Independent vs Dealer Repairs – Which is better?
Your car just broke down on the side of the road on a hot summer day. You called for a tow truck and you must decide where to have them take it. Do you have them bring it to the car dealership service center, or to a local independent repair shop?
There are strong arguments to be made in favor of both. The arguments go deeper, but the basic premise of each is –
Bring your car to the dealer. They know the car better than anyone, plus they have the best trained technicians and the best possible tools and equipment. They have the best Automotive Lifts, Tire changers and alignment machine. Further arguments in dealer’s favor would be that they get the latest updates from the manufacturer, are privy to information that the independent guys wish they could get, and you are less likely to get the 3rd degree when you need to bring it in for warranty coverage service if you’ve been getting your car serviced there all along.
The argument for the independent auto shop is simple. They are more affordable. They typically cost 20 to 40 percent less for the same repairs. Along with the cheaper labor costs, you may also enjoy better customer service from your local shop, as they typically are known to pay more attention to the needs and details of their local neighborhood loyal customer. Independent shop owners will tell you that as long as the shop has been certified through the Automotive Service Excellence program (www.ase.com) then you have assurance that the shop has met very strict standards and has the training and knowledge to get the job done.
So what about you? Do you bring your car to the dealer, or an independent garage?