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Car servicing - alternatives to mainline dealers

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Harbo

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No experience of using them but I recently used an Independent BMW Garage that had good reviews from customers.
Saved £150 on a new front wheel bearing over main dealer price and used Genuine BMW parts too.

Rod
 

Paul Chapman

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Haven't used a main dealer for years. I always use a small, local garage within walking distance from where I live. Over the years I've got to know all the mechanics really well - they always do an excellent job at a reasonable price and it's good to be able to talk to the person who worked on the car.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

marcros

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Paul Chapman":mba18lbo said:
Haven't used a main dealer for years. I always use a small, local garage within walking distance from where I live. Over the years I've got to know all the mechanics really well - they always do an excellent job at a reasonable price and it's good to be able to talk to the person who worked on the car.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
Same here. I only have an old runabout but have always used the very small one man band place near to work. May have to book the car in a couple of days in advance, but service is always good and no nasty surprises on the bill.
 

RogerP

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Look around and ask about. Find a small independent with a good reputation who's happy to work on your make of car. I've not been to a main dealer for decades.
 

cambournepete

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For my car (4 year old Mazda 5) we use the main dealer and have negotiated reasonable deals from them (and Mazda when something went wrong just after the 3 years).

For my wife's beaten up X-reg focus we use an excellent local garage that we chose on personal recommendation.

I think I'd stick with the main dealer in the warranty period as there shouldn't really be any problems.
After that it's more down to the value of the car.

I'd certainly never accept the first quote any garage gave me...
 

Michael7

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marcros":2zkw950e said:
Paul Chapman":2zkw950e said:
Haven't used a main dealer for years. I always use a small, local garage within walking distance from where I live. Over the years I've got to know all the mechanics really well - they always do an excellent job at a reasonable price and it's good to be able to talk to the person who worked on the car.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
Same here. I only have an old runabout but have always used the very small one man band place near to work. May have to book the car in a couple of days in advance, but service is always good and no nasty surprises on the bill.

Local mechainc for me too. I have never been charged over £100, drive an 11 year old Mondeo - cheap motoring.

Michael
 

RogerS

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Interesting. I'll ask around locally. Thing is I did ask a year or so ago and drew blank stares from the small garages I tried as they didn't have the specialist kit/diagnostic/you-name-it. Maybe times have changed.
 

Harbo

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Googles your friend, there's probably a forum for your car too - that's where I learnt about the garage I used.

Rod
 

sparkymarky

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I've recently found a new garage which i've been using through the good garage scheme http://www.goodgaragescheme.co.uk/

All garages have to conform to a 10 point industry standard code of conduct and leave you with a feedback slip when given the invoice to rate their service's.

I had 3 stuck injector's which had failed in my vauxhall vivaro (google it to find out about that common fault, plenty of results) the garage couldn't remove the injectors using their tools so spent approx £1500 on a new 12ton hydraulic injector puller to remove the injectors, couldn't of been more helpfull, i've never gotten that sort of service from a main dealer.

cheers, mark.
 

newt

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I have used local garages in the past when we owned simple cars, however I now use main dealers for our current cars. Had £900 pounds worth of work done on my Audi recently ( air con Ecu and ignition switch) the car is out of warranty but there was no charge to me. Also they include any software updates and recalls during servicing. The local Audi independents help keep the main dealer prices down.
 

Lons

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I agree with Pete and Pete.

My VW van is well out of warranty so I use a local garage who are specialists in commercials and I can trust to do an excellent job at a decent rate. The owner has become a friend over the years.

However our cars are different. Wife is on her 3rd Mini which have always had the TLC package which includes servicing for 5 years and my last 2 BMWs have been serviced by the main dealer as will be my Audi.
What I did do was contact the 2 Newcastle companies who specialise in servicing of German cars to get quotes which I then used to squeeze the dealer. Last service I saved £60 so if they want the business they'll negotiate to a point. They also want to sell you your next car so I play on that.

Whilst the manufacturers must honour the warranty whoever does the servicing providing they are VAT registered and used genuine parts, they are much less accommodating when things go wrong.

I have 2 examples where the dealers have hooked up cars directly to the manufacturers engineers, (It's weird to see a car in a workshop and watch a series of tests, lights , engine start stop etc. being carried out remotely from hundreds of miles away :shock: ).
My wifes current mini cooper was intermittently dropping the bluetooth connection to her iphone. Not major issues and difficult to sort, they had the car in for a week, loaned her a new 4x4 countryman, updated all the software and put in a new multi media unit not giving up until it was fully sorted.

I felt the clutch on my BMW had a very slight shudder occasionally so a week before it's 3rd birthday I put it in to the dealer for its 1st MOT and asked them to check it at the same time. They loaned me a car and hooked mine up to BMW UK who sanctioned replacement of some engine turbo parts which were slightly out of tollerance (not related to the problem) as well as updating the software. They also fitted a new clutch and flywheel. All under warranty and less than a week before it's expiry. I doubt that would have happened had I not kept goodwill with the main dealer servicing.

Bob
 
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