Pros and Cons – Dealerships vs Independent Service Shops

Posted on: August 11th, 2015 by Accurate Auto Body Denver 2 Comments

Dealerships vs. Independent Service Shops Where to take your vehicle for repairs has always been a question of contention. Of course, if you are in need of Denver car repair, Accurate Auto Body is the place to go. But in general, people tend to debate over whether a dealership or an independent shop gives you a better quality of service at lower costs. We are here to present the advantages and disadvantages of each so that you can better decide for yourself.

The Dealership

Ah, the big giants in the world of automotive repair. Cars line the parking lot and huge teams of mechanics are available to attend your vehicle. Let’s take a look to see if all the fanfare is worth your dollar:


  • Longer nation-wide warranties with shops that use certified technicians and original equipment.
  • Access to proprietary information on new vehicles needed for diagnosis and repair which is not available for one year to small shops from the release of the vehicle.
  • Payment is generally at a ‘flat rate’ – labor rate is assigned for each job, so if the technician goes under or over the allotted time, you still pay the same amount in servicing costs.


  • Flat rate can encourage technicians to cut corners or shy away from working on difficult jobs.
  • Generally charge higher rates per hour for servicing costs due to more required trainings and equipment for technicians.

The Service Shop

The home of the independent mechanic, the local mechanic’s shop holds a sweet spot in the American psyche. But is the workmanship as good as the certified technicians at the dealership? Let’s take a look:


  • Although they generally use the same cost per job as dealerships, their technicians are paid an hourly rate or salary, so there is no incentive to rush and jobs get more attention.
  • Generally owned by seasoned techs with extensive experience on various makes and models, capable of tackling difficult repairs.
  • Supporting local businesses is always beneficial – keep your money in the community instead of going back to corporations.


  • Depending on the facility, may not have the equipment/diagnostic tools to repair new articles.
  • May not always use certified parts which can void some warranties if your vehicle still falls under warranty.

The Bottom Line

Like most things in the technological world, servicing costs are in a constant state of flux. Dealerships are cutting costs to try and compete with independent service shops. At the same time, independent service shops are having to raise prices to afford new equipment and training for their technicians in order to compete with dealerships.

Dealerships are likely the place to go for new vehicles to ensure your repairs are handled by technicians specifically trained on your make of vehicle. Plus, this helps ensure your factory warranties are maintained. Plus, any known recall issues are taken care of promptly and quickly. For your older vehicles, it is hard to beat the cost savings of the local service shop and mechanic. The most important aspect is having trust in your mechanic, no matter where you take your vehicle. Take the time to shop around until you find the shop which is right for your vehicle.

How to Use This information

At Accurate Auto Body, our car care professionals are extensively trained and armed with the best equipment possible to provide your car with outstanding service. If you are in need of repair, be sure to give Accurate Auto Body a call at 303-344-2122 or contact us through our website and we will be happy to help.

Do you prefer taking your car to a dealership or a local service shop?

2 Responses

  1. Braden Bills says:

    My car has been having some issues, and I’m not sure how to fix it. It makes sense that taking my car to a mechanic would be better than taking it to a dealership! I’ll be sure to work with a professional to make sure that I get this cared for properly.

  2. My cousin has been thinking about taking better care of the car because his brakes make a lot of noise all the time. Making sure that he can get them made by a professional could allow them to be more effective. I liked what you said about how jobs can get more attention because they are paid on a salary, and they be a lot safer.

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