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Why You Should Choose Independent Repair Centers Over Dealerships

3 min read
Why You Should Choose Independent Repair Centers Over Dealerships

The battle between dealerships and independent servicing centers for repairs continues with one side extolling the virtues of the former and the other siding with the latter. The answer is still elusive for many but there are areas where dealerships simply fail to deliver. So what are car owners to do? Read on to find out.

Before we reveal why independent services are better than dealerships, let’s look at what both offer. Dealerships are directly tied to automobile manufacturers. They sell cars made by only one company so a BMW dealership, for example, won’t sell any vehicles other than those made by BMW. It also won’t sell spare parts for other vehicles and won’t service other brands. This exclusivity is one of the reasons that enables it to charge high rates for its service.

Dealerships pride themselves for having teams of very highly qualified mechanics and technicians. It’s true that they employ some of the best auto specialists and car owners usually feel inclined to approach them for repair work. However, aside from a few free services for a limited period (for new cars), rates can be exorbitant.

Independent services can offer the same level of quality work. It’s only a matter of choosing the right one. They also charge much lower rates and sell parts for a cheaper price. Established services see as many, if not more, customers than dealerships because they cater to a range of vehicles. For example, a center may only deal with German-made cars but it won’t narrow it to just BMWs. Aside from BMWs, it may service Volkswagens, Audis and Mercedes-Benzes. This versatility is what makes independent services sought after. Customers know they can get the same level of work at a cheaper price.

One key area that sees people favoring independents is service-customer relations. Most swear that using an independent creates favorable relations with mechanics and technicians. This is important because customers tend to make a beeline for experts they’re familiar with. For instance, your car needs servicing and you know a mechanic who’s good at his job. You also know of an equally good mechanic at a dealership. The difference is you can develop a personal relationship with the independent mechanic as there’s more room for direct communication. You can call him directly to ask how the repair work is going, something you can’t do at a dealership.

Dealerships are typically located in central areas while independents can be found almost anywhere. For people living in remote places where access to dealerships is difficult, the question of which to choose is immediately answered.

As for quality, there’s no denying that dealerships are staffed with extremely capable employees. But many independents are also owned by former dealership employees and if this is the case with the one you choose, you know the standards are the same.

When it comes to auto parts, independents offer both OEM and aftermarket components which are much cheaper. Most aftermarket parts are as good as OEMs as they’re supposed to perform the same function and last as long as original equipment. Of course, there are dubious makers but a quick search on the internet will filter the bad seeds.

The last point in favor of independents is customization. Performance enhancement is sought by many car owners and dealerships don’t normally do this. It’s no issue with independents, however, which is another key area that sees customers favoring them over dealerships.

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