AutoZone Return Policy: 8 Reasons Why It Sucks & 7 Reasons Why It’s Great

autozone return policy

Do you know what AutoZone return policy is? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

AutoZone is arguably the largest retail chain of aftermarket car parts and accessories. Maybe even the largest, with more than 5,000 locations in the States and almost 1,500 more in Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands. But what happens if you are unhappy with a product bought from them? When it doesn’t fit or is damaged?

Things can get complicated in such cases if you do not fully understand their return policy. So, here is everything good and bad about their return policy.

9 Reasons Why AutoZone Return Policy Sucks

1. Customized Items Are Not Accepted For Return

Some of the products that AutoZone carries can be customized for you, per your own specifications. Most popular are floor mats, seat covers, and other custom trim pieces.

They are great, they are popular, they are a very convenient way to customize your car, and they can’t be returned.

Even if for example the embroidery on such part is not some custom logo, but some graphic that other people might like and want to have, it can’t be returned.

So, you must be careful that the part will fit your vehicle before you order it.

2. You Should Have The Receipt

The AutoZone will tell you that you must have the receipt when making any return.

In this day and age that is not such a reasonable policy and only serves to discourage people from making returns.

We understand returns do cost money and decrease the profits of companies.

But, even if you do not have the receipt, there is still a way to make the return, but it is a bit complicated procedure.

You need to call Customer Support at 800 288 6966 and request the information about your purchase.

Read also >> AutoZone Limited Lifetime Warranty (How It Works, Rules)

Read also >> Will AutoZone Replace My Battery for Free? (Yes Here Is How)

3. Gift Cards Can’t Be Returned

Unfortunately, you can’t return purchased gift cards, their sale is final and that’s it.

This doesn’t particularly make sense, as the gift cards are basically the equivalent of cash.

But, AutoZone wishes to “motivate” you to spend it in their Fulfillment Centers, and there is no way of getting around it.

Whether you have bought them for yourself or someone else did as a gift for you, you must use them for a purchase at AutoZone.

4. Final Sale Products Can’t Be Returned

The final sale is final, and if a product you got doesn’t fit your needs or wants, or just plain doesn’t fit, you are stuck with it.

The logic behind this is that the final sales are only of products that are getting discontinued or are obsolete

So, the company is just trying to get rid of them and does not want to take a hit because it does cost to stock items that people are not very likely to buy.

5. In-Store Return Policy

Well, AutoZone does have a written return policy, but it is not set in stone.

There is also in place what can be called an “in-store” return policy, and it means that when you are making a return, their associates can refuse it.

We understand that there are people who try to abuse the return policies, but we do not have to like the way the retailers fight it.

6. Cores Are Not Given Back

Did you ask what is core?

It’s a part that can be refurbished by the manufacturer, and you can take your old part and exchange it for a new one without paying an extra fee.

In case the core product you got for it you wish to return, you will not get your old part back.

Only the price you have paid for the new core product.

7. Shipping Back Core Products Is Not Free

If you are returning a core product by mail for any reason, it will cost you the shipping fees.

AutoZone will not reimburse your expenses, only the price you have bought the part for.

Good thing is that for all other products, they will reimburse your shipping costs, but with one caveat.

Only if the return request is accepted, if you get refused a return you will not be reimbursed for your expenses.

8. Some Items Have Shorter Return Period

If you have bought something from AutoZone, it can easily have a shorter return period than the standard one.

It depends on the length of the warranty.

So, if the warranty provided by AutoZone or the manufacturer of a product is shorter than the standard return time, you can return it only while it is covered by the warranty.

The good side of this is that some products, because of the warranty, have longer return availability than the standard period.

Read also >> AutoZone Limited Lifetime Warranty Brake Pads (How It Works + More)

9. Mail Returns Are Free Only In Some Cases

Many other retailers have completely free returns by mail, but AutoZone has some of them free.

You will have to pay the shipping fee when returning the items, then they will reimburse your costs, but only if you were shipped a wrong or damaged item.

6 Reasons Why Their Return Policy Is Great

1. Returns Period Is 90 Days

At other retailers, you can return the purchased items up to 14 or 30 days after you got them.

At AutoZone, you can return them up to 90 days after, and for some products, you can make a return even after that period.

This is not perfect as there are products you can return during a shorter period, those that have a warranty period shorter than 90 days you can return while they are still covered.

2. Refunds Are Practically Instant

If you have made a purchase with cash, you will be refunded on the spot when returning your items.

In case you have paid with a credit card, and you have it on you when making returns you also can be refunded right there and then.

Refunds to other payment methods can take up to 10 days, or 8 business days if you prefer such a definition.

But that delay is not caused by AutoZone, but by their and your payment institutions.

Most other retailers will take up to 14 business days just to initiate a refund to you.

3. Gift Card Bought Items Can Be Returned

Though the gift cards can’t be returned, the items purchased with funds on them still can be returned.

But, you might not like the refund method.

It will be made by the store credit or gift card.

4. Opened And Used Items Can Be Returned

The majority of items that they carry can be returned if they were opened and used.

Though you need to be careful, it is not all of the available items, and you could be unpleasantly surprised.

We have to show some understanding, it is to prevent the return policy abuse.

But, you still have a chance for many products to check whether they actually fit your vehicle.

5. The Receipt May Not Be Needed

While it is good to have a receipt when returning a bought item, it is not the end of the world if you do not have it.

AutoZone does keep records of past purchases, so there is a way to dig up the info about yours.

It is not a very complicated process, you need to call their Customer Support service and their agents will help you.

The phone number is 800 288 6966.

6. Returns Can Be Made Throughout Warranty Period

For many products, the manufacturer’s warranty period is longer than the standard 90-day return period.

And AutoZone will accept returns for most of them if made after this period has passed.

But, there is a certain limit.

You will not be refunded the full purchase price, instead, you will get the same percentage as the remaining warranty period.

And you will be refunded in the form of store credit for purchasing an item of the same type.

For example, you bought a car battery that has a 2-year warranty, and you are returning it after a year which means that there is a 50% of warranty period remaining.

You will be given store credit in the amount of the half of price you have paid, and you can use it only for buying a different car battery.

AutoZone Return Policy FAQ

Can I Return An Item To Any AutoZone Store?

Yea, you can return the items you are unhappy about to any AutoZone Fulfillment Center.

But, it is practically always the most convenient to do so at the closes one.

But if some other location is more convenient for you, you can do it there.

And also, you can return your items by mail.

Can I Return An Item Purchased With A Gift Card?

You can return items bought using the funds from gift cards, but there is a limit to how you will be refunded.

Let’s not forget that gift cards are in essence a form of store credit, and that refunds are made in the same payment method as the original purchase.

When returning gift card purchased items, you will be refunded with a store credit.

Can I Return AutoZone Gift Card(s)?

No, gift card purchases are final and no return is possible.

It is a policy and AutoZone associates will enforce it with no exemption.

If you do not need their gift card, you can make a purchase of a gift for someone else.

How Much Time do AutoZone Refunds Take?

They are practically instant, as soon as your return is accepted the refund will be initiated.

But the actual time depends on the payment method you have used for the purchase.

If you have used a credit card, the refund can be made instantly just like in the case of the cash, but only in case you have it with yourself when making an in-store return.

For other payment methods, there is a delay caused by your and their payment institutions, and it can take up to 10 days to go through.

Can Returns At AutoZone Be Made After More Than 30 Days?

Absolutely, because AutoZone has one of if not the longest return periods. And it is 90 days after the purchase.

But, for some products return period is shorter than 90 days.

Those are the items that have the manufacturer’s warranty period shorter than the standard return period.

And not all that, only those for which AutoZone does not provide their own warranty coverage.

Can Returns At AutoZone Be Made After More Than 90 Days?

For some types of items, you can return them even after the 90 days return period has passed. But, only if the manufacturer’s warranty is longer than this period.

In this case, the refund you get will be part of the original price equal to the percentage of the remaining warranty period.

This refund will be made in form of store credit you can use for a different item of the same type.

Can You Return Car Batteries?

You can return car batteries, but only if they are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and you are returning them in undamaged condition.

When you do return them, you will be refunded a portion of the original purchase price that is equal to the percentage of the remaining warranty period.

But, you will be given a store credit that you can use only for buying a different car battery.

Can You Return Engine Oil And Other Fluids?

Engine oils, washing fluids, and other similar consumables you can return only if they are unused and unopened.

This rule is in place to prevent any possible abuse of the return policy or some other type of scam that some people could attempt.

Can You Return Brake Pads And Rotors?

Brake pads, brake rotors, oil filters, fuel filters, and many other car parts that are subject to wear by their design have a limited return policy.

The items of this kind can be returned only if they were not used or installed on a vehicle, and for some just opening, the packaging can make returns rejected.

The 90-day return period does apply to them, but only if they satisfy the above limitation.

How To Make A Return By Mail?

To make a return by mail, whether you have purchased it online or in-store, you need to safely pack it back in the original packaging, and in an additional package.

In it, you should include the shipping invoice that you got when purchasing online or the copy of the receipt, and the filled-out return form

Are Returns By Mail Free?

If you are making a return by mail it will not be free. Only in the case you receive a wrong or damaged item, you will be reimbursed for the shipping costs.

Can AutoZone Look Up Receipts?

You can have the information about your purchase looked up by the Customer Support representatives.

This is a convenient option is you are returning an item for which you have lost the receipt.

Can A Refund Be Made In Cash If Purchase Was With a Debit/Credit Card?

All refunds can be made only to the same payment method that was originally used for the purchase.

If you have made a purchase with a debit or credit card, a refund can be made only in that way.

Do I Need An ID To Make A Return?

When returning an item you will be asked to provide some form of ID, this is a policy for preventing return abuses.

What IDs Are Accepted When Making Returns?

For returns, AutoZone accepts these forms of IDs:

  • US or Canadian driver’s license
  • US Military ID
  • Mexican Voter Registration Card
  • US State ID
  • Canadian Province ID
  • passport
  • US Laser Visa


Sometimes when you get some item from AutoZone you might realize it doesn’t fit, or maybe it is not what you wanted or need.

Thankfully, they have a very good return policy and you shouldn’t be left hung out to dry.

But, there are some limits in this policy you should be aware of.

In the end, their return policy has both good and bad things but overall is better than your average.



Jeff is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Reatta. Jeff has been creating written and video content about transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used for more than 18 years. Jeff is based in Boulder, Colorado.

Recent Posts

error: Content is protected !!