Dealership or Independent Mechanic: Which Should You Choose for Auto Service & Repair?
Everyone wants to know where they should take their auto for service and repair. For many auto owners, the first decision is whether to take their vehicle to a dealership or an independent mechanic? Much like choosing a new doctor, shopping for a Mechanic can feel like a daunting task. Let's draw a few comparisons that may help with that decision.
Dealership – High volume dealer shops typically have your car going through the hands of up to 7 people before reaching a technician – that’s point A to point H!
Independent – An independent mechanic can facilitate first-hand communication to get you straight from point A to point B! Your local technician also has the ability to be more transparent about your repairs. They can advise you on which repairs need to be made immediately and which ones could wait a while or go undone altogether, allowing you to prioritize based on your personal budget.
Dealership – Dealerships are educated and certified specifically to work on the new vehicles that they sell.
Independent – Independent Mechanics are versed in a wide variety of automotive makes, models, repair techniques and service methods. You might be surprised to know how many certifications are held by the mechanics at your local repair shop!
While all businesses make revenue from their services, the way they derive that income differs.
Dealership – A Dealership Mechanic is part of a bigger animal whose primary income comes from the sale of new vehicles. The dealer shop supports that agenda whether used to serve vehicle owners or used internally to service pre-owned vehicles for resale. All of the dealership’s additional overhead is likely affecting the costs associated with the repair of your vehicle.
Independent – An independent Mechanic derives income from the repair or service done on your vehicle. Period.
Dealership – At a typical dealership repair shop, they are confined to a small factory pool of OEM parts.
Independent – An Independent Mechanic has fewer limitations when it comes to parts for your auto. In addition to OEM parts, they are able to offer quality aftermarket parts, sourced from a wide variety of suppliers, which can save you time and money
Dealership – Dealerships are known for their customer-friendly facility – another perk of their main operation – sales! Dealer shops also typically maintain the newest tech for servicing their specific make of vehicle.
Independent – You might be surprised at the level of customer service provided by an independent mechanic. Many provide for convenient shuttle services and maintain a comfortable waiting area for customers. It would be a mistake to assume that independent auto repair shops do not have the most up to date equipment, either. Oftentimes your local shop has invested in cutting edge equipment operated by highly trained and certified mechanics.
Finally, your independent mechanic can offer you something seldom if ever available at a dealership – a relationship! Revisiting the analogy of finding a family doctor, knowing that you have a mechanic you can trust throughout you and your family’s lifetime of vehicle needs can put your mind at ease.
Now that we’ve explored the benefits of choosing an independent mechanic, look for our next article which will discuss how to choose the best independent mechanic.