Motor Vehicle Parts Person

The Job and What's Involved

As a motor vehicle parts person, you would sell motor parts and accessories to garages, car dealerships and the general public.

You might concentrate on spares and accessories for cars, small vans and motorcycles, or specialise in heavy vehicles, such as lorries, plant machinery, buses and coaches.

Your duties would typically include:

  • Advising customers what parts they might need for their vehicle.
  • Taking orders in person, over the phone and via email.
  • Checking availability of parts on computerised stock records.
  • Getting parts from the storeroom or warehouse or, if out of stock, ordering them from suppliers.
  • Putting orders together, and arranging for them to be sent by courier, or making deliveries yourself.
  • Dealing with payments.
  • Raising invoices and issuing receipts.
  • Maintaining shop window and shelf displays.
  • Ordering supplies, putting stock away and updating records.

You would usually work between 37 and 40 hours a week. Many companies operate a rota system, which includes evenings and weekends.

Salaries are around £14,000 to £18,000 a year. Senior staff can earn over £25,000 a year.

Some companies offer bonus schemes linked to sales, which can increase earnings and overtime opportunities.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

You could work in a range of settings, from large service centres, where the main clients are car dealerships, to independent garages working directly with the public. You could also find jobs with smaller retail outlets, dealing specifically with car spares and accessories.

Vacancies are advertised through newspapers, Jobcentre Plus, specialist recruitment agencies and on the Directgov website.

Education and Training

You do not need any formal qualifications to get into this job, although some employers may want to see relevant experience in vehicle parts, vehicle servicing or customer service. You are likely to need a driving licence.

You may be able to get into this career through an Apprenticeship scheme. To get on to a scheme, you will normally need four GCSE's (grades A-C), or equivalent qualifications but it is best to check with the college or training provider.

Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. As an apprentice you must be paid at least £95 per week; you may well be paid more. A recent survey found that the average wage for apprentices was £170 a week. Your pay will depend on the sector in which you work, your age, the area where you live and the stage at which you have arrived in the Apprenticeship.

Entry to Employment (e2e) can help to prepare those who are not yet ready for an Apprenticeship. In addition, Young Apprenticeships may be available for 14- to 16-year-olds. More information is available from a Connexions personal adviser or at

There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For further information visit My World of Work, Careers Wales; and for Northern Ireland contact

The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. To find out more about Apprenticeships, visit the Apprenticeships or the Institute of the Motor Industry websites.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

Once you start work, you could complete NVQ in Vehicle Parts Operations at Levels 2 and 3.

IMI Awards NVQ in Vehicle Parts Operations (100/2677/0).

City and Guilds NVQ in Vehicle Parts Operations (4009).

Your employer may arrange for you to attend short courses offered by main dealers or manufacturers, to update your product knowledge.

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Roustabouts do basic tasks to help keep the rig and platform working efficiently and Roughnecks do practical tasks involved in the drilling operation, under the supervision of the driller.


Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A motor vehicle parts person needs:

  • Knowledge of vehicle parts and accessories.
  • A good technical knowledge of how motor vehicles work.
  • A willingness to keep technical knowledge updated.
  • Excellent communication and customer service skills.
  • Good administration and computer skills.
  • Good maths skills.
  • The ability to work as part of a team.
  • The ability to explain technical details clearly to customers.

Your Long Term Prospects

With experience, you could progress to a supervisor or service adviser job, or move into the service and repair side.

You may be able to move into self-employment as a parts supplier.

Get Further Information

The Institute of the Motor Industry,
Fanshaws, Brickendon,
Hertford SG13 8PQ
Tel: 01992 511 521


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