The Truth about Visiting the Dealership for Automotive Maintenance

The Truth about Visiting the Dealership for Automotive Maintenance

Sometimes visiting an auto repair shop can feel like visiting a foreign country. Learn how you can save money by visiting an independent auto repair shop over a dealership.

auto body 1According to an article at, “Where Do You Go When You Need Auto Repair Service”

“Sooner or later, all car buyers face the big question: Should I go to the dealer or an independent repair shop to get work done? By avoiding dealerships in favor of independents when you have work not covered by the warranty, you can save an average of $300 a year, according to a new study by

AutoMD, which covers all car-repair topics, collected its data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Federal Highway Administration and the Aftermarket Industry Association (the trade group for parts makers and repair shops). Car owners who go to dealers for repairs spend an average of $1,209 a year vs. $903 for those who use independent shops, the study concluded. (For the cost difference on brake jobs, transmission repairs and three other common repairs, see below.)

The biggest cost differentials are often on both the simplest and most complicated jobs. “Routine maintenance, like oil changes, will be much cheaper at independents or chain shops unless the dealer is running a promotional special,” says AutoMD president Shane Evangelist. Since all cars need oil changes, dealers use them as a profit center.

Additionally, much of the cost differential is due to higher labor rates at the dealers’ service departments. So the longer the job takes–as in the transmission repair below– the bigger the cost advantage at an independent, says Evangelist.” To read the entire article click here.

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