In my opinion, aftermarket catalytic converters ARE of lesser quality, versus factory parts
But if you’re only planning on keeping the Civic another few years, instead of 20, you’ve got nothing to worry about
Get a second opinion, and a second estimate, from a reputable shop that does exhaust repairs and fabrication. I would urge you to avoid Meineke and the like.
It wouldn’t surprise me if your Civic has California emissions-specs. it’s quite common, even for cars that were not initially sold in California. And some states require owners to maintain the car to those standards, even if the car isn’t registered in California. Meaning if you have a california-spec car and an emission component fails, it needs to be replaced with a california-spec part.
Any shop installing a replacement aftermarket catalytic converter is hopefully aware of the local regulations
Depending on what emissions specs your car has, where you’re located and where you’re headed next year, it is theoretically possible a part will be installed that meets local regulations now, but will NOT in your new location
Tell the shop that you want to make sure that you won’t run into problems next year, in your new location
Translation . . . if the underhood emissions sticker says your car meets california emissions specs, have the shop install a catalytic converter that meets california specs and is approved for sale there.
I perform smog inspections in California, and if I see an aftermarket catalytic converter, I spend some time determining if it’s approved for that car, that model year, and for California. A lady I know actually failed smog inspection because the inspector saw an aftermarket catalytic converter and determined it was not approved for that make and model, not even the model year.