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Local Auto Repair Shops VS. Dealership Auto Repair Shops

Once in a while, your car will need repairs or servicing. There are so many places that can offer this kind of service for your car such as auto repair shops or dealer auto repair shops.

Both options are good for you.

Nevertheless, your local mechanic is the best when comes to price and customer satisfaction as compared to the dealer shop. On the other hand, the dealer shop boasts of specialized technicians and brand authority unlike auto repair shops.

Take for instance a time when your car’s warranty runs out. It could be any car model. Prior to the expiry of the warranty, you comfortably took your car to the dealership for servicing with no problems.

When time comes to repair this car, you may be torn either remaining loyal to the dealership because they have the original manufacturer’s parts and specialized techniques or going to a local auto repair shop which will charge you less but give you value for your money.

Before you decide which option you will go with, it is better to understand how each works.


Dealership auto repair shops are those that specialize in repairing and maintaining your car brand only. Most if not all dealerships have factory-trained technicians for the particular car brands they deal with.

It is therefore not surprising that dealerships work on hundreds of cars in a month.

When you take your car to a dealership auto repair shop, you will meet with a service advisors who will determine your car needs. It is very unlikely that you will meet the mechanic one on one.

A dealership auto repair shop specializes in repairing and maintaining your car brand only. As such, the manufacturer covers the cost of most repairs if the car is under warranty. In case your warranty is expired, you can buy an extended warranty or pay for repairs and servicing as needed.


· They specialize in particular car brands and thus have specialized technicians who are more qualified and experienced to handle your car’s needs.

· Technicians often receive continuous training and are more knowledgeable about new developments in the automobile industry especially for the particular brands they have specialized in.

· They use the original manufacturer’s parts which guarantees quality and longevity of the new parts


· They are often expensive

· They have poor customer service relations


Auto repair shops are smaller garages where customers meet directly with the mechanic working on their car. Most auto repair shops are usually started and staffed by former dealership technicians.

These shops do not specialize in one particular car brand like the dealership repair shops. Instead, they work on a cross-section of car brands.

Some independent auto shops honor third-party warranties.


· Some independent auto shops honor third-party warranties

· More personalized service

· Cheaper

· High ranking on customer satisfaction, price, quality, courteousness and on-time repairs


· The lack of specialization in one brand

· They may not have access to the original manufacturer’s parts like dealership auto repair shops

· Given that there can be many auto repair shops in an area, it can be difficult to find the right mechanics to correctly work on your car


Auto repair shops and dealership auto repair shops are different in some aspects. These difference include:

a. Difference in labor costs

When it comes to auto repair shops, technicians can also be as technically proficient as factory-trained dealership mechanics. In any case, most auto repair shops are started or staffed by former technicians at dealership shops.

Auto repair shops fix all kinds of brands which makes the labor costs a little bit lower. However, the labor costs of getting your car fixed at a dealership is higher because their technicians are specialists.

In addition, dealerships pay higher salaries for manufacturer-trained and highly experienced technicians. It is therefore no surprise that you will pay a higher price for their services.

b. Difference in the equipment used

Original equipment is not just limited to dealership auto repair shops. Auto repair shops can also can get original manufacturer parts for repairs and servicing.

However, most auto repair shops also offer less expensive, alternative parts, or even rebuilt parts, that perform the same function. These parts still perform the same function as the original parts.

Some car owners may however not be comfortable with using second hand parts. Dealership auto repair shops always use original equipment. They are required to use factory-made equipment and parts from the manufacturer as a surety of high quality control.

This contributes to the high cost of service at a dealership shop. Unfortunately, these parts can sometimes run out of stock and take longer to ship which only causes the cost of the service to become higher.

c. Difference in customer satisfaction

Auto repair shops offer more customer satisfaction than dealership auto repair shops, this is because the former have no loyalty to the manufacturer therefore they can use parts from different brands that have been proven to be better.

Dealership auto repair shops must remain loyal to the manufacturer which often leads to low customer satisfaction.

Every other day, dealerships have a constant flow of cars coming for free repairs because of the warranties. As a result, they are less motivated to work as hard to attract or keep customers. They are sure of getting customers anyway.

In addition, dealerships answer to their manufacturers. This means that service managers will make a commission from their work. In recommending a repair, they receive a percentage of the parts and labor.

When it comes to customer and personalized service, it easier to build a personal relationship with auto repair shops since you speak directly with the mechanics.

The shops will answer any of your queries as they have no loyalty to the manufacturer. On the other hand, dealership auto repair shops don’t allow to personally interact with the mechanics.

When you bring in your car for repairs, you only speak to the service. As a result, you cannot get personalized service. Though the service advisors are trustworthy, there is just something about having a one-on-one conversation with the person fixing your car.

It builds your confidence and assurance that the job will be properly done.

An auto repair shop will start from scratch to build relationships with paying customers.

d. Difference in location and facilities

Auto repair shops usually have smaller facilities and less overhead than dealerships. Consequently, the prices of services are lowered significantly. Dealership auto repair shops have larger facilities which translates into higher service costs.

You can expect such shops to have cushy chairs and flavored water in a sparkling-clean waiting room.

e. Difference in services provided

Auto repair shops usually work on multiple brands. However, they may turn down repairs if they don’t specialize in your car brand. Dealership shops are more specialized which may translate into better service and a higher cost.

While working on your car, a dealership is likely to have shuttles or loaner cars available for you to rent for the period your car is in service. However, renting a car can be expensive. You can spend $1000 to rent a car for only three weeks.

f. Difference in type of insurance accepted

Most dealership auto repair shops offer manufacturer-backed warranties. If your car’s warranty is still active then your car will be fixed for free until the day the warranty expires. Once the warranty expires, you can purchase a new one. Since dealerships have that brand-name power, they can offer manufacturer-backed extended warranties.

Nonetheless, if you decide to stay with the dealership, be prepared to pay higher prices. You need to ensure that no unnecessary work is done on your car. Also watch out for coupons and deals it sends may add up to big savings.

Auto repair shops are independent mechanics which means that they don’t accept warranties in exchange for car services. You cannot go to an auto repair shop to get your car fixed for free because you have a warranty because auto repair shops don’t recognize warranties.

Instead, you insurer can pay. If you have garage liability insurance which covers third-party bodily injury and damage or theft of machinery, you can get your car fixed at an auto repair shop. Sometimes the insurance may not cover all the costs and you may be required to pay a deductible especially if you are liable for the accident.

g. Difference in overall cost

Generally, it is cheaper to repair your car at an auto repair shop than a dealership shop. For the period your car has a warranty, it is definitely cheaper to take it to a dealership as it will be repaired for free. But afterwards, it will be cheaper to shift to an auto repair shop as long as you find a good one.

The decision to go to a dealership or auto repair shop is yours to make. Choose what works best for you and your car.

If you are interested in getting your vehicle looked at and have more questions or want a 100% Free Quote Today, contact us directly by

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