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Lots of drivers love to hit the open road in a unique vehicle, something that turns heads in the middle of thousands of cookie-cutter domestics. European cars have always been popular in this regard, with their legendary quality and unique styling making them a first choice of drivers who want that little edge on the road. The trouble comes when repairs are needed and parts can’t be found. If your preferred ride is a European import, think about these four ways to find spare parts for it.

Connect with Other Owners

Social media makes it very easy to get into contact with others who share your interests, and European cars are the foundation of many different groups. Explore those, and see who can recommend parts suppliers or other outlets for the things you need. When you do find a source, be sure to maintain contact information for additional repairs several kilometers down the line. There are Facebook groups and internet communities for nationalities of cars, specific brands, even specific models. They can generally give you the help you need to figure out what parts you might need to have on hand and how to get them.

Identify Online Sources

Many parts suppliers have online stores, either as free-standing sites or as part of popular auction web sites. Get some practice with your search terms. Learn the benefits of entering “renault brake pads” instead of just “brake pads imports”, so that you can quickly track down what you need through these avenues. Then add them to favorites or contacts lists so that, once again, you can have an easier time finding them for the next repair.

Look for Specialty Salvage Yards

There are junk yards, and then there are salvage yards. Junk yards are essentially gathering points for scrap metal, but salvage yards are often very organized and may even specialize. Some yards may have heavy trucks, others domestic cars, and still other European models. Find out which of these may exist in your area and get to know the owners. They often have an encyclopedic knowledge of what’s on hand. Going in knowing exactly what you need can always be a great help.

Buy Another Car

This doesn’t mean to give up on your car when it breaks down. It’s simply a strategy for gathering parts. If you run across a car just like yours that isn’t fully operational, consider buying it. Use online indexes to confirm that its parts will fit your car, then take it home and store it safely to provide an instant donor for your primary vehicle. Of course, this is only a good strategy if you have the money and know-how, but can be very effective.

European cars have style, quality, and a unique look. It’s no wonder that they’re often chosen by drivers who want something special. The only challenge is finding parts, so as soon as you buy a continental model, make plans to find parts. You can do this by searching for specific things you need, linking up with online communities, and going to specialty salvage yards, and keeping an eye out for broken down cars in your model.