More older, off warranty cars means more need for replacement parts. With an average age of cars going up to a record estimated 11.5 years, in this economy , more people are keeping and repairing their cars rather than replacing them. And that brings about the need for more aftermarket parts stores. Here are some of the biggest.
1. Auto Zone www.autozone.com
Established in 1979, Auto Zone is relatively new but they have quickly grown to one of the largest and most recognized parts stores in the United States. With close to 5000 stores located in 49 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico, Auto Zone is one of the leaders in retail aftermarket auto parts One of the things that sets them apart is their computer network to locate inventory at other stores in the area. They also have a completely separate division within their stores for commercial customers such as independent repair shops and dealerships.
2. NAPA Auto Parts www.napaonline.com
Established in 1925 they are one of the oldest in the aftermarket parts business. With around 6000 stores and with 80% of those being locally owned rather than company owned, NAPA has the most stores covering most of the United States. . One of their specialties is catering to local repair shops as well as retail parts sales.
3. Advance Auto Parts. www.advanceautoparts.com
Established in 1957, Advance Auto Parts has 4000 stores in 40 states covering mostly the eastern United States. They also cater to the do-it-yourselfer as well as professionals with separate commercial and retail divisions within the same stores. Once known as Advance Discount Auto Parts, they have been phasing out the Discount in their name, however locals will still refer to them as Discount.
4. O'Reilly Auto Parts. www.oreillyauto.com
Established in 1957, O'Reilly is one of the fastest growing chains with 4000 stores in 42 states. The most recent openings have been right here in Hillsborough County. The company is also planning a new distribution center in Lakeland and looking for up to 25 more stores in the area in the next few years. One of O'Reilly's specialities is have not only auto parts but also parts for farm and heavy duty equipment.
While there are many other parts stores such as Pep Boys, Carquest and other regional names, the above list highlights 4 of the biggest names in the aftermarket parts business. So weather you are doing your own repair or having an independent shop do it for you, chances are your parts will come from one of these leading parts stores.