Dealership vs. Mechanic: Where Should I get my Car Serviced?
It can be difficult to navigate the world of vehicle service and repair. Particularly, you might find yourself wondering “Should I get my car serviced at a dealership or a mechanic?” Here are some important considerations for deciding if the dealership or the mechanic is right for you.
Dealership Prices vs. Mechanic Prices
While they might seem like a natural option for service visits, dealerships often upcharge for the same services offered more affordably by a mechanic. Just as dealerships make money by charging you as much as they can for your vehicle purchase, they make money by charging you as much as they can for your vehicle services.
However, the mechanics’ system works differently from the dealership system. Mechanics with great service and affordable prices will earn repeat customers, which is what keeps their businesses going. So unlike dealerships, mechanics operate by offering affordable prices. This means that if you are looking for bottom-line affordable prices, the mechanic is likely the best option for you.
Frequently, dealerships are restricted by their manufacturer or parent companies in the warranties they can offer. This means limited protection on the areas of service that you are paying so much for. However, mechanics have no such limitations. Mechanics are often far more at liberty to create the warranty agreements that they think will best benefit you and your vehicle.
This means that mechanics can offer generous warranties that protect your investments and display a level of confidence in their automotive services. For example, you can find mechanics that offer up to 3-year/36,000-mile warranties on their vehicle services. This means that you can compound your savings when you consider the initial lower costs and the extended protection of the serviced areas of your vehicle.
Do You Have a Dealership Service Contract?
If the dealership offers free oil changes or tire rotations, it might seem like the most affordable option to continue bringing your vehicle to the dealership for service. However, it is important to read the fine lines on these contracts, as you might not be getting as great of a deal as it might seem.
- The first thing to look out for is the time period for which you are eligible for vehicle service. If your free or reduced service period has ended, you could be paying substantially more than mechanic’s pricing for services at your dealership.
- Next, check to see what kind of service is included in your dealership service contract. You might get free dealership oil changes, but get charged exorbitant prices for dealership inspections, tire rotations, repairs, or other vehicle service offering.
- Finally, check the limitations of your contract. Dealerships sometimes take advantage of customers by arranging loopholes in the contract. For example, there is a chance that if you miss one of your regularly scheduled service visits, you may not be eligible for discounted visits in the future.
Mechanic Parts vs. Dealership Parts
Dealerships are often tied to certain parts brands determined by the manufacturer, which can be higher in price without necessarily being higher in quality. Mechanics, however, are free to partner with whichever brands offer high quality and affordability. If you are simply looking for a high-quality part that will get your vehicle back to prime condition, visiting a mechanic is often an equally effective and more affordable option.
Where To Buy Tires: Dealership vs. Mechanic Pricing
When it comes to tires, drivers tend to think that the dealership is the only place to get the specialty tires their cars need. This is why dealerships often feel at liberty to up-price their tire selections. What the dealerships don’t want you to know is that you can often find the same tires (or better) at a mechanic shop or tire specialist at a much lower rate. You can even find a tire shop with a Price Beat Guarantee. They will take your lowest dealership or competitor tire estimate and beat it by 10% of the difference—ensuring that you get the best possible price on your new tires.
Convenience to Dealership
Vehicle maintenance contracts and other benefits that might be offered by dealerships can be great…if your commute is convenient to the dealership location. If the cost and hassle of visiting the dealership each time you are in need of an oil change outweigh the benefits of these deals, a mechanic might be a more reasonable option for you. Look for a mechanic chain that has multiple, reliable locations so that you can get the service you need no matter where your daily schedule takes you.
Mechanic Near Me
The experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here to beat out the dealership service prices, maintenance costs, and overall customer experience. Make an appointment with our Chapel Hill Tire experts for your next vehicle service and take advantage of our coupon for your first visit today!