Deposit on car parts? What is this all about?
Yes, the auto parts sector also operates with a deposit system - similar to the beverage market. However, the deposit is only applied to a few categories of parts such as battery, alternator, starter, steering gear and brake calipers.
If car parts are worn out, these parts can no longer be used or must be replaced in a timely manner. However, for some, it is sufficient to replace only the worn elements to be able to reinstall and use the spare part. This is especially useful for complex and expensive car parts such as a steering gear, clutch or alternator.
Many car parts from these categories are therefore offered as so-called exchange parts (also often abbreviated as AT parts) and thus as a cost-effective alternative to new parts. These exchange parts are reconditioned with regard to the previously defective or worn components and are comparable in quality to new parts. To benefit from the favorable prices of the exchange parts, buyers usually have to return their old, defective part to the dealer in exchange for the reconditioned part. The price of the old part is initially charged as a deposit at the time of purchase and is refunded when the old part is returned - these replacement parts are therefore also referred to as deposit parts. If the buyer is unable to submit an old part as a deposit, the seller is usually paid compensation for the price difference.
Often, the exchange parts are refurbished or reconditioned, used original parts.