When it comes to a tune-up, most people take their car to the dealership. After all, they have the stamp of approval, and they’re supposed to be experts when it comes to cars, right? Well, not necessarily.
While dealerships are undoubtedly knowledgeable about cars, they also have a vested interest in repairing them – which often means charging more than necessary. Independent automotive repair shops, on the other hand, don’t have those same ulterior motives. They’re in business to help you keep your car on the road as cheaply and efficiently as possible.
Here are just a few reasons why an independent automotive repair shop is a better choice than a dealership:
Note: If your car is under warranty, it is still the best option to take it to the dealership. Because your warranty may include free repairs or maintenance, it’s worth checking with them first.
The Dealership Will Try to Sell You Services That You May Not Need
Most common yet essential services (like oil changes and tire rotations) are typically cheap at the dealership. But if you need more serious repairs, they’ll often try to sell you services you may not need. This is because they have a vested interest in making as much money off of you as possible.
On the other hand, an independent automotive repair shop will only recommend services you actually need. They’re not interested in selling you services that you don’t need because they know it’ll only hurt their reputation in the long run.
The Dealership Will Charge More for Services
In addition to selling you services that you may not need, the dealership will charge more for the services they provide. This is because they know that you’re likely to be willing to pay more if it means keeping your car in good condition.
While an independent automotive repair shop may not have the same overhead costs as a dealership, they still need to make a profit. However, they’re more likely to charge a fair price for their services because they don’t have the same markup as a dealership.
An Independent Automotive Repair Shop Is Likely to Have More Experience
When you take your car to the dealership for repairs, you are likely working with a newer technician. While all automotive technicians must be licensed, those who work at an independent shop typically have more experience.
On average, an independent technician has been working in the industry for 10 years, while a dealership technician has only been working for three years.
This difference in experience is significant because it means that the independent technician is more likely to have seen the problem your car is experiencing before. They will also have a better understanding of how to fix it.
Better Warranties on Their Repairs than Dealers
Unlike dealerships, which are beholden to the manufacturer’s warranty, independent automotive repair shops can offer their own repair warranties. This is because they are not limited to using only manufacturer-approved parts.
This means that if you have a problem with a repair done at an independent shop, you can take it back to them, and they will fix it free of charge. You would not be able to do this if you had taken your car to the dealership.
Trust Factor: Independent Shops Are Loyal to the Customer
Whether you’re a first-time car buyer or have been through the process many times, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed when deciding where to take your vehicle for maintenance and repairs.
The options seem endless: the dealership, a big box store, or an independent automotive repair shop. And while all three have pros and cons, we think there’s a clear winner: the independent shop. Here’s why:
Independents shops are loyal to the customer, not the car brand. That means they’re focused on providing you with the best possible service rather than upselling you on unnecessary repairs or trying to sell you a new car.
Let Your Mechanic Get to Know Your Car
The mechanic at an independent automotive repair shop gets to know you and your car. That relationship is key to providing the best possible service. When you take your car to the same mechanic each time, they’ll be familiar with its history and will be able to catch small problems before they become big ones.