Auto repair shops are no one’s first-pick as a go-to destination. Still, your car is one of your biggest investments. To protect it and keep it running right, you’ve got to bring it into the shop from time to time.
Because it’s more of a must than a want-to, it’s very important to make sure you pick a service provider that is a quality, cost, and time-efficient choice. So, what is your best bet? An independent auto shop or a dealership?
Consumer Report’s latest repair satisfaction survey showed that you’re likely to end up more satisfied with an independent repair shop than with a new car dealership.
Independent shops outscored dealerships on overall satisfaction, price, quality, customer service, and the work getting done when promised. Only the electric carmaker, Tesla, earned the same marks as independent shops
Tesla, though, has a relatively small number of loyal customers, compared to other sellers of new cars. To be fair, dealership customers reported being satisfied with mechanics at franchised dealerships for overall repairs. Not as satisfied, but satisfied.
Some Key Differences
But, there is a huge discrepancy between independent shops and dealerships in terms of cost. This was true across the board, but particularly true for premium brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Mini.
This is because of extra overhead costs at dealerships which have larger facilities with higher salaries and many more employees. This not only drives up prices but can also drive up the motivation to upsell you on parts and services that you may not need. Though recommended services are often advisable, due to budget concerns, many customers need to trust their independent shops to tell them what repairs and services are needed now and what can wait.
An independent shop can also give you better customer service because, at a dealership, you will only speak to a service advisor. This person isn’t usually a mechanic. At an independent shop, you can usually speak directly to the mechanics. These trained technicians are directly responsible for your car and how well it is repaired and serviced. Great independent shops tend to work harder for your business—they know there are a dozen shops nearby that an unsatisfied customer can take their vehicle to. A dealership may be the only one in the region.
Hmm. Way better prices. Better customer service. As good as, or better, quality. Sounds like a great independent auto shop like Certified Automotive—honored as the top auto care shop in America—might just become a vacation hot spot. Okay, that is probably one or two steps too far. But, when you need to protect your automotive investment, schedule an appointment online with us or call 253-854-6762 today!