Where is cheaper for car servicing: main dealerships, local garages or fast fitters?
MAIN DEALERS vs FAST FITTERS vs LOCAL GARAGES (Image: WhoCanFixMyCar.com)
Car servicing comparison site WhoCanFixMyCar.com works with almost 5,000 garages nationwide, helping around 4,000 drivers repair and maintain their pride and joy every month.
The site is simple to use – just tell them what you drive, what’s wrong and where you live, and receive quotes from nearby garages and specialists.
The heart of WhoCanFixMyCar.com’s appeal is to compare a range of quotes and recent customer reviews – including independent garages, high-street ‘Fast-Fitters’ and main dealers – to help car owners get the best deal and service levels for fixing their car.
Now, for the first time, the company is revealing the truth: who is cheapest, and for what sort of work?
Find out the results below.
Who offers the best value for money?
You can now get competitive prices through main dealerships thanks to ‘value Pricing’ (Image: Newspress)
It’s a common assumption that a Main Dealership, with their comfy facilities, original parts and high overheads, must be more expensive than the independent or high-street alternatives.
As such, many drivers – particularly when their warranty has expired will dismiss the option of using their dealership, typically without even checking their prices.
The truth is, however, that dealerships have fought back in recent years, with fixed-price ‘Value Servicing’ and up-front ‘Menu Pricing’ for common repair types, while retaining many of their traditional added benefits.
A driver of an older Mercedes, for example, will still get 12-months Roadside Assist with their ‘Value Service’.
The results are in!
Franchised Dealers’ quotes ARE higher: 18% higher to be precise.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Independent Garages quotes are the lowest.
However, quotes for servicing and MOT work are similar. In fact, the difference between dearest and cheapest outlet type is just 6%.
Electrical work is also competitive, perhaps because manufacturer-trained technicians’ familiarity with the brand being serviced allows them to get to the root of the issue faster than a generalist could.
Dealerships only become significantly pricier when comparing brake and exhaust repairs and replacement and more ‘involved’ engine work.
Most prominently, the average cambelt/timing belt replacement quote from a main dealer was no less than 60% more than at a fast-fitter!
How quickly do different outlets respond to customer enquiries?
We know that an outlet that responds within two hours is 3.6 times more likely to win work than one that takes a day or more.
The main dealers come out on top
Dealerships respond – on average – 15% faster than Independent Garages and 25%faster than a fast-fitter.
Though this data does include enquiries received on evenings and weekends, most garages still have a HUGE opportunity to pull away from the competition here by monitoring enquiries outside of office hours.
In other words
Main dealers’ prices are actually comparable to the alternatives in most cases – particularly for common servicing work – and usually come with some additional benefits their competitors can’t match.
However, when it comes to more complex ‘off-the-menu’ work, in which labour hours stack up, it probably IS worth looking elsewhere.
Check out our BMW vs Audi vs Mercedes-Benz price test here. and find out which German car costs the most to run.