If you haven’t heard of FCP Euro, you must not be someone who owns, drives, or tracks a European car… FCP Euro is one of, if not the top provider of parts for European cars. We’re talking BMW, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, VW, and on and on. You know, the other 40% of cars at a track day that aren’t Miatas, Hondas, or Corvettes. However, FCP Euro is much more than a faceless online marketplace for your BMW.
You know what they say, “There’s no such thing as Free Lunch”… But What if you only had to buy lunch once, and the next day you could bring back the empty plate, and they’ll refill it for you? Sounds like a very affordable lunch. That’s where FCP Euro’s “Lifetime Replacement Guarantee” steps in. Yes, it is a lifetime guarantee on all parts they sell.. But sit down: This covers Wear items and Consumables. Your used motor oil? Boiled Brake Fluid? Worn BRAKE PADS? All of it, covered. Use it up as intended, then send it back for a fresh item. Put the oil back in the container, send box up what’s left of the brake pads, etc. Rinse, repeat.
Consumables are one of the single biggest drivers of track day costs, and this program is a way you can slash that budget. Beyond wear-item consumables, you also have stuff that just wears out with track use, like hubs and bearings. Don’t forget things commonly bent in on-track contact (control arms, tie rods, etc). It is all eligible for replacement.
I reached out to FCP Euro and spoke on the phone with Evan Madore & Michael Roselli who were more than generous with their time in answering my questions. While their website is great and has a ton of info, I was able to learn a lot more about the program through our conversation.
How does the Lifetime Replacement Guarantee work:
You buy something from FCP Euro, let’s say brake pads. You install them and use them up after three track weekends. Purchase another set of pads from FCP Euro (Think of paying this time as a deposit). Send your old pads back to FCP Euro (with the proper forms), and your second purchase will be refunded (your deposit returned). That’s it. The only thing you’re out is the cost of shipping. (Apparently, if you pay via Paypal, you can take advantage of PayPal’s “Free Return Service” and [within some limits] won’t even need to pay for that)
Time for an oil change? Pour the old oil back into the container, package it up real well and ship it back.
Bought tie rods a few years ago and bent one in half battling a guardrail? Package it up and ship it back.
Brake rotors getting heatchecked? Box ‘em up.
You name it, they’ll take it back.
How doesn’t it work:
Nearly their entire catalog is eligible: The only exception is basically for cans of things that are applied: Like brake cleaner, liquid gaskets, and anything emptied that can’t be “returned”.
You must be the original purchaser of the part, and the warranty is good for as long as you own the car. That’s it. No hidden terms or arbitrary denial like those “extended vehicle warranty” scams.
How can they do this? Is this REAL?
I’ve heard people say “There’s no way it’s real, there has to be fine print, they’d be LOSING money with such a policy!”
Correct, They are losing money…
This policy absolutely costs FCP Euro some serious money. Especially from the track day/racing crowd. However, rather than a loss, they look at this expense as a cost of advertising. The program gets their name out and builds a loyal following among customers. While you can be sure you are getting genuine, quality parts from FCP Euro, people may just choose their local parts counter or amazon for the simple convenience. This market makes getting and retaining loyal customers a tough job. The Lifetime Replacement Guarantee is a cost of doing business in the modern marketplace, and after 10 years the program continues to show that it’s working well.
How big is their Dumpster with all the used up parts they get back?
With a very high volume of returned “used” parts, you have to imagine that it is quite the chore to dispose of all the used up, worn, and broken parts. It turns out, they don’t simply view it as a chore, they do their best to recycle and repurpose these parts for good. Used, but not used-up components are donated to local tech schools, Oil goes to garages with waste-oil heaters. Even the fluid containers are drained, cleaned, and recycled. They’re always looking for new ways to make the best of the returned parts. Still interested? Read more about what they do with returned items here.
From here it came up that FCP Euro has its own internal CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Board. From the board’s own mission statement: “We use our business as an example of an active and deliberate effort to drive the communities we create and serve towards innovation, human equity, and sustainability. As part of our vision to be the most valued and trusted European online auto parts retailer globally, we have a responsibility to make a positive and sustainable impact on the communities we serve.
We know our FCP Euro core values can drive societal change. Whether it is addressing social issues, employment opportunities, or helping the environment, we continue to find new ways to innovate, compete, and create a sustainable business environment.”
I’m very impressed. Refreshed, even, to see a parts supplier looking beyond their own business and working to improve their community and this hobby at large. It turns out, they are a lot bigger than just a parts supplier. Big Kudos to FCP Euro here for putting in some real work.
Don’t be a Jerk:
While looking over their website I noticed a few mentions to return products only bought from them. I had to ask, do people really try that? Apparently, Yes. Despite this being a near unbelievably generous program, a few people still try to “beat” the system by doing things like sending the wrong parts, or returning parts not actually purchased from FCP Euro. This adds an unnecessary stress to the program (As they all get denied, but not without wasting the time of everyone), so don’t ruin it for everyone by being that jerk.
In their words:
After you read this, check out their site: HERE They have a great FAQ section, videos, and to-do’s. They’re also happy to answer any questions, when I asked how many people call to ask “Is this for real?”…their reply was a jovial “Oh, Very often”
The FCP Euro “LRG” Lifetime Replacement Guarantee program is a HUGE opportunity to slash the cost for consumables on your European car. And Yes, I asked (Begged?) but no, they aren’t planning on carrying Miata parts in the future… but I’ll keep trying. Maybe I should look into getting an E30 afterall…
Note: I’m embarrassed to mention how long it took me to realize that the “FCP” in FCP Euro stood for “Foreign Car Parts”, but I have to mention it. Did you get that?
Also of note:
In 2021, FCP Euro entered into a 10 year partnership with Lime Rock Park and have already begun investing big in preserving and improving the famous facility. They also run and support multiple race teams across various pro racing series. It seems everywhere they go, they do good. Facebook Instagram
*Final Note: I was in no way compensated for this post: I’ve heard so much about their Lifetime Replacement program that not covering them would be doing a disservice to my readers with European cars.