Owning a car comes with the extra burden of maintenance and repair costs. You will need automotive repairs quite a number of times throughout your car's lifetime. For many people, the question of whether to use a dealership or "Joe's garage" at the corner of the block comes every time a repair is needed. Dealerships have technicians who are manufacturer trained to work on specific car makes and models. Ordinary garages, on the other hand, are not tied down to specific car manufacturers. In many instances, you will find that most garages like these are owned by technicians who were previously dealership-trained and nurtured before opting out on their own. Both alternatives have their strengths and weaknesses. The following are some comparisons that can hopefully help any individual requiring automotive repairs decide which to go with.
Being directly associated with manufacturers, a dealership would only use original equipment parts that the manufacturer approves and backs. These parts are usually the best in terms of quality and reliability. The beauty with the ordinary corner garages is that everybody gets to choose what they want. Local garages also offer OE parts and can use aftermarket parts at your request. Aftermarket parts are like generic versions of the OE parts; they are meant to perform the same functions at a cheaper cost.
When it comes to warranties, the dealership wins the race. At a dealership, you can get free automotive repairs if your car is still under the manufacturer warranty. The dealership, in order to ease the warranty process, will only perform work that is clear and substantial. Any dealer in whatever location can perform your repairs on warranty. The manufacturer regulates the dealerships, and, therefore, all dealers under their banner are permitted to perform automotive repairs under their guarantee. Small garages, on the other hand, offer very limited warranty plans. The warranty may be on services or labor, but it is almost always limited to a very short duration and coverage. These warranties are not transferable, so you are tied to using one particular garage for automotive repairs if you want to use them.
A dealership is definitely more expensive than the average garage. The higher expenses comes from the dealership's need to cover overhead, OE material costs, space, technology and even pay the manufacturer to be under their banner. A small garage is cheaper because of lack of a majority of these factors, plus the fact that you can choose what type of parts to use. While the dealership may be expensive, the quality of work performed is often perfect. The same perfection can also be found in some small garages that pride themselves in customer satisfaction and only giving the best.