How to Choose: Independent Repair Shops VS Dealerships

When something goes wrong with your vehicle, you want to get it back to perfect condition as fast as possible. But, what is the best option when it comes to getting your vehicle fixed? Should you choose the dealership or a independent mechanic? Well there are pros and cons to both.

Independent Repair Shops


Price: If it’s the price we’re talking about, then the independent shops have the dealerships beat. Independent shops are competitive and want your business. If they are one of the good one, they will get to know you and cut you deals down the road as well.

Labor: Independents can be as technically proficient as factory trained dealership mechanics. In fact, most independent mechanics started out as dealership mechanics.

Equipment: Independent shops can order original manufacturer parts for repairs. However, they can offer more options as well. Such as, less expensive alternative parts, or even rebuilt parts that perform the same function. Keep in mind that independent repair shops may turn down repairs if they don’t specialize in your car brand.

Location: You will have a lot to choose from. Seeing that there can be eleven different independent shops just in your one town. This is a good thing and a bad thing, the good thing is that one of those shops is bound to be spectacular, the bad thing is figuring out which one will take care of you the best. Also, based on the shops location they may only have two garages, so you will have to be patient if they are working with other customers.

Customer Satisfaction: You will personally meet the mechanic that is working on your car and go over the problems with him, there is no middle man. The mechanic will answer to you directly because they don’t have to answer to manufacture as the dealership would have to. The independent garages start from scratch to build their relationship with you, they do not give free service to foster goodwill.



Price: Dealerships are definitely more pricey. However, dealership mechanics are well experienced in the brand they work for. They will and should know everything about your vehicle. The question is, are you will to pay a good bit extra for known experience?

Labor: Dealerships pay higher salaries for highly experienced technicians. But, this means you’ll have to pay higher prices for their services. Dealership mechanics are regularly trained for your auto brand only.

Equipment: Dealerships are required to use factory made equipment and parts from the manufacturer. This ensures high quality for every repair. However, if a part is out of stock, They will have to have it shipped. Which translates into, longer wait time and higher price.

Location: Dealerships aren’t quite as convenient as an independent shop. You’ll have to track one down and the drive time may be more than you want to travel. Though the dealership will most likely have the nicer location and waiting room. Such as, soft cushy chairs, large TV’s for your entertainment, and they will likely have shuttles or loaner cars ready for you while mechanics work on your vehicle.

Customer Satisfaction: A large number of vehicles dealerships repairs are free and under warranty, so they don’t have to work as hard to attract or keep customers. You probably won’t meet your mechanic, seeing that a Service Advisor (the middle man) is who you will speak with about your repair needs. Also, Service Managers will make a commission from their work. So when they recommend a repair, they get a percentage of the parts and labor.