First, remember that no matter which dealership you purchase your vehicle from you can get your warranty service and maintenance done at any local dealer of your choice.
Now let’s take a closer look at independent repair shops versus dealer service departments.
One of the significant benefits of visiting a dealership service department is the technicians work day and day out on the models they sell. Technicians have access to the latest training and diagnostic tools associated with the vehicles in the showroom. As a result, they can usually identify the problem in your vehicle more accurately and efficiently. This can be advantageous for complicated technology related repairs.
A downside of dealer service departments are the associated rates and method of billing. There is no hiding that it will usually cost you more to get a repair done at the dealership than an independent shop. Dealerships charge customers based on a flat rate for a repair job, such as 2 hours at an hourly rate of $85. The customer is charged the same rate regardless if it takes the mechanic less or more time. Consequently, mechanics are forced to meet quotas which can sometimes result in the possibility of rushed jobs.
We all know it’s hard to find a good and trustworthy mechanic. However, today it’s a lot easier. By simply searching the internet for local mechanics you can find user reviews to steer you clear of the shady ones. There are also large franchise repair shops that uphold a high level of best practices and even offer nationwide warranties.
Independent shops charge a flat rate too. However, the technician is usually paid based on the actual time it took him to perform the repair either on an hourly rate or a salary. As a result, they do not have any incentive to rush the job.
Mechanics need to keep up with training and new equipment at an ever increasing pace as technology takes over our vehicles. That has contributed to a narrowing price difference over the years compared to dealership service departments.
At the end of the day, both are good alternatives. Make sure you take the time to read reviews to determine if the shops are reliable. Check what certifications and training their mechanics receive. Lastly, take the time to build a relationship; it will insure you always receive great service and reliable advice. And if your car is on its last leg of life make sure you checkout Unhaggle to get the best price on a new ride.