Auto Repair: Should You Use a Dealer or Independent Shop?

Auto Repair: Should You Use a Dealer or Independent Shop?

When it comes to auto repair, should you use a dealer or an independent shop? This is the number one question most car owners ask. If you are trying to decide which is best for you, it is important to understand that both meet your auto repair needs. The experts at Mountain View Auto have some suggestions for you.

Independent Auto Repair Centers

It is a popular misconception that you must take your car back to the dealership for maintenance to keep your warranty. Independent shops must be up to date with the latest software to work on the extensive electronics available in today’s automobiles. They also have access to the same information as the dealership. An independent shop must have the same computer system, records and same level of service as the dealership.

Independent garages are smaller and less expensive than dealerships. They are allowed to set their pricing and offer high-quality customer service to their customers. Because independent shops rely on word of mouth recommendations and referrals for the majority of their business, they make customer service the top on their list of priorities.

Because typically the independent auto shop has fewer technicians because of its size, you may meet the owner and get to know the staff. You can also ask any questions you have directly to the technician who is working on your car.

When it is time for basic maintenance and repair not covered by your car’s warranty, an independent shop is a great choice because their pricing will be lower. A simple oil change can cost so much more when you take your vehicle to the service department at a dealership. They charge a flat rate for services and use timing criteria that the dealership uses to determine the length of time to complete the service. Experienced technicians in an independent shop have a wealth of knowledge and experience. They must be current on the latest training, technology, methods, and equipment making them an excellent resource for difficult car repairs.         


For a dealership to maintain a franchise license, they must provide the specific tools and equipment as well as training for their technicians. They have access to a year’s worth of information on new vehicles they sell and service. In the first year of a new car, this becomes important because no one else can access the information, which is often needed for diagnosis and repair.

Dealerships most often only service the makes and models they sell. Because they have this experience, they can pinpoint problems quickly and accurately. Technicians at the dealership are also paid differently. Once they are given a job, the clock starts which can result in the technicians hurrying to meet a quota and rushing to get the job done.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you. As you can see, the independent auto shop has to be up to date with today’s latest technology and equipment. Mountain View Auto has certified ASE certified technicians who are qualified to provide superior automotive maintenance service and repair.

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