Why Is AutoZone So Expensive? (And How To Make It Cheaper)

why is autozone so expensive

Wondering why Autozone parts cost so much?

In this article, I’ll explore the reasons behind AutoZone’s high prices, how you can save money at Autozone, and whether or not they are worth it.

Here’s Why AutoZone is So Expensive

Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why parts cost so much at AutoZone.

1. You’re Not Purchasing Directly From The Supplier

When you buy a part from Autozone, you are not buying it directly from the supplier.

Autozone is buying parts from suppliers and then marking up this price so they can sell it at a profit. AutoZone will often buy parts from suppliers who purchased the part from somewhere else, meaning the part you are buying is a product that has been marked up more than once.

Parts on sites like RockAuto or eBay are much less expensive because the suppliers are selling to you directly, rather than through a middleman.

2. Convenience

Local AutoZone Store
Local AutoZone Store

AutoZone can charge higher prices for their parts because they are convenient.

If you order a part online, you will have to wait several days for it to arrive, and if you don’t like it, you have the hassle of having to return it while also paying for return shipping.

With AutoZone, you can get the part the same day as you need it.

This convenience is why Autozone is able to add a premium to its prices.

3. They Have Significant Overheads

AutoZone Employees
AutoZone Employees

AutoZone prices have to factor in a lot of overheads.

They have hundreds of employees, and rent large retail facilities, which all take a lot of energy to keep running

These costs are factored into AutoZone’s pricing.

When you purchase a part from an online retailer such as RockAuto, the parts are much cheaper because they don’t have to hire as many staff or pay for physical stores.

4. Lack of Buying Power

You’ve probably noticed that Walmart car parts are significantly cheaper than the same part in AutoZone.

This is mainly due to Walmart’s size and buying power. Due to its sheer size, Walmart is able to negotiate better rates for its parts, and these savings are passed on to the buyer.

How To Save Money On Autozone Parts

Although AutoZone parts can be expensive, they offer a number of different ways to save some money on your purchases

1. Autozone Price Match

Although price matching is not advertised on their website, many local AutoZone stores will match prices from other local car part stores like Walmart, Oreillys, Advanced Auto Parts, and Napa.

To get the price match, you need to provide AutoZone with some proof. You can either show them the product listed on the website or provide some kind of ad. Once you have this, simply ask one of the store attendants if they do price matching and they will take you through the process.

AutoZone usually doesn’t match the prices of any online-only stores such as Amazon, eBay, or RockAuto. However, this seems to depend on the division and state. I’ve read several online reports of AutoZone store’s price matching with RockAuto, so it’s definitely worth asking. Just keep in mind that the part numbers need to be the same and have the same warranty for them to price match.

2. Autozone Rewards Program

Autozone Rewards Program
Autozone Rewards Program

Autozone also has a rewards program that allows you to earn a $20 reward after every 5 purchases of $20 or more.

If you are purchasing 5 or more items over $20, most AutoZone stores will allow you to put the transaction through five separate times on your credit card to allow you to receive the benefit.

Signing up for their rewards program also gives you access to their excluding rewards offers that are reserved for members.

3. Autozone Discounts, Coupons & Promo Codes

AutoZone Bonus Reward Coupons
AutoZone Bonus Reward Coupons

Before visiting AutoZone you should check the coupons page on their website for the latest discounts that they are offering.

They regularly list $10-$15 “bonus rewards” on items for a limited time.

Simply purchase the item online and have it delivered, or collect them the same day from your local AutoZone store.

Once you have purchased the item online, the bonus reward will be credited to your rewards account after 24 hours.

Is Autozone More Expensive Than Its Competitors?

Mobil 1 Full synthetic oil (5W-30 1 Quart) at Auzone, Walmart, O'reilly's, and Napa
Mobil 1 Full Synthetic oil (5W-30 1 Quart) at Auzone, Walmart, O’reilly’s, and Napa

Let’s take a look at how Autozone prices compare to its main competitors.

To illustrate the price difference in price, we’re going to look at how much it costs to purchase some Mobil 1 Full synthetic oil (5W-30 1 Quart) at Autozone, Napa, O’Reilly’s, and Walmart.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Autozone = $10.49
  • Napa = $11.49
  • O’Reilly’s = $9.99
  • Wallmart = $7.97

As you can see, the oil at AutoZone is the second most expensive to buy at $10.49, while the same oil costs around $3 less at Walmart at $7.97.

While this is a small sample of how these parts retailers price their products and not every part will be the same, it gives you a good idea of just how expensive AutoZone is compared to o

Are Autozone Parts Worth The Cost?

AutoZone Parts
AutoZone Parts

Whether Autozone is worth the cost really depends on you. If you buy from AutoZone in-store, you are paying a bit extra for the convenience of using a brick-and-mortar store. You can get the part you need almost instantly (sometimes debatable) customer service to help you find the right part, and you can return the part pretty easily without any shipping fees.

This extra convenience makes AutoZone’s expensive pricing worth it for a lot of people.

However, many people, like Nathan from Nathans BMW Workshop, advise against purchasing parts from Autozone. He thinks the customer service is poor, with the employees often having no real knowledge about cars and the prices being much cheaper elsewhere. He explains while car batteries at AutoZone cost $150-$200, the same car battery at Walmart costs $59 and will do just as good a job. He also finds it frustrating that they almost never have the part that you want. You can check out the entire video below

Why you shouldn’t buy parts from AutoZone

How To Get Cheaper Parts Than Autozone

There are several ways you can get cheaper parts than Autozone. Buying your parts online is the most obvious one as you can buy directly from suppliers rather than through middlemen who charge a markup. However, keep in mind that you might have to wait a bit longer for the part to be shipped.

Here are some of the most popular online parts retailers:

  • eBay – good for used parts you can’t find locally
  • EuroCarParts – good for European brands like BMW
  • Amazon – Good for car accessories like wiper blades or is you need something fast
  • Rockauto – Good search function on the website and low prices but the shipping costs can sometimes be quite expensive.

Final Thoughts – Why AutoZone Parts Are Expensive

In summary, there’s no doubt that AutoZone parts are more expensive than other car part retailers.

The reason they cost so much to use is that they offer the convenience of being able to go and get the part you need quickly without the faff of ordering online, waiting for the part to arrive, and then having to send it back.

When you buy a part from AutoZone, you aren’t purchasing the part directly from the supplier, meaning you’re potentially purchasing a part that has already been marked up several times.

If you want to save money when buying car parts you should consider buying them online. Online stores have way fewer overheads than AutoZone and many of them allow you to buy directly from the supplier.

What’s your experience with Autozone? Do you find them overpriced? Let me know in the comments.