When you’re having car trouble, it can feel like your whole life is placed on hold. Without a reliable car, you’re going to have a difficult time getting to work, picking up groceries, and getting your kids to school.
Obviously, you need to do something to get your car back on the road — fast. The only question is, who do you go to to get your car fixed? Should you go back to the dealership where you bought the car, or find an independent mechanic?
Thus, the dealership vs mechanic debate begins. We’re here to help you sort things out. Keep reading for five factors you need to consider to make the decision-making process easier.
As with any expenditure or investment, the first thing you need to do when deciding between dealership vs independent garage is to identify the costs. Talk to the dealership and to local indie mechanics to get a rough quote on your repair.
To get an accurate idea, each facility will need to take a look at your vehicle to establish what the problem is. If it’s something as simple as a flat tire or an oil change, they should be able to tell you over the phone.
2. Factory and Dealership Warranties
Another thing to consider in the dealership vs mechanic debate is whether or not your vehicle is still under any warranties. For example, if the factory warranty is still active and covers the issue, you shouldn’t have to worry about costs at all. However, some dealership warranties require in-house repairs and maintenance.
3. Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Before getting dealership repairs or going to an independent mechanic, you should find out what other car owners have to say about their services. Go online to find customer reviews and testimonials.
Were they treated fairly? How quickly were they able to get their vehicle back? Did they have any communication issues with the mechanic or dealership?
Customer reviews are vital for finding quality auto repair.
4. Experience and Expertise
Next, take a look at the licensed mechanic’s and the dealership auto shop’s experience. How long have they been fixing vehicles? Are they licensed and insured?
Furthermore, ask them about their expertise with your particular type of vehicle. A BMW dealership, for example, will specialize in BMW maintenance and repair.
5. Repair Warranties and Guarantees
Finally, to settle the debate of dealership vs mechanic, ask about workmanship guarantees and part warranties. For example, if the issue with your vehicle comes back a few days after getting repaired, what liability will the mechanic or dealership take? Alternatively, if they make an error diagnosing your car’s problem, will they compensate you for the unnecessary repairs they made before?
Can’t Choose Between Dealership vs Mechanic?
Still having trouble choosing? We recommend following our tips above and listening to your intuition to help you decide between dealership vs mechanic.
And if you think you can fix the problem yourself, why not give it a try? Check out our DIY auto repair blog for more information.