Research has found that independent garages are, on average, 18% cheaper than main franchised dealers.
Analysis by Who Can Fix My Car found that the main dealers, which are popular amongst new car owners are significantly more expensive for certain types of work.
Separate analysis carried out by consumer magazines Which? and What Car found that independent garages, like Duffy Motors, also enjoy higher customer satisfaction ratings than franchised dealers.
Their research also shows that new car owners are more likely to use franchised dealers, suggesting they may be unaware that they can use independent garages without affecting their vehicle’s warranty.
Cheaper and more convenient
On average, work carried out by independent garages was 18% cheaper than work carried out by main dealers in Who Can Fix My Car’s analysis. But their results also showed up large price differentials between the kinds of work carried out.
For relatively simple work, such as MOT and servicing work, independent garages are only slightly cheaper. But for more complex ‘off-the-menu’ work, where more intensive labour is required, it is often significantly cheaper to go with an independent fixer.
Car owners who needed brakes and exhaust work were quoted £221 by franchised dealers compared with £156 at a local independent.
Essential repairs like a cam belt change were also more expensive (£372) at main dealers compared with independents (£227).
Over many years of serving the Manchester community, customers have regularly told us in online reviews and in person that we are cheaper than the franchised dealers.
But we also think that we are more convenient.
Right slap bang in the middle of the City Centre (just off Deansgate by the Hilton), our garage is perfect for people who live or work in Manchester.
Customers routinely drop their cars off in the morning, go to work or into town and collect their motor at a time that suits them.
Convenience was also highlighted by What Car as a reason why many people choose independents over franchised dealers.
They say that there are usually few franchised dealers and their sparkly premises can be tricky to get to.
In their 2017 Servicing Satisfaction Survey, What Car found that the overall satisfaction rating for non-franchised servicing is 6% higher than franchised fixers.
They also found that Porsche, Alfa Romeo and Audi drivers were far happier getting their cars serviced independently compared with using franchised dealerships.
Consumer group Which? found similar results.
The franchised dealership myth that could be costing you £1,000s
According to What Car, almost 90% of motorists get their car serviced at a franchised dealership in the first year, with more and more switching to independents as the cars get older.
By the time cars reach seven years old, they claim, nearly half are serviced outside of franchised dealerships.
The motorists who use franchised dealers are likely to be paying more than if they went to an independent garage. So why do they do it?
It may be that they are falling for a common myth about servicing on new vehicles.
Even if your vehicle is still within the dealership warranty, you can still take it to an independent garage without being penalised by the manufacturer.
This is because new EU competition laws introduced in 2003 have stopped car manufacturers from forcing owners to use their franchised dealers for servicing and repair work.
Dealers who warn buyers that their warranty will be void if they use another garage are incorrect, and could be acting illegally.
If your vehicle is under warranty (new warranties usually last for three years) then it can still be serviced at an independent garage like Duffy Motors, without invalidating the conditions of the dealership warranty.
As long as the service is carried out to the manufacturers specifications, using approved parts and techniques, then the vehicle’s warranty will remain valid.
Duffy Motors works within all the main manufacturer service specifications. And we have never had any issues with manufacturers refusing to honour the warranty on a vehicle after we have worked on it.