, having your car serviced through an independent mechanic or fitting your car with Aftermarket parts that are built to OE specifications will retain your new car warranty. The car service myth makes sense when you realise that car dealers make the majority of their money through aftermarket parts and car servicing. The truth is, car dealers don’t make that much profit on the cars that they sell — that means in order to keep the doors open and the lights on, they need to be making money from servicing. This is why it is best to shop around, gather quotes, and know that you are not bound to the dealer when getting your car services. The ACCC is working to make sure that consumers are aware of their options when it comes time to service their car.


Every part sold through Sparesbox is designed to meet or exceed the OE quality standard set by the manufacturer. That means you can be confident that any part that you purchase through Sparesbox will meet or exceed the quality of the original part that is fitted to your vehicle.