The preference between having car repairs on the car dealership or independent mechanics varies depending on which you value more. The car dealership gets ahead when you value brand authority and specialized technicians but it’s another story when customer satisfaction and the price weighs more. Your local mechanic would be more preferable.
Maybe you’ve been having the dealership maintain and repair your car for years but what if the warranty of your car runs out? What would you do by then? You’re used to the dealership services using the original parts fro. The manufacturer and whose mechanics were trained in a factory. And since you like hanging out with other enthusiasts, you’ve probably thought about having to change into asking for the local mechanic’s services. These local mechanics would save you a lot of cash according to your next door neighbor. Before making a decision which could make or break your car, taking a point by point evaluation would be a great help to make sure your car will run its course.
This article will help you pick which one could be better for you and would definitely help you understand how each choice operates.
The dealerships have expertise in maintaining and repairing your car brand alone. This means that they work in hundreds of cars in a month, have lots of service bays and many technicians that are factory-trained.
Most customers never meet the mechanic but only with the service advisors to determine what their cars might need. And since the dealerships specialize only in maintaining and repairing your car where the cost of most repairs is covered by the manufacturer when your car is still under warranty, you won’t need to think about the payments in the meantime. If your warranty expires, you could either choose to pay for the servicing needed or buy an extended warranty.
Customers are able to meet with the mechanic working on their cars. A lot of small garages have technicians who came from the dealership, some acknowledge third-party warranties.
Talking about services, in the Consumer Reports survey of 2014, the service of independent mechanics are cheaper and more personalized. When it comes to on-time repairs, the satisfaction of customers, the price, and the quality, independent mechanics rank higher.
If this is where you wanna go, make sure that the garage has an industry-wide standard on ASE or Automotive Service Excellence certification. It is best to search the reviews online and ask your family and friends to find the right mechanic for you. Shopping around to compare prices should also be done regularly including the quote from your dealership so you can get the latest update on how much you can save when making choices.
Advanced Autowerks’ service manager, Zach Mason, in San Francisco who was also a former employee at a dealership requires his staff to regularly hone their skills.
According to Mason, you’ll lose out if you’re not able to do 16 hours every quarter on continuing education. Say, there’s a new engine of VW and an opportunity to be in a class teaching about it, they’d go and attend it. If there is an electronic module system that’s new, they will be there and learn about it. Independent mechanics in small garages go for this since as technology and new ways are discovered, they’d have to catch up quickly to give their customers better choices with their services.
On the other hand, dealerships specialized and can even offer warranties backed by the manufacturer, recall bulletins and check the latest repairs.
Their service departments have brand-name power. You may have to prepare an extra amount for the cost of services. Having your manual ready will help to avoid unnecessary work on your car. Signing up for the mailing lists would be a great way to avoid unnecessary work on your car plus the savings you can avail when deals and coupons are sent.
Dealership staff argues about saving more on independent mechanics saying that they might be able to fix your car but aren’t as effective as mechanics from the dealership trained specifically on that brand, pointing out that more time would be wasted figuring out what to repair against brand experts who would find the problem easily.
Talking about labor between factory-trained mechanics from a dealership and independent ones, the latter are just as proficient as the former. Simply, you’ll get the same service with the independent mechanics but for a cheaper price.
On the side of the dealership, the reason for the high prices in services is the highly-experienced technicians of which dealerships pay with higher salaries. They are trained on a regular basis, specifically for a specific brand alone.
The independent can get you your set of choices depending on your preference. If you wanted original parts from the manufacturer they will be able to get it for servicing and the repairs or offer you other alternatives or rebuild the parts for the same functions.
In the dealership, they are required to use pieces of equipment that are made from the factory to ensure a high-quality control. You may have to wait longer if the parts are out of stock for the shipping.
Compared to dealership technicians, independents have no loyalty to the manufacturer of the vehicle.
Being able to speak directly to the mechanics will encourage a personal relationship between you and the mechanic. This way, a more personalized type of repair, remodel, or customization will be swiftly done due to personal interaction between you. They will answer you personally for whatever happens to your car. There might be no free service but they could build from scratch for the paying customers.
In the dealership, they don’t have to work hard on keeping or attracting customers since there is a constant flow from under warranty free repairs. Their service managers make commission out of their work and they answer to manufacturers.
The facilities available in smaller garages have less overhead than the dealerships. This would mean lower prices for customers. Despite the challenge of finding the right auto shop, it would be worth the effort. You’d see them around town and have a talk with the mechanics to get an idea if their attitude and service would work for you.
One good thing when you stay with a dealership is waiting in a clean waiting room while sitting on a cushy chair. Depending on the warranty and service, they could also have a loaner car or shuttle available for you while their mechanics work on your car.
One good thing about smaller garages, they can work with multiple brands or turn down customers if they have no knowledge or expertise in the said brand.
As much as possible, the process needs to be flawless or at least as close as it could get there. You have to make sure that you don’t make mistakes on the delivery for the customers with a promise to meet expectations and the required service to strengthen the bond. The customers will be back for other services when you prove that you can do your work well and follow through with a good result.
As stated above, the customer-satisfaction favors the independent mechanics but luxury car brands have smaller gap compared to dealerships. Porsche, Acura, Buick, Lincoln, Cadillac, and Lexus dealerships have a closer score of satisfaction compared to independent shops according to the survey of Consumer Reports.
One manufacturer, however, stands out among them. Tesla has a higher satisfaction from customers for their servicing.
You won’t go wrong with choosing the dealership if you don’t mind paying for a little extra and would love to wait in a cozy and comfortable room. If you’re looking to have a good deal to save some cash and a good relationship with a mechanic, you should try and search for a local auto shop.
Which would you trust for your car repair?