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Can You Trust A Dealership Garage For Servicing?

Can You Trust A Dealership Garage For Servicing?

Main dealer service centres often get a bad name for being expensive, but does the brand connection make them more trustworthy and professional when repairing your car? We take a look at the pros and cons of using a dealership garage for servicing. 

What is a Main Dealer Garage?  

Dealership or Main Dealer garages are those in connection with a manufacturers car dealership, most dealerships also have a repair garage for servicing, sale preparation and major works. 

Most dealers are run by third party franchises, such as Synter Group, who are authorised dealers and repairers of BMW, Range Rover and many other marques. They are supported by the manufacturer with access to genuine parts and workshop/repair guides.  

The alternative to dealer garages are independents, these cater to any car brand and do not usually have an affiliation with a manufacturer.  

Can You Trust A Dealership Mechanic? 

Yes! Dealer mechanics and service centres know everything there is about your model of car, they don’t have to guess or figure out repair procedures, and genuine parts are easily sourced internally. 

Benefits of Servicing Your Car at the Dealership 

Quality and Reputation 

Manufacturers don’t want their reputation tarnished by bad workmanship or poor customer experience, so the standards of service received from dealer service centres is usually good.  

Genuine Parts 

Because the service centres are so closely linked to the manufacturers, genuine parts are the only thing that will be fitted to your car. This is to both ensure the work can be warranted, as well as maintaining the genuine parts supply chain for the manufacturer. Either way, it means your car is getting the best parts it can.  

Training and Expertise from The Manufacturer 

Regardless of where the vehicle was originally made, the main dealer mechanics will have access to all the information and training they need to repair them properly.  

Manufacturers create internal guides and workshop manuals that explain the best possible way for a part to be replaced, coming from the engineers that designed it. This saves time and makes sure nothing is missed or repaired improperly. 

It Keeps Your Warranty Valid 

If your car is still in its warranty period, which for some manufacturers is now up to ten years subject to regular servicing with the main dealer, then you’ll want to make sure independent repairs do not invalidate it.  

Many manufacturers will not honour warranties at all if non-dealer mechanics have been used to replace or service the car. 

They Use The Right Software 

Modern cars have more computers than ever before, and manufacturers are keen to prevent un-informed or even ill-intentioned mechanics from fiddling with the software that makes them work. Dealer garages will always have the latest, most up to date software to interface with your car. 

Drawbacks to Using a Dealership Mechanic 

Higher Costs 

Because of the higher levels of training, tools and equipment and in some cases manufacturer fees, dealer garages tend to charge more per hour. This can range from £30 to £90 more per hour than independent garages. 

Genuine Parts Add to the Cost 

Whilst it’s generally a good thing that genuine parts are used, as they tend to be of a higher quality, there are some instances where reputable brands make equally as good parts at a fraction of the cost.  

Regardless of these parts’ claimed longevity or quality, main dealer garages will only fit genuine parts, driving the cost of the repair up higher. 

Availability 

Dealer garages will sell cars every week that need servicing and maintenance for the next 6-10 years, they also handle any recalls that may crop up. This means a steady stream of work for the mechanics, but it makes it harder to book in your car for repairs.  

In some instances you could be looking at have to book your car a few weeks in advance to get it looked at.  

Should You Use The Main Dealer Garage Or Independent? 

As you can see, there are positives and negatives to using main dealer garages, the main factors being quality vs cost. 

If your car is still in its warranty period, it makes sense to get it repaired at the dealer, having a potential warranty claim in the future declined because you went to a cheaper garage may end up being a false economy.  

On the other hand, if you drive a vehicle over 10 years old, not only will it be out of warranty, but there will be plenty of information out there to help most garages fix the problem, as Information trickles down over the years. 

Specialist independent garages, those that mainly work on one or a few specific brands, may be able to offer a service just as well informed and high quality as the main dealer, at a fraction of the cost. 

Bumper Can Help 

If you’re unsure of what garage to take your car to one of Bumper’s approved partners all over the UK including both independent and dealer garages, what's more you can split the cost of car repairs with interest-free monthly payments.

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