Dealership Service Alternative

Dealership Service departments are often the go to resource for many vehicle owners that recently bought the vehicles. Unless the work you need is covered by a new-car warranty or manufacturer recall, use an independent shop, not a dealership.

Except for getting free in-warranty repairs, there’s little reason to use a dealer’s repair shop. Many consumers believe dealers have access to proprietary knowledge, sophisticated diagnostic software, and better tools than independent garages. That’s not true. Both dealers and non-dealers subscribe to the same databases—for example, Indentifix and ShopKey Pro—that provide repair instructions, diagrams, and news from manufacturers. Although many car dealerships feature spacious, nifty-looking workstations, independents have access to the same tools and equipment. Despite what dealerships would have you believe, local garages can access the same information, software, and equipment.

Following are the some of the reasons to opt for an independent shop over a dealership.

Convenience: Independent Service shops are typically located with in 3-5 miles of your residence and offer courtesy shuttle services. This makes it easy to work around your schedules and get the repairs done as well.

Cost: Dealership Service departments employ tens of people to serve the large number of cars that make to their shop. To cover the heavy costs of maintaining the staff and premises, dealerships charge heavy premium on the labor and parts comparing to what labor guides mandate. Their labor cost is at least 25% higher than independent shops.

Customer Service: Dealership Service department employees do not worry about vehicles coming back to service as they get more than enough vehicles to keep them busy. This negatively impacts the customer service and trust.

Service Times: Dealership Service departments get north of 100 vehicles a day with some of the vehicles requiring several hours of work. Some repairs take up to a week in a dealership.