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Dealer mechanics vs third party mechanics where should I take my car

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Having an accident, or discovering a mechanical fault with your car can be a very stressful event, and it’s made all the more stressful if you’ve not yet found a reliable mechanic whom you can trust not only to look after your car, but to charge a reasonable price. What’s more, many cars come with dealership mechanic deals – but are they really as good as they may at first seem?

Who do I trust?

Both third party mechanics and dealer mechanics will tell you that they’re best placed to look after your car. But who should you believe? While an independent mechanic will tell you that they’re not influenced by having high targets set down by HQ, dealer mechanics will say that only they know how a Volkswagen/Ford/Toyota performs best, and of course they only use legitimate parts from whichever manufacturer they use.

The fact is that the question of whether to take your car to a dealer mechanic or a third party will always exist, and it’s a subjective question. As long as you follow a few simple rules, and ask yourself a few simple questions, you – and your car – should be fine wherever you take it. So what are these rules and questions?

The first thing to remember is to seek advice from friends, families and colleagues. If you’ve moved to a new town this is even more important, but asking around could mean you find a great mechanic – dealership or independent – that you can trust. In addition, running searches online to find reviews is a great way to get an understanding of a mechanic’s reliability.

Secondly, think about the job that needs doing. Does your car need an MOT, a once over, some superficial work or something more intensive? For superficial work, there is clearly no need to use a dealer mechanic – but if your vehicle needs new parts then it’s up to you decide whether you’re adamant about only having parts from the same manufacturer, regardless if other manufacturers have the same parts. The reality is that, while most people will use the same mechanic once they’ve found one they trust, there could be money to be saved each time. For superficial work, just finding a legitimate mechanic that comes recommended from someone you know could make good financial sense.

Get a good deal

Perhaps one of the greatest arguments for not going to a dealership is the cost. They typically have bigger overheads, as well as perhaps targets set down by HQ. But in addition, being part of a larger company often makes it easier to haggle on the cost. Have you been buying cars from them for years? Perhaps you or a family member are close to needing another car, which you may buy from them. Use this information in your favour to try and get some money off. Of course, some independent mechanics will do deals on cost but many people find it easier to haggle with large multinationals then small independent businesses.

Finally, whether you opt to visit a dealership or an independent, make sure they’re a legitimate business. Recommendations from friends and families but look too for the necessary signage around the garage for reassurance, and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.


Car Care Tips  21/02/2014 14:50:56

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