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Servicing Your Car: Dealership or Independent?

Is it better to get your car serviced at a franchised dealer? The debate between servicing your car at a franchised dealership or independent garage is never-ending. Both come with their own pros and cons, and depend entirely on you as a customer and your vehicle. As a car owner, it’s important you make the right choice for you and your car. 

According to Servicing Stop, 70% of UK motorists prefer to visit an independent garage rather than a main dealer when it comes to car maintenance. This means that, despite car dealerships providing authentic and certified workmanship, the general public still prefer to deal with independent garages while supporting local businesses.

If that time is coming up where your car is in need of a service, you’ll most likely be wondering which is best. This guide compares the pros and cons of servicing your car at a franchised dealership VS at an independent garage.

Car Dealership

Preserved Warranty

One main benefit of servicing your car at a franchised dealership is the reassurance that the warranty will be preserved if you do have one. If your car is still under warranty, this may be an influencing factor.

In some cases, having repairs or servicing carried out by an independent garage can void your warranty, meaning that if something does go wrong, the manufacturer will try to get out of touching the vehicle due to its service history, however, this is not legislation and they would not be allowed to void your warranty because it has been serviced by an independent garage. If they try to do this, get in touch with your legal advisor, however, loyalty to a franchised dealer has shown that in the later years of the vehicles life where a major problem has occurred and the vehicle has been maintained solely by the franchised dealer they are more enticed to contribute towards any large repair bill that may arise. Regularly servicing your car at a franchised dealership will go a long way if a major fault arises.

Manufacturer-Specific Support

While this isn’t common, if you ever have specific questions surrounding a service for your vehicle, manufacturers are more likely to provide you with manufacturer-specific technical assistance, if you ever require this.

With that being said, mechanics at independent garages are trained and have extensive knowledge of all makes and models, and have access to the latest diagnostic equipment as well technical data to ensure they can answer any questions you may have.

Higher Costs

A significant swaying factor is the cost of servicing your car at a franchised dealership. Dealerships charge a higher cost for maintenance and servicing due to a larger number of overheads to pay for facilities. Independent garages are generally far more affordable. Franchised dealers also have recommendations from the manufacturers, so even if a part doesn't need changing because it has failed, they have a life expectancy for each part and will recommend the part is changed before it fails.

Can Be Better For Your Car

As the same with everything, you’ll want to check reviews of mechanical garages before booking in for routine maintenance, i.e. MOTs, repairs or servicing.

Servicing at dealerships can be better for your car, although this isn’t always the case. If you find a reputable independent garage, you may receive a more valuable service.

And, when it comes to potentially selling your car, prospective buyers will want to know that your car has been regularly maintained and serviced by checking the stamps in your service history book. Stamps from a franchised dealer (rather than an independent garage) are typically seen as an added bonus.

Independent Garage

Easier to Book

With far more variety of choice of garages, booking in for a service is usually very easy with an independent garage and appointments can be booked at short notice.

Although, dealerships may have slightly longer waiting times and you may find it difficult to make an appointment that suits you.

Personal Service

A reputable independent garage tends to offer a more personalised service with a strong focus on customer satisfaction. 

Independent garages rely on word of mouth to build their books of loyal customers. This is why independent garages have a base of loyal customers that will never go elsewhere. You may often find the customer service is better.

More Affordable

Independent garages are usually a lot more affordable than dealerships, and if you’re lucky enough to find a trusted garage, you can get the exact same service for less.

At dealerships, there will be one uniform cost for parts with no affordable alternatives. However, at independent garages, you usually get a variety of choices with parts and have more say over how much you spend with the option to choose genuine parts or more cost-effective parts. Having more affordable car parts doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t last as long, or that they aren’t worth the money.

Support Local Businesses

Franchised car dealerships are run and owned by large car manufacturers, whereas independent garages are run by local businesses that are more likely to respect your budget. 

And, best of all, you can support your local business at the same time. Local independent garages are also more likely to value your custom compared to car dealerships.

Car Servicing in Loughborough

Independent garages usually have the upper hand on affordability and customer service, not to mention are a great all-rounder for any motor. If you are looking to service your car, we would strongly recommend finding a local independent garage near you for an affordable, trustworthy and valued service.

At Parkland Motors, we also provide MOTs, servicing and repairs with Parkland Services. So, if you are looking to service your car, we would be more than happy to provide you with competitive rates, starting from just £99.

We offer car servicing on all makes and models, with quality workmanship at affordable prices. To find out more about our car servicing or vehicle maintenance, please visit our Car Servicing page where you can book your car service online.