Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 42 seconds.
Like doctors or dentists, vehicle dealerships are not always popular. There is a long-standing belief that brand-approved dealerships are expensive and simply looking to charge you as much as possible. And we hear you: there is always someone who has had a bad experience with one or more brands. But there are many more who have had brilliant experiences.
So hear us out: over the past few years, the world has undergone a seismic shift when it comes to customer service. Pricing, individual experiences, online ratings, and forums have brought a level of transparency across all businesses, including vehicle dealerships. Shoddy work and overpricing is immediately exposed, whether it’s at the hairdresser, grocery store, or dealership.
Businesses that try to fleece customers are quickly exposed and don’t last long in today’s economy.
A new level of trust
These changes have had a positive impact on customers and an even better impact on reputable dealerships. Dealerships that have always delivered excellent service and quality work are finally in the spotlight and getting the recognition they have always deserved.
Thanks to this modern level of business transparency, dealerships and customers are able to enjoy a renewed level of trust. What this means for vehicle owners is that they can contact their preferred dealership and know that they will get honest advice.
Forget about the outdated misconception that dealerships will only make recommendations that suit them. Good dealerships will help you find the best solutions for you and your vehicle because it’s in their best interest to keep their reputation as reliable.
Why you should contact your dealership first
No matter how old your vehicle is, your preferred accredited dealership will still be able to offer you the best advice. They have all the official training and experience when it comes to your specific vehicle and they are your most reliable source of information.
The risks of taking your vehicle to non-approved dealerships or workshops are plenty:
- You don’t know whether the staff have been trained on your specific brand of vehicle. In fact, you don’t even know if they’ve ever worked on one before.
- You don’t know where parts are being sourced. You don’t even know if new/used parts are being put in your car.
- You have no guarantee that parts or repairs will be up to standard.
- Yes, some independent service/repair centres do offer guarantees on their work. Just be sure to read the fine print to make sure it covers the specific repairs being done to your vehicle.
- By opting to go to non-approved dealers the responsibility of ensuring the correct parts are being used falls to the vehicle owner because there is no other ‘oversight’ other than you.
Note: With the Right to Repair act that recently came into effect, vehicle owners no longer risk voiding their warranty should they decide to have their vehicle serviced by a third-party dealer. It’s advised, however, that vehicle owners at least make sure that business is a part of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), as they at least carry liability insurance for defective parts or faulty workmanship.
According to Right to Repair, “….if poor workmanship or the fitment of an inferior part causes damage to a part or system that is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, the franchised dealer is within their rights to refuse to repair the part or system at their cost.”
So, before you start shopping for cheaper fixes, please read all the details about Right to Repair.
This brings us back to approved dealerships
Even if you are considering taking your vehicle to an external party, it’s still a good idea to contact your dealership. They will be able to give you an informed opinion on whether this is a high-risk repair or not.
Remember, your dealership wants to maintain a good relationship with you, and it’s in their best interest to give you solid advice. You can also go to your dealer with repair quotes from external suppliers and ask if they can match/get closer to that amount.
If there’s a massive difference in price your dealer could help you identify why. It might be that poor quality or generic parts are being used and your dealer will at least be able to make you aware of this.
At the end of the day, it’s about quality and logic
If you plan on keeping your vehicle for many years, the best option is still to have it serviced and repaired through your approved dealer.
This gives you peace of mind that the experts are looking after your vehicle and that only original parts are used. It keeps your vehicle service history straightforward as everything was done at the same place. It will also likely boost the resale value because vehicles with a full OEM service history are more sought after.
At the end of the day, it won’t hurt to contact your dealership and simply ask for advice. This way you will know where your risks and costs are likely to land, and you can make an informed decision.
So just contact your dealer and ask!