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Car parts markets are ubiquitous in Karachi; however, if you are looking for some of the best deals in the city, here are the markets you should visit:

Sher Shah: The most popular car parts market is undoubtedly Sher Shah in SITE. You will find everything there from radiators to tyres and even whole engines. Unfortunately, many (if not most) of the parts are rumoured to be stolen – shop owners will tell you that they only sell genuine parts, but a little prodding will reveal their origins.

Tibet Centre: Located on Preedy Street in Saddar, the area is also known as Plaza and has some of Karachi’s worst traffic as well as shop owners who will not stop trying to convince you that your car needs more work that what you are there for. But if you can brave the madness, Tibet Centre has some of the best deals; a used backlight for a Suzuki Alto will set you back Rs 900 (Rs 600 if you haggle) and side view mirrors for a Cultus cost about Rs 5,000-6,000 – significantly less than what you would pay in Gulshan or Gizri.

Tariq Road: Located behind dupatta galli is one of the oldest parts markets in the city. Initially, it catered only to minor car repairs, but the market has grown into a veritable bazaar, with 50 to 70 shops crammed into narrow lanes, offering car parts as well as services such as electrical patch ups, denting, painting, and air conditioner installations. You can get an entire Toyota Corolla shower-painted there for approximately Rs 40,000.

Allahwali Chorangi: Behind the McDonalds on Tariq Road is another market that has been around for the last 15 years. The focus there is not on internal car machinery but local and imported car accessories such as wipers, windshields, LCDs, seat covers, stereo systems, anti-theft devices as well as some of the best looking tyres and rims. The deals here may not be as good as those on Preedy Street or Sher Shah, but with fewer parking hassles and less noise, the convenience there is priceless.

– Shayan Shakeel

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on November 18 2012.