What happens if one day your money-saving warranty runs out and you need to get your car serviced? And say you decide that the safest is to get it done in a dealership garage, since they are authorized. But what if your neighbor or cousin says he knows this really good mechanic who will do a much better job? He also says that you will save a lot of money by him. How do you decide?
For a start, let us see how each of them operates on a daily basis:
Dealership service units:
- Dealership units work on hundreds of vehicles each month and have many reliable service bays and factory-trained technicians who are aware of the expertise.
- The most assuring characteristic of dealerships is that they specialize in repairing and maintaining your particular car brand only.
- Under dealership, if your car is under a warranty, the manufacturer covers the cost of most of the repairs. After the warranty expires also, you can buy an extended warranty.
- These are comparatively smaller garages, however with multi brands in their consideration.
- In this type of service, the customers meet directly with their preferred independent mechanic who is working on their car and give them their inputs.
- Generally many independent garages are started and staffed by former dealership technicians and managers. Thus, it cannot be said that these mechanic services are any less than the authorized dealerships.
- Some of the independent auto shops also honor third-party warranties.
These are the basic features of the independent and dealership service units. Observing these, one can say both have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, we must undertake a detailed analysis to compare both and see which one suits us more.
Overall Verdict: More personalized, often cheaper
Independent mechanics are ranked higher than dealership servicing for their customer satisfaction they offer, their price, their quality, their courteousness and on-time repairs, which has been highlighted according to a 2014 Consumer Reports survey.
- As has been learned above, independent mechanics can be as technically proficient as the factory-trained dealership mechanics due to several undeniable reasons such as their owners being former dealership employees.
- Independent garages can get you the original manufacturer parts for repairs and servicing if you are a fussy customer for originality, but they can also offer less expensive alternative parts or even rebuilt parts that would perform the same function.
- As communication is a vital part of carrying out a successful service activity, it can be easier to build a personal relationship with the independent garages, since you speak directly with the mechanics there.
- Independent mechanics mostly answer to you as they have no loyalty to the manufacturers. This is difficult for dealerships as they must show loyalty to the manufacturers.
- All garages often start from scratch to build strong relationships with the paying customers without the years of free service to foster all goodwill they can.
- Facilities in the garages are usually smaller and have fewer overheads than the dealerships. This means significantly lower prices for its customers.
- Due to large numbers, it takes more work to find the right kind of auto shop, because there can be dozens of corner garages in the same town.
Overall Verdict: More specialized, may be a little expensive
The biggest advantage with dealership service departments is that they can offer to you manufacturer-backed extended warranties and check for the latest repairs and recall bulletins every time you bring in your vehicle. But one thing is certain, if you stay with the dealership way, be prepared for slightly higher prices than usual. Always keep your owner’s manual handy so that you don’t have any unnecessary work done on your car. You may also consider signing up for the dealership’s mailing lists that are useful to know the updates. Coupons and deals it sends you may add up to big savings.
- Dealership units pay higher salaries for their manufacturer-trained and highly experienced service technicians. This also means you’ll be paying higher prices for their services.
- The technicians in dealerships are specifically and regularly trained for your auto brand only.
- Dealership service departments are also required to use factory-made equipment and authorized parts from the manufacturer. This definitely ensures a high quality control on their part. But if a part is out of stock, the shipping times can be longer and the prices higher.
- Dealership units have a regular flow of cars coming in for free repairs under their warranty plans, so they don’t have to work as hard to attract or keep their customers.
Thus stands the comparison between both dealership and independent units. We really hope we helped in getting you to decide which one is best suited for you. Happy Motoring! Let’s GoBumpr!