Nowadays, you can buy almost anything online. Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, this trend has escalated. Some companies have started to sell products online due to the restrictions during the pandemic. Many of these companies are doing so well with online sales that they’ve decided to keep it as part of their business. Some companies have actually closed down their retail outlets or shops and are now only selling online.

This is a worldwide trend and South Africa is no exception. Many South Africans who haven’t done any purchases online before have been “forced” to look online for products due to the pandemic’s restrictions. 

Although it was possible to order car parts online in South Africa even before the pandemic, it was mostly car repair businesses that used the facility. Nowadays more and more vehicle owners who need a specific car part to use themselves, are making use of an online buying option.

Why it Makes Sense to Buy Online

Before looking specifically at the buying of car parts online, let’s look at a few advantages of online purchasing in general. 

Products are Cheaper

Sellers who trade exclusively online do not have to pay for retail outlets or shops, but in principle only for less expensive storage space with one or two offices. The business can also function with fewer employees. With the correct software, the whole selling process can be handled with only a few expert staff members. 

The result is that the business’ overheads are cut down and products can be sold at a lower price. You, as the customer, get the benefit of the cheaper products.

Easy Comparison of Prices 

You can compare prices online faster than going from outlet to outlet. With online shopping, you search for and buy what you want from the retailer of your choice wherever it is situated in the country. 

The more you buy the same type of product online the faster your searching and buying process will become. If you save the web addresses of the retailers selling the products you frequently order, you can quickly determine where you can get the best price and order online from anywhere in South Africa. This saves you time and effort.

Easy to Become a Regular Customer of a Remote Retailer

Online buying allows you to make specific retailers your regular suppliers even if you are physically thousands of kilometres away from them. It often happens that after a few online searches for specific products you discover that the same online retailer always has the best price and offers the best service. As you are buying online this retailer can become your regular supplier wherever you are residing.

Online Buying of Car Parts

Now that we know more about the recent “explosion” of online buying possibilities, let’s look at the buying of car parts in particular.

History of Buying Car Parts 

Consumers have been buying car parts for over 100 years. In the early 1900s car owners had to visit a car dealership or car parts store if they needed a car part. It was necessary to physically go to the shop, walk into the shop or dealership and get the part you needed. If you wanted to compare prices you had the time-consuming task to go from outlet to outlet, and then back to the one with the best price. 

When telephones came into general use, you could phone different stores to compare prices and determine whether the product you need was in stock. The staff member answering the telephone generally had to take some time to find the price – wasting a lot of your time   

Then later, when mail-orders became possible, consumers could order their products by post. All the seller needed was either a cheque sent with the order or the purchaser’s credit card details.

When the Internet came into everyday use towards the end of the 1900s, the pattern of buying car parts started to change significantly – also in South Africa.

What You Have to Know About the Retailer When Buying Car Parts Online  

Although there are many benefits when buying car parts online, there are pitfalls as well. You can avoid most of these pitfalls if you know what to look for on the different retailers’ websites. It is important to read all their selling promises and their conditions carefully. But it is sometimes more important to discover what they are not saying on the site.  

How Long is the Retailer Doing Business already?

The rule of thumb is that the longer an online car part dealer is in business, the better is the chances that parts you are looking for are in stock, and that delivery will be quick. 

We know that every business has to start somewhere, but from a purchaser’s point of view, it is better if you use a retailer that has been selling car parts for a few years already. “Start My Car” for instance has been a well-established online business since 2015. 

Is the Retailer Reliable?

It is worthwhile to check on sites like “Hellopeter” whether there are positive or negative comments about the retailer you have in mind. The longer the retailer is in business already, the more detailed comments you will find. If there are more negative comments than positive ones, don’t use the retailer.

Can the Retailer Supply a wide Variety of Products?

Companies like “Start My Car” offers more than 25,000 listings. The product you need will most probably be in stock and can be sent to you within hours. A good seller will also find a specific product for you even if it is not part of their normal stock. 

Determine the Delivery Costs and Delivery Time

A reliable retailer ensures that deliveries are prompt and correct. Retailers mostly use a third party to deliver the ordered car parts. Ensure that it is a delivery service that serves the area where you are residing. The detail should be on the website. A good retailer normally delivers free of charge if you are a frequent buyer, or if you buy parts for a total prescribed amount. 

Can You Return the Product if it is not what you’ve ordered?

A well-established retailer like “Start My Car” guarantees money back or exchanging the part if you send it back if it is not in working condition, or if you send it back without opening the packaging when it is a product you haven’t ordered or even want anymore


In conclusion, as we’ve discussed in this article, the two main reasons why it makes sense to buy car parts online are:

  • It saves you time – you don’t have to go from outlet to outlet to compare prices and to find what you are looking for.
  • It saves you money - you can buy where you find the best price, including the delivery cost.

When you want to order your next car part, go online and search for suppliers, check for the pro and cons of the retailer and order your products. Or you can take the shortcut and go directly to