When it’s time to buy replacement parts for my car, I always like to find ways to save. It just isn't that fun to buy auto parts! But they keep my car in good working order, and that part I appreciate. Here are the "best of the best" deals at major nationwide auto parts stores. Some have really awesome customer rewards programs, all offer rebates, and you can sign up for their email lists to get coupons and deals as they are offered.

Deciding where to shop

On the surface, all five of these auto parts stores resemble one another. For instance, each one has an email list. Each one offers free shipping on orders of $75+. Each one posts their current store circular packed full of specials and deals.

Tips to choose:

  • Location: If one chain's store is closer to you, try them first!
  • Repair needs: If you also need help with installation or repairs, you’ll want to visit Pep Boys, Advance Auto Parts, or NAPA Auto Parts (Auto Zone and O'Reilly don't offer service beyond very basic installation like windshield wipers).
  • Deals: One chain may be offering a better deal or rebate.
  • Rewards: It may not make sense to sign up for all five rewards programs—rather, pick one and accumulate the points to get your free gift card.

Example: compare & choose

Another good way to decide where to shop (especially if all five stores are nearby to your location) is to go online first to compare deals and pricing for the part you need. Here’s an example using windshield wiper blades for my 2005 Toyota Rav 4.

Example: Part needed is a Bosch ICON driver side/passenger side wiper blade set.

  • AutoZone: $23.49-driver side / $20.99-passenger side. Free in-store installation offered.
  • O'Reilly Auto Parts: $23.99-driver side / $19.99-passenger side. No free in-store installation offered.
  • Pep Boys: $23.99-driver side / $21.99-passenger side. Buy two Bosch ICON wiper blades and get $6 off. Free in-store installation offered.
  • Advance Auto Parts: $22.99-driver side / $19.99-passenger side. Free in-store installation offered.
  • NAPA Auto Parts: Doesn't offer the parts I need.

MY CHOICE? Pep Boys – I get $6 off and free in-store installation! Score!

5 Awesome auto parts discount stores 

Each of these stores is quite similar – which, of course, is because they are all directly competing with each other for YOUR business. Make them earn it!

1. Auto Zone

Auto Zone is big where I live. I visit them regularly for replacement parts (wiper blades, filters). Not only is it easy to find what I need, but every time I go in, the store staff has been totally willing to install whatever I've just bought on the spot—for free. Technically, however, Auto Zone doesn't offer repairs in-house—but they will help you find a local shop to do your repairs.

2. O'Reilly Auto Parts

O'Reilly Auto Parts is a nationwide chain of parts franchises. Like Auto Zone, they have manuals for most vehicle make and models in-store or online so you can find exactly what your car requires. O'Reilly doesn't offer repairs in-house, but will help you find a qualified local repair shop.

3. Pep Boys

Pep Boys is yet another nationwide chain of parts franchises. Pep Boys also offers a service department to help with repairs and installation.

4. Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts is also nationwide and offers both parts and services (including a number of cost-saving free services, plus free oil recycling).

5. NAPA Auto Parts

NAPA Auto Parts is nationwide and in addition to discounted parts, they have 6,000+ service locations. You can also chat with an auto care expert online. If you are in the auto business, they have a ProRewards program for you.

  • Website: http://www.napaonline.com
  • Email: Use the pop-up menu or enter your email on the home page (bottom left corner).
  • NAPA Rewards: The NAPA Rewards program is simple—shop and earn points. 1 point = $1, and when you earn 150 points a $5 coupon is issued to you.
  • AAA membership savings: If you are a AAA member, you get 10% off all orders.
  • Rebates: You can find rebates, submit for rebates, and track your pending rebates here: http://www.naparebates.com
  • Specials: Click on any ad you see on the home page to be taken to the monthly specials page.