Genuine vs. Aftermarket Towbars – Which Are Better?

Genuine vs. Aftermarket Towbars – Which Are Better?

16th Apr 2021

About a month ago I got sick with the flu, so I went to the doctors to get some prescription medication. I went to my local chemist and was asked if I wanted a generic substitute. It’s a question I’d been asked many times before and had always said yes, just as I did on this occasion. But on my way home, I thought about other situations where the ‘genuine article vs. after market or generic product’ choice might arise and how it might affect me.

I might make a meal that ‘requires’ a certain brand of Canola Oil, but will replace that brand with a generic substitute and the recipe thankfully won’t fall to pieces. When it comes to my car, though, safety is paramount, so I’m happy to pay that little bit extra for the added peace of mind that comes with buying genuine parts or even an original equipment manufacturers product. It’s a fine rule to apply for items that are essential to the car’s safety, but is it necessary to go that far for something like a tow bar? Will I be compromising on safety by purchasing an aftermarket tow bar, and from a value standpoint, will I be saving enough money to justify that decision? Let’s take a look at both questions below with professional Melbourne towbar installers Fivestar Towbars.

An Explanation of Each Towbar Type

Before we go any further, it would be wise to explain the key terms here before you shop around for towbars in Melbourne. A genuine towbar will display the logo of the car manufacturer (e.g. Toyota, Ford, Mercedes), indicating that it is a genuine part. It’s important to note that the car manufacturer might not be the actual manufacturer of the towbar, but by simply adding the logo it becomes their ‘genuine’ part. These parts are typically the most expensive, as people ultimately pay for the logo.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are exactly the same products made by the companies who make the ‘genuine’ parts for car manufacturers. The only difference is that the car manufacturer’s logo doesn’t appear on the product and so the product is less expensive than its ‘genuine’ counterpart.

Aftermarket towbars, however, come from third party, independent companies such as Hayman Reese and Westfalia who specialise in towbar design and manufacture. Like genuine and OEM parts, all aftermarket towbars sold by trusted retailers are designed and manufactured to conform to all Australian Design Rules. They are just as safe as genuine and OEM parts but are considerably less expensive, as you’re not paying for the privilege of the car maker’s logo. However, you should be aware that there might be some sub-par products on the market, so you should always go through reputable retailers like Melbourne towbar specialist FiveStar Towbars, who only deals with ADR approved parts.

How Much Can You Save?

Just like my initial example of saving money by opting for the generic substitute medication at the chemist, so too can a towbar purchaser potentially save – often anywhere between $400 and $600 – by opting for an ADR approved, aftermarket towbar instead of the genuine article. In some rare cases, you might save thousands! If you’re looking at price alone, bear in mind that the cheapest products that fall well below Australian standards might end up costing you more in the long run, so it’s always best to choose aftermarket towbar brands like Westfalia and Hayman Reese that have built up a strong reputation over the years. As for the installation process, you can either opt to do it yourself or find a specialist to install your towbar in Melbourne, such as Fivestar Towbars.

Many people remain hesitant about purchasing aftermarket towbars in Melbourne for a number of reasons, including uncertainty about the quality and the possibility of a third party towbar voiding your car’s warranty among them (don’t worry, it won’t). Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.

Our Suppliers

All types of towbars and tow hitches for all applications are available to be installed by Five Star Towbars. Many other accessories such as brake controllers, load levelling systems, airglide systems and anti away systems are also available.

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