What is the Best Value for Car Repairs: Dealer Services, Chain, or Independent?

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Car repairs are an inevitable part of owning a car. No matter how much maintenance you perform, eventually, there will come a time when something breaks down in your car. When this happens, you want to take your car not only to a place you can trust to do the repair right but a place that provides you with good value for your money.

To get your car repaired, you typically have 3 options for where you can bring it. You can either bring it to a car dealer, a chain repair shop, or an independent repair service. Each one of these has its pros and cons, and it’s important you learn what these are before deciding on where to go. So, before you spend more of your hard-earned paycheck than you need to, or waste some of your stimulus money, here’s what you need to know:

Dealer Services

A car dealership is where you’ll want to bring your car if you want the best possible technicians. The repair technicians at dealerships are all specialists, meaning they have advanced training in repairing your specific model of car. This is the place you’ll likely want to go if you have a relatively newer or more expensive car, as the value of your car is still high. 

Of course, there are a few drawbacks of taking your car to a dealer for repairs. To start, dealerships typically charge more for their repair services. If you have an older vehicle, or if you only need something minor repaired, you may be better off taking it to someplace more affordable. In addition, car dealerships typically have a lot more customers than a smaller chain or independent repair services, meaning you may not get the same level of customer service.

Chain Repair Shop

Your next option is to take your car to a chain repair shop. Chain repair shops are owned by major companies that operate different locations all across the country. Rather than focusing on one specific type of car brand to repair, these locations have technicians that can fix any type of car. You, therefore, don’t get the type of specialized knowledge you would at a dealership, but you also don’t have to worry about taking your car to one specific place. 

The cost of repairs at chain shops will vary from location to location, but they are typically a little more affordable than dealerships. In many cases, they are also owned by people in your area, which can provide a higher level of customer service. 

Independent Car Repair Service

Your final option is an independent car repair service. This is a business that is owned by an individual and isn’t associated with any larger businesses. They are typically owned by someone from your community and work to serve customers in that area. The major benefit of taking your car to an independent car repair service is that the employees there will take the time to get to know you and your car. If you’re someone who values getting to know the person working on their car, you’ll want to look for an independent shop.

At the same time, mechanics at independent shops may not always have the most advanced training or education. The standards at each independent repair shop are different, so you’ll want to conduct some research or read past reviews from customers before deciding where to take your car.

Where Should You Take Your Car?

Where you go for repairs will ultimately depend on a few things. For example, if you want the most qualified technicians for your brand of vehicle, you’ll want to go to a dealership. You’ll also want to check with your insurance or any warranties you have, as they may dictate where you take your car. If you have a Honda car extended warranty, the provider of the warranty may require that you get the car repaired by a dealership.

For those of you looking for a more personal touch with your car repairs, you should consider a chain location or an independent dealership. Browse the options in your local area, then try to learn about the technicians working there, what their prices are, and how previous customers liked their experience. 

Getting the best value on your car repair all depends on what you want. If you want to spend as little as possible, avoid a dealership. If you plan on driving your expensive car for a long time, take it to a dealership. There’s no one correct answer – it all depends on what you’re looking for.


Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.

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