We’ve all been there; your car starts making a strange noise, handling poorly or perhaps displaying a warning light and that feeling of dread immediately washes over you. Having a breakdown or a fault in your car is never a pleasant experience, but what can be worse is the experience of receiving your repair bill after getting it fixed.
What might seem like a trifling problem, after all, can often lead to expenditures in the hundreds or thousands of pounds. That’s why it’s crucial for all motorists to be well-informed when it comes to how they might be able to reduce those bills.
Trusting your car to an independent dealer rather than a main dealer is one such way. According to a 2014 survey by whocanfixmycar.com, after all, repair quotes from independent garages are typically 18% cheaper than those from main dealers. Why then, can using an independent garage save a driver so much money?
You’re Not Paying for a Name
One of the main reasons why repairs from a main dealer are so expensive is purely and simply because drivers are prepared to pay more because those dealers can display a car manufacturer’s name. It’s natural for motorists to believe that a garage under the banner of a world renowned car maker, after all, is somehow more trustworthy or more skilled.
In reality, however, mechanics and professionals working at independent garages are just as proficient if not more so than their main dealer counterparts. They, after all, rely entirely upon their skills and their expertise to stay in business as they do not have an internationally recognised name to fall back on.
They Use More Affordable Parts
Another explanation for the larger bills that motorists can expect from main dealers comes from the parts which those dealers are required to use. Being directly linked to manufacturers, main dealer garages generally have to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which are the most expensive available.
Independent garages, meanwhile, can and do source so-called ‘aftermarket’ parts. These parts are made by manufacturers other than the official maker which an individual car company has decided to work with. In the vast majority of cases aftermarket parts are just as effective as OEM parts, and in all cases they are much cheaper.
They Have Less Overheads
Independent garages are generally considerably smaller than main dealers and this can be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. Being smaller in size, after all, they have lower overheads such as wage bills or equipment costs.
What that means is that independent garages are often in a better position to pass on savings to their customers. Lower costs, after all, mean that independent garages can also offer lower prices in order to attract and retain their customers.
Their Business Depends On It
Whilst all of the above are accurate explanations of why independent garages can be cheaper than main dealers, the most important reason of all that they do offer lower prices is simply because their business depends on it.
An independent garage has to have a strong focus on customer satisfaction in order to remain competitive and needs good word of mouth advertising to grow its business. Delivering a personal service at a lower price than main dealers is a great way of achieving exactly that.