Spare Parts

Legal Position

Manufacturers or distributors have no legal responsibility to supply spares within a given time frame.

To our knowledge there is no specific guidance on whether spare parts have to be available for a set period or even at all

There is no guarantee of spares availability or any guarantee on how quickly spares have to be provided within or outside of warranty

Functional spare parts are considered to be any mechanical or electro-mechanical parts.

Cosmetic spare parts are considered to be plastics (non-functional) and decorative items that are not essential to the operation of the appliance. However it should be noted that this can include spares such as control knobs, handles and the likes.

Where a cosmetic spare part fails that there is a potential safety concern (wiring or electrical components left accessible, danger of injury from cuts etc.) it can be the case that an appliance is effectively written off due to the non-availability of such a part if the conditions would present any danger.

Spare Part Supplies In The UK

As spare parts for domestic appliances are considered to be of very low value and, as such, are generally shipped in bulk to minimise costs to consumers, manufacturers and distributors. It is rare that a single spare part is shipped this is due to the low value of the products in general and the high cost of shipping small spare parts to repair these low value items.

This means that part orders are generally made up from the requirement to fulfill multiple jobs on one spare part order. Where this is a manufacturer or distributor order there may be several hundred or, even thousands, of spare parts on a single shipment.

In general most appliance manufacturers or spare part distribution companies do not provide tracking information for single items. They may, in some instances, provide tracking information for a particular order but information of what has been shipped may not be available.

The biggest reason for this is that, should the supplier have any back orders to ship along with a current order, they will be shipped at the same time usually. This therefore makes it difficult for suppliers to definitively provide details of exactly what spare parts have been shipped.

The reason for this system is simply that it is not economically viable to ship single items on courier services for single repairs with the charges for shipping items in that manner being greater than most spare part's value and, often, any profit from the sale.

Due to this precise delivery times are very often extremely difficult to provide other than, in some cases, a very approximate estimation of when any particular spare will be delivered, even when the part is available from UK held stock.

Spare Part Delivery Times

Spare parts not held in stock in the UK but that are available from European suppliers can take some time to be supplied but, where the appliance or the spares are outside the EU the lead times can be hugely extended.

Generally accepted industry standards are as follows:

UK held spare part in stock (distributor order): 1-5 working days from order

EU held spare part in stock (distributor order): 5-30 working days from order

Non-EU held spare part in stock (manufacturer (factory) order): 10-120 working days from order

These examples can vary considerably by brand or spare part manufacturer/supplier with some of the more obscure spare parts taking some months to arrive into stock. It should be noted that some brands can be extremely problematic in this respect however, the repairer should advise of this in advance where this is the case and that the repairer is aware of this fact.

UK held spare part in stock (manufacturer (factory) order): 2-10 working days from order

EU held spare part in stock (manufacturer (factory) order): 4-20 working days from order

Non-EU held spare part in stock (manufacturer (factory) order): 10-120 working days from order

Once again, some brands and manufacturers can vary quite considerably from the above estimation of timescales. Some spare parts from some manufacturers can take considerably longer however, advice should be given by the repairer where this is the case and that the repairer is aware of this.

Whitegoods Trade Association Members

WTA members will generally trade well within the accepted industry standards however they can be constrained by the manufacturer or distributor's availability for spare parts. Within the manufacturer's warranty period or, an extended warranty period, they are often not allowed to use alternative spare parts or suppliers due to contractual obligations.

Once the appliance is outside of any warranty WTA members are free, where possible, to use any supplier or means of obtaining spare parts that they can allowing them much more freedom which can make service faster.

WTA members are expected to inform you of any possible delays to the delivery of spare parts and to offer you an indication of lead times wherever possible.

How Can The Trade Association Help?

We can investigate a lengthy lead time on a spare part but, it should be noted that the trade association cannot force a manufacturer or distributor to supply a spare part any faster than they have already advised. We are also unable to ask a member that is under a contractual obligation to source spares from an alternative supplier, even if the part is available elsewhere.

We can however often offer some alternative suppliers for many spare parts to TA members.

If you have an enquiry regarding a repair you require warranty advice on, please email your question/s to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or by post to:

Whitegoods Trade Association
Unit 5
Bonnyton Industrial Estate
Munro Place

We cannot deal with these types of enquiries by telephone in the event that the case has to be reviewed by the Advisory Council.

Unfortunately, we can only offer advice and assistance if your repairer is a WTA member due to the Code Of Practice they adhere to. If your repairer is not a WTA member we are unable to assist due to this.

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