Do you need to replace a car part but want to avoid a massive bill from a mechanic? Or is your mechanic too booked to swap out a part for you? There are some auto parts stores that aim to solve this dilemma. These shops sell a variety of vehicle components and accessories for all kinds of makes and models.
In Australia, two popular options are Autobarn and Supercheap. Both of these companies have country-wide presences with over a hundred stores, along with a strong online shopping component. I've taken a look at different products and services offered by both to give you an idea of what to expect.
Overview of Autobarn and Supercheap
Unique Autobarn Features
Unique Supercheap Features
In Store Services
Autobarn stores boast a range of available fitment services. However, the exact ones vary from store to store. Larger locations with more employees and traffic may have more comprehensive options. The main basic categories include:
Individual stores might have more specialized services. For example, the Eltham location also offers:
Supercheap boasts a wide variety of in-store services for both external and internal vehicle needs. This makes it one of the best auto parts stores to visit if you're looking for more routine mechanic needs. That said, the employees won't necessarily be able to do everything a regular auto mechanic can.
The following services are available free of charge:
Paid engine maintenance services include:
In addition, the employees are capable of fitting nearly all of the basic exterior and interior components that the company sells.
Supercheap provides many of the vehicle maintenance services that you'd generally need to have performed at a mechanic. In addition, they have more robust fitting services for engine parts, exterior components, and interior pieces. Some of their maintenance services are even available free of charge.
Autobarn offers quite a few online tools and resources. There's general information about company policies, franchise opportunities, store location, online shopping FAQs, and product safety recalls. You can also find any information about employment opportunities.
Some customer service is available through the website. There's a Contact Us page where you can send inquiries if you have any issues or questions. You can also start the returns process through the website if you need to make a return or exchange.
You can register with insurance products online to protect your vehicle or its contents against theft or damage.
You can also sign up for the online mailing list and Autoclub. With Autoclub, you get a monthly newsletter that gives you information about the automobile industry. It also gives you information about sales, discounts, and sometimes exclusive coupons with certain percentages off ticketed prices.
Most of Supercheap's online tools are related to online shopping or helping you find the right in-person store to suit your needs. Their website has information about where to find store, career opportunities, trade partner information, and any ongoing product safety notices or recalls.
There are a variety of available customer support measures that are helpful. Among these are order tracking, returns and exchange inquiries, frequently asked questions, and a page with contact details.
One very helpful online tool is the Mechanic Finder feature. With this system, you can find a local mechanic to work on your car. All you need to do is input:
You'll then be shown a page that compares the rates and distances of mechanics in your area. You can book an appointment online.
Autobarn has a number of helpful online tools and support features. It's easy to place orders through their website, and they also offer monthly newsletters to keep you up-to-date. The mechanic finding tool with Supercheap is a great option for those looking for a local and affordable mechanic, though.
Pros and Cons of Autobarn
Pros and Cons of Supercheap
Final Thoughts: Which Is Better?
Both of these auto parts stores have strong presences in Australia. They also both sell a wide range of products and employ individuals with expertise in different auto-related fields. If you need to find a standard car part or accessory, there's a good chance that both companies will have it.
If you want to shop at a brick-and-mortar store, Supercheap has the advantage. This company has over three hundred locations in the country, nearly twice as many as the competition. You're more likely to find a store close to you. The company also has more comprehensive in-person services available than the competitor.
On the other hand, if you prefer to shop online, you'll appreciate Autobarn more. The website is easy to navigate, allowing you to search by product, vehicle, or brand. You can purchase insurance securities to protect your vehicle or its components. And the online tools and learning resources included are comprehensive.