The best way to extend the life of your vehicle is by keeping up with regular maintenance. But where should you take your car for service? Many drivers like the sense of safety that comes with a dealership, while others value the cost savings of an independent shop. Read on to learn some of the benefits of taking your car to a local automotive repair shop.
There is nothing more valuable than having confidence in your mechanic, and you won’t get to know (or even see) your mechanic unless you go to an independent garage. Having a relationship with your mechanic is extremely beneficial as your car ages. Your mechanic will become familiar with not only your vehicle, but also your driving habits, and can anticipate potential issues down the road. An independent mechanic answers only to you; they have no loyalty to the manufacturer, so you can trust that they are giving you their honest opinion.
Customization & Modifications
Because dealerships only offer OE (original equipment) parts, the level of customization you can achieve is limited. If you’re a performance-oriented car owner, small shops are going to be the place for you. The options are almost endless when it comes to the modifications you can get done. Many local shops will have technicians that specialize in a certain make or model of vehicle and often know it better than the dealer technicians, especially when it comes to performance upgrades.
Any business owner will tell you that a happy customer will tell one person about their experience, but an unhappy customer will tell ten. Dealerships have a built-in customer base for the most part. At the very least, they will have new car owners coming in at least until their warranty expires. Independent garages have to work hard to build earn (and keep) customers, so it’s in their best interest to keep their customers happy through quality work and excellent customer service.
Last but certainly not least, independent shops will almost always come in cheaper than a dealership. Dealerships have a higher overhead – more staff, larger facility, etc. and therefore have a higher labour rate. In addition, dealerships only offer OE (original equipment) parts, which carry a larger price tag. Your local garage can offer you OE parts, but they can also offer you aftermarket parts, which perform the same function at a fraction of the cost.