When it’s time to get your car fixed, it can be tempting to run off to the dealership for repairs. The thought process makes sense, they sold you the car so they should be able to make quality repairs at a lower cost, right? The truth is, a dealership will often charge you more for a lower quality customer service. Of course, dealerships aren’t without any redeeming qualities, so let’s look at the details.
Dealerships usually offer repairs through a team of specially trained engineers whose sole job is to make repairs on that dealership’s line of cars. Because they only work on one line of vehicles, they are often able to make repairs faster than a general mechanic. This is primarily because they are able to diagnose issues quickly, and they are often well practiced in addressing the common problems those vehicles might face. Given this information, one might be led to believe that the dealership is the absolute best option for repairs.
A dealership’s main focus is car sales. That’s what makes it a dealership. When you bring your car in for repairs, it’s like trying to cash out on an insurance policy: they’re going to try to follow up on their end of the bargain as little as possible. The difference here is that you’re still paying them. Now of course, if you already have a warranty that covers the repairs you need, you would not be remiss to take advantage of that. The problem is that most of these extended warranties cost more than the actual savings on repairs.
One of the things you’ll hear time and again from dealerships is that independent servicers aren’t as experienced at fixing your specific make and model, or that they never have the parts you need in stock. This is a valid criticism if you’re taking your BMW or Audi to some random mechanic who works mostly with Toyota trucks. The truth is, most mechanics don’t just “fix cars”.
They usually specialize in a specific type of car and become extremely efficient at making quality repairs for these cars. A great example of a great independent specialist is http://www.mercedes-chelmsford.com/. These independent specialists will have the parts you need in stock, and they will have highly trained specialists who have extensive experience repairing cars like yours.
Independent servicers have a vested interest in providing high-quality service for you and your vehicle. They don’t make more money if you need to buy a new car, and they certainly don’t charge you more just because they claim to be the only experts for your car. Independent servicers keep prices low in order to attract customers, and they provide good service to keep them coming back.
All in all, visiting a dealership for repairs is a valid option if you have a warranty, but not one that is cost effective. It’s not in the business’s best interest to provide quality customer service because they make their money off of sales, not repairs. An independent servicer, however, is focused on giving you a quality customer service experience. Their entire business model is based on making sure you get the repairs you need, how you need it, and when you need it. Any disadvantage in training or availability of parts is easily countered by visiting a team of mechanics who focus on your vehicle or vehicle type. Next time you need car repairs, don’t run back to the people who sold you the car, head to a trusted mechanic near you for the service you deserve.