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Is Servicing Cheaper at a Main Dealer

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Is Servicing Cheaper At A Main Dealer

All motorists dread the day that their car starts to make 'a noise'. Sometimes it's a knocking noise, sometimes it's a squealing noise, but whatever kind of sound it is, it’s sure to strike fear into the heart of most car drivers and make them fear for the contents of their bank account.

There's not really much that you can do to stop your car from having problems now and again, but you can make sure that you keep it in tip top condition by having regular services carried out on it, and getting problems looked at as soon as they start. The longer you leave a problem for, the more likely it is to develop into something more serious - not to mention far more expensive.

Getting My Car Serviced

When it comes to servicing your car, do you go to a main dealer or should you find an independent garage to do the job for you? It's really a matter of personal choice. Since October 2003, the European Regulations that surround new car services have changed to allow new car owners to go somewhere other than the franchised dealer to have their vehicle serviced during the warranty period. However, if you choose to do this, you still need to get the car serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's maintenance schedule and only use their approved parts to carry out any necessary repairs.

If you go to somewhere outside the main dealer network, then you must make sure that you keep records that will prove to the manufacturer that you have adhered to their service and preferred parts criteria to ensure that your warranty is still valid.

Registered Dealers

As you’re probably already aware, registered or main dealers are often more expensive than the smaller, independent garages.

One of the reasons for this is that the design of new cars is becoming increasingly sophisticated all the time, and in many cases, body parts are often being put together in units. This means that rather than being able to repair a small part - for example, if you need to replace the glass on a headlight, then you'd have to replace the entire headlamp unit. This, as you'd expect can make it much, much more expensive to carry out the repairs and can be a real problem if you don‘t have the expertise to do it.

In addition to this, many new cars have a computerised element - some are controlled in almost every aspect by an on-board computer, while others have just a little computerisation. When things go wrong around these elements, the job may end up being far more complex than you first thought - and it will usually need the specialist training that a main dealer will have to check it out and fix it properly. If someone tries a quick fix, they‘re likely to make things far worse in the long run.

Because of their specialised experience, main dealers often have highly-trained and specialised staff - who can cost more to employ than non-specialist mechanics. This means that you can often save a significant amount of money on repairs and services by going to an independent dealer rather than a main dealer, but of course, this approach also has its pitfalls.

It will generally be cheaper to have your car serviced outside of the main dealer network, however you must be careful. Get recommendations, if possible, ask your friends or colleagues to recommend you a good garage that they have used. You need to find a good, trustworthy mechanic, and not someone who will make up all kinds of problems and then charge you the earth for them.

If you find yourself a good mechanic, then you've struck gold and you can save yourself a lot of money, however in some cases, such as those mentioned above, they won't have the specialist equipment or expertise to be able to fix your problem - and in those circumstances they should refer you back to the Main Dealer rather than try to fix it themselves.

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As a garage owner I KNOW it is far more expensive to get your cars serviced by a dealership, and in my own opinion the standard of sevicing at a main dealership is also substandard...why? Becasue the guys working for that dealership are on strict time constraints to get the jobs done, in and out before the next one is thrown at them. Not only that but if they are working to a scheme where they get paid more commision per vehicle they fix they are more inclined to rush a job with a higher pay packet in mind. I know what I talk about - I have been in this business for over 20 years. Find a local mobile mechanic through word of mouth and youll be laughing. Regards, rob at Car Sale Dallas
Car Sale Dallas - 15-Jul-11 @ 1:28 PM
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