Whether you have a brand new car or one with more than 100,000 miles, finding an automotive repair dealership alternative should be considered seriously. Aside from manufacturer recalls, a properly trained and certified independent mechanic can keep a new car’s warranty in effect or service and repair an older car. There are several advantages using an independent repair shop as opposed to a dealership service department.
You’re probably well aware that dealership facilities are more expensive than independents because they charge more per hour for the work of their mechanics. They also have a greater markup on replacement parts. In addition, dealerships ask their sales teams to push services on customers that may not yet be needed because of a marketing campaign or quota. Salespeople may be incentivized to do this by a bonus structure based on gross sales. All of the above simply means more money out of your pocket, which can be avoided by using a trusted mechanic at an independent garage.
You will have a better chance of more personal service from a reputable independent car repair service. Dealerships often treat customers and their cars as cogs on an assembly line. You never get to meet the mechanics who work on your car, and you deal only with sales people. A dealership mechanic gradually becomes an expert, specializing in a certain make or model. Unfortunately, you won’t benefit fully from his knowledge because you’ll be talking mostly to service salespeople. On the other hand, an independent mechanic will be able to talk to you personally and openly, providing options that are less costly for maintaining or repairing your car.
Questions to Ask
First, does the independent car repair shop have an independent mechanic who is certified and experienced in your make of car? Second, do they ask for details regarding the maintenance and service history of your car? Will they offer a free and thorough inspection to find out whether or not your car needs servicing during your first visit? If they recommend work, did they offer alternatives as far as the timing and expense of the service? In other words, are they giving you options?
Make an appointment with us here at Chesapeake Import Services, an automotive repair dealership alternative that offers personalized service. We always provide our customers with our special “Courtesy Inspection” at no charge. We will be very happy to see you. Call us at (410) 267-8411.