One of the toughest choices for any driver to make is who to trust with their vehicle repairs and servicing. Some swear by independent mechanics and others won’t take their vehicle anywhere other than an official franchised dealership. But is either option less valid than the other? What are the benefits of independent garages and franchised dealerships?
What are the benefits of independent garages?
Independent garages have lower overheads than franchised garages. The upkeep of smaller facilities and lower numbers of staff mean they can often charge lower prices for the service. This is often claimed as the main benefit of choosing independent over franchised.
Quality matches franchised work
Choosing an independent garage doesn’t mean that you’ll be getting the service with any less quality. These garages are run by experienced, highly-qualified mechanics, many of which have spent time in a franchised garage learning their trade. Nevertheless, it’s important to choose a quality local garage, which you can do through our online comparison tool.
Browsing our directory will make obvious the number of independent garages there are in your local area. Booking at an independent garage is a great way for you to support local businesses, as they are often run by members of the community.
Flexible & personal service
Independent garages are often more than happy to talk you through the process and tailor repair work to suit you and your vehicle. It’s also easier to build a relationship with an independent mechanic as it is often the same mechanic working on your vehicle multiple times.
In the UK, independent garages are the popular choice for servicing and repair work, with the lower cost cited as the main reason.
What are the benefits of franchised dealerships?
Protects your warranty
If you’re taking a nearly new vehicle in for repair work, a franchised dealership will ensure that any work carried out keeps your warranty valid. Check out this handy guide for any questions you might have about your warranty.
Genuine manufacturer parts
Franchised dealerships will often use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts on your vehicle, sourced directly from the manufacturer. On the other hand, independent garages can source parts from reputable third-party sources.
Courtesy vehicles more readily available
If your vehicle needs lengthy repair work, you might not be able to survive without it for several days. Franchised garages can offer a range of courtesy vehicles for the duration of the repair work, a service independent garages are less likely to offer.
Better customer facilities
Most independent garages don’t have a nice waiting room or refreshment facilities on-site for customers to use. If you know the repair/service won’t take long, the benefits of having somewhere comfortable to wait can be important.
Some people like having a genuine dealer’s service stamp in their service handbook to retain the value and prove the quality of care given to their vehicles.
The benefits of a franchised dealership are more evident in the early stages of your vehicles’ lifespan. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be your preferred destination for repair work for the entire life-span of your vehicle. Through BookMyGarage’s Secret Service you can book your service and MOT at a franchised dealership, for a discounted price! These garages offer an industry-standard service schedule not that dissimilar from the manufacturer recommended one, just at a discounted price. Some drivers prefer using a professional name for their repairs and services. The quality of parts and workmanship is something they are prepared to fork out a little bit more money for.
Choosing the best garage for you
There are benefits to both independent garages and franchised dealerships. Choosing a garage for any repair work should revolve around what works best for you. Sometimes, using a mixture of services from both independent and franchised garages can be the best option. While your warranty is valid using a franchised garage for major repair work. Then switching to an independent garage after the warranty runs out to save a bit of money.
Here at BookMyGarage, we have a range of garages which can offer the services you need – both independent and franchised. Either browse our directory or give us a call to find the best garage for your vehicle.