When your car needs repairs, you want them done quickly, efficiently, and at a reasonable price. But where do you take your car — a dealership or a local auto repair shop? Here are five things to consider before you drop off your baby with just anyone.
For most car owners, cost is the bottom line in determining where to go for repairs. Some people believe that dealerships overcharge, while others say the same of independent garages. But the numbers don’t lie. A 2010 study by AutoMD.com revealed that repairs not covered under warranty cost an average of $300 dollars more at a dealership compared to the average corner repair shop. Of course, cheaper isn’t always better, especially if the repairs aren’t done right. And that brings us to the second thing to think about.
Customers talk, and their experiences can help steer you to the best place in town for your needed car repairs. Before taking your car anywhere, do some research. Visit the websites of local dealerships and repair shops to see what customers say. Look for places with consistently high, positive reviews. If possible, talk with someone who has used the shop’s services. A dealership or independent garage with a good reputation also tends to offer a warm, personal touch, which leads us to the next thing to consider.
The people who work for a dealership can be extremely knowledgeable about the brand of car they specialize in repairing. However, from one visit to the next, you’ll probably have several different mechanics working on your vehicle. You might not even meet the technician, much less get to know him personally. At a local auto repair shop, you and your mechanic can more easily get to know one another. It’s nice to know that a reliable friend you can trust is working to get you back on the road.
One of the biggest differences between a dealership and independent garage is what parts they use to repair your car. There are many misconceptions about choosing the right parts, but in the end, a little research can help you make an informed decision. It’s true that the dealer only uses equipment from the car’s original manufacturer, and such equipment is generally high in quality. But other brands can be just as good as the auto manufacturer’s parts, and they usually cost less. The key difference is that the dealer doesn’t have the option to offer you a less expensive (but just as effective) part, while a local auto garage can easily do so, putting the choice within your hands. Even if you have a vehicle under warranty, you don’t have to use a dealer. Many local repair shops can handle warranties with ease. And that brings us to the last point.
For the most part, dealers only have one location you can visit for repairs. Unless you live or work nearby, you have to drive to that one spot in town where your brand of car is sold. This can cost you time and gas money, and it can be inconvenient. Independent auto repair shops are typically located all around town, and some may even be within walking distance of your home or office, making it extremely easy to get there.
In the end, the choice is in your hands of how you can best spend your time and money. A dealership can specifically handle your make and model because it’s what they see all day, but local auto garages often have the same level of experience with your brand of car, plus they can give you that personal touch you want and appreciate when having your car repaired for optimal performance.
Here at RC Auto Specialists, we have a highly qualified, reliable team of mechanics in the Tulsa area who specialize in repairing Ford vehicles and are ready to help you decide what’s best for your car. With our experience working on Fords and our dedication to keeping you safe on the roads, we can help give you peace of mind anytime your car needs repairs. To schedule an appointment, call us at (918) 872-8115.