Never miss a Parts & Accessories discount code!
Get exclusive offers straight to your inbox
Car Parts & Accessories Voucher Codes
When it comes to the automotive market, each industry and segment within that market exists on a fine triangular line which stretches between aesthetic and style, safety, and functionality and user experience. The fact remains that while consumers are constantly looking for ways of upgrading their automotive vehicles in line with the latest style trends and extra features, safety and functionality remain integral in every part and accessory which is purchased within this automotive market. Not only does this widening of the industry mean that most retailers are able to branch into the sector, but it also creates space for a broader range of price points – from the high quality and expensive parts and accessories, down to those which can be purchased in line with deals and discounts.
In short, the parts and accessories industry refers to anything which becomes an added feature to the interior or exterior of a vehicle, either enhancing its safety features, it’s usability or its appearance. Some of the most common examples include satellite navigation systems for functionality, children’s car seats for safety, and exterior accessories like car body stickers and extra lights for aesthetics.
Defining parts and accessories in the automotive sector
An automotive part is anything which could be detached from the vehicle, replaced, or added to enhance or alter the functionality of the vehicle. A good example refers to the automotive farm machinery market, whereby adding various parts allow tractors and trailer to be used for different purposes: for example, hay baling or hedge cutting. Another example could be the addition of extra mirrors and brakes in a learner car, again adjusting the functionality of the car and putting some control in the hands of the passenger.
These are the parts which can be added to an automotive vehicle to enhance its usability. But what about those parts which are built into the manufactured body of the car and which need to be checked and serviced at regular intervals to ensure they are still operating safely and effectively? For example, the seatbelts, brakes, mirrors, car and brake lights and built in radio systems.
With regards to accessories, these are the things that can be added or removed to alter the user experience on more of a surface level, and thus are not just found in automotive stores but also across wider stores, small businesses and independent crafters. Some examples include car stickers, coloured interior decorations and dashboard accessories, satellite navigation systems, and integrated Bluetooth connectors and chargers.
To sum up the loose definition of the parts and accessories industry, it seems fair to conclude that while automotive parts are largely linked with regulations and safety procedures, the accessories are more closely linked with industry trends and consumer preferences
Top products in the parts and accessories industry
It would be impossible to define and understand the automotive parts and accessories industry without acknowledging the importance of the service providers and those businesses which exist to support the replacement and repair of these vital parts in keeping vehicles and automotive machines safe and functional. Mechanics and garages which specialise in providing vehicle services and MOT’s often have a great deal of these parts and accessory products on-hand for upgrades, including replacement bulbs and brake pads which can be added and which instantly improve the usability of a specific vehicle.
For those major parts which need replacing, mechanics and garages can either turn to the car manufacturer for new replacement parts, or else they can explore the vast range of products available through second-hand dealerships and scrap yards, with many of these facilities packed full of working automotive parts and accessories which have been passed over by others and which are in good condition for future use – a true working example of the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”
To look at the top and most common products in the automotive parts industry, we tend to look at the interior and exterior body of the car or vehicle and consider what makes it work safely and effectively. Some of the best examples here include:
- Wheels and Tyres
- Floor mats
- Brakes and brake lights
- Windscreen wipers
- Door handles and locks
- Car batteries
These are the parts which are regarded as the most commonly replaced by consumers, and which tend to have set shelf lives before needing replacement to keep them at their most optimum in terms of effectiveness.
Meanwhile, the accessories list for the automotive sector is a little different and moves away from the integral function of the vehicle towards the elements which make a vehicle ideal on certain terrains, in certain lifestyle situations, and for certain purposes. Some of the top products in the automotive accessories industry include:
- Satellite Navigation systems and built-in maps
- Extra blindspot mirrors
- Farm machinery accessories, e.g. hedge trimmers and hay balers
- Jump starter
- Smartphone car mount
It becomes clear when you look at this list just how many automotive accessories are associated with usability and consumer demand rather than necessity. While jump start leads and machinery accessories are often necessary for retaining the safety and functionality of the vehicle, smartphone car mounts and tissue box holders are purely aesthetic and there to enhance a user experience.
And then we have the handful of products which crossover and can be listed on both the parts and accessories lists. A good example here is tyres – which are integral parts required for the functionality of a vehicle, but which can also be used as accessories which make a vehicle well suited to a certain terrain or purpose. By this we mean that tyres are required and thus are considered as main parts on the build of a vehicle, however the consumer may choose to switch certain tyres out and replace them with specialist products which make the vehicle suitable for driving off road, on grass, over farmland or on race tracks.
Top retailers in the parts and accessories industry
In looking at the top retailers in the automotive parts and accessories industry, most consumers face a choice between functionality and performance. While most high street dealers and retailer stock and provide parts and accessories which are designed to be functional and useful, there are a handful of specialist retailer which specialise in performance enhancing parts and accessories designed to turn an ordinary vehicle into something a little more special.
An example of this kind of retailer is DC Performance which deals with automotive race vehicles and stocks parts designed to suit and upgrade every make and model of car in the world – including award winning brakes, racing brake pads, performance clutch kits and added suspension. The target consumer for this kind of retailer includes the classic boy racer, amateur racers, and those with disposable income who can afford to turn a standard vehicle into something unique and designed to kick out a little extra performance. If you have ever heard the roar of an overactive clutch or the bang of a vehicle changing gear, the likelihood is that the vehicle in question has been fitted with performance enhancing parts and accessories designed to make a statement and help the vehicle stand out on the road.
Of course, for the average consumer looking for spare parts and accessories to elevate the everyday usability of their vehicle, the high street and internet is packed full of standalone and chain retailers designed to support and guide consumers towards the right parts and accessories for their vehicle. Some of the top names in this industry include:
- Euro Car Parts
- Rock Auto
While the majority of these retailers are designed to deal with functional as well as decorative items, marketplace sites like NotOnTheHighstreet are solely on this list to serve those automotive accessories which enhance the aesthetic of vehicles – for example car fresheners and dashboard decorations.
Trends in the automotive parts and accessories industry
One of the major trends which is changing the way that consumers interact with the parts and accessories industry is the rise in consumers undertaking DIY projects with regards to their everyday and specialist vehicles. The hobby of investing in and doing up old classic cars has long been the favoured hobby of car enthusiasts. In fact, there are entire magazines and publications dedicated to the industry of used cars and classic cars, with vintage dealerships and antique stores specialising in classic car parts which are either presented to them by other enthusiasts, or else are stripped from cars which are no longer usable as vehicles. Outside of this classic car realm, there is also a similar growing trend among those who choose to upgrade and replace parts on their own everyday cars – with some models and makes making this easier than others. Older Landrover models for example tend to be fairly easy for consumers to do up themselves due to the plethora of online videos and blogs which have been created by other users seeking to help Landrover owners with small fixes and improvements to the use of their vehicles.
Another trend which is active in the automotive parts and accessories industry is the rise in vehicles and cars as lifestyle accessories – with more and more consumers selecting their everyday vehicle based on the way it looks and the way it fits with their lifestyle. What this means for the industry is that accessory creators and manufacturers are becoming more and more popular, constantly adapting and updating their product lines in line with consumer demand and what is on trend across Instagram and other social platforms. A search for the simple hashtag #car brings up a wide range of Instagram results, many featuring lifestyle shoots where the vehicle has been accessorised and decorated in line with the style of the image and the lifestyle of the owner. For example a farmer might place their Landrover in the middle of a field beside a tractor and attach a trailer to the back for the right image; a businesswoman might rest a briefcase on the bonnet of her flashy car; a stay at home dad might have a larger vehicle filled with useful accessories to keep his children safe and comfortable. With so much of today’s society riding on image, and with these images and social platforms placing such an emphasis on the rising trends of the modern market, it seems as though keeping up with the changing lifestyles and popular vehicles is just a small part of the task facing accessory manufacturers and retailers as they strive to meet consumer demand.
And then we have the rise in parts and accessories which make a vehicle more eco-friendly and which allow consumers to use and care for their vehicles in the most environmentally friendly way possible. A great example applies to automotive cleaning products, many of which formerly used chemicals and motorised products to power wash the exterior of the car and to rid the interior of seat stains and dust on the dashboard. Environmentally friendly companies and manufacturers have since expanded into the automotive industry and have now created products which are more sustainable – including biodegradable car wipes and battery powered steam cleaners which use the power of steam rather than chemicals as an effective cleaning product. Other eco-friendly products, parts and accessories which are making waves in the industry include vegan seat covers which are made without leather and animal products, and of course the huge rise in electric powered vehicles which are transforming the automotive industry and which are run on sustainable electric charge rather than petrol or diesel.
Defining the parts and accessories industry in the automotive market means pulling apart the various features which make a car function effectively, breaking those features into the parts which are integral for its operation, and the accessories which make this operation easier, more effective and more user friendly. From there consumers can start to uncover the best and most reliable retailers and find out which parts they can pick up across discounted and second-hand dealers, and which accessories can be purchased from the cheaper but no less effective small businesses.