Car Service Dealership vs Independent Garage – Best Option?

Car Service Dealership vs Independent Garage – Best Option?

Spending some time and money on car repair and maintenance is always a sensible idea, because it gives you peace of mind and considerably extends the life span of your vehicle. Car servicing is a good way to ensure that your vehicle is functioning properly, as it involves professional car servicing companies, such as DKU performance, making sure that every part of your vehicle is working as intended.

How often does my car need a service?

A general rule is that your car should be serviced at least once a year, but it depends on the age and state of your car. You should consult the manufacturer’s guidelines on servicing, consider your annual mileage and weigh this against the age of your vehicle. It should go without saying that older vehicles and those that see heavy usage will require more intense maintenance.

When it comes to repairing or maintaining your vehicle, you can always try fixing it yourself, but most serious repairs or replacements will need outside help. When choosing between independent repair shops or dealerships to service your car, there are many factors you need to consider…

What are independent garage and dealerships?

An independent garage is a car service centre that is not affiliated with a manufacturer. These garages offer virtually the same services as dealerships, but often at lower prices. Contrastingly, car service dealerships are linked with specific manufacturers and offer car servicing, original parts and manuafacturer’s warranties, which is why they charge more.

Many people think that they have to get their car serviced at a dealership to validate their warranty, but this is not true in every case.

Pros of Independent garages:


There are hundreds of independent garages across the UK, meaning you can get your car serviced virtually down the road, saving you time, energy and transport costs.


Independent garages are typically cheaper than official dealerships, as they have fewer overhead costs and greater flexibility in the parts and techniques they use.


Many people believe that cost equals quality, but this is decidedly not the case when it comes to servicing and maintenance: Many independent garages, including DKU performance, pride themselves on the skills of their technicians rather than the reputation of a big brand.

Personal service:

Taking your car to an independent garage means you get a more persoanlised approach and recommendations tailored to your situation rather than picked from corporate policy.

Is it better to get a car serviced at a dealership?

Many people who have had their car serviced at an official dealership have mixed feelings about the experience, but the official support and warranties they offer are hard to beat. In order to get to the bottom of this debate, let’s look at the benefits and downsides of dealership car services:

Pros of car service dealership:

Original parts:

One of the biggest benefits of car service dealership is that they offer original parts to replace worn out or damaged parts of your car, meaning your car may leave as good as new.

Official warranties:

When you go direct to manufacturer-approved dealerships, they offer guarantees for repairs carried out, meaning you can trust the work done for years at a time.

Cons of car service dealership:


The main disadvantage of dealerships is that repairs and servicing cost significantly more than independent dealerships, mainly due to all the assurances and the quality of replacement parts.


Many car dealerships are located in urban areas with high traffic, making it inconvenient to drop your car there and costly to arrange transportation when you cannot use your car.

Are dealerships more expensive for servicing?

Car dealerships are almost more expensive than independent garages because of the added guarantees and complexities related to being officially licensed by manufacturers. While this results in numerous benefits like reliable results and official warranties, it is often better to go for the cheaper independent option.

Independent mechanic or dealership – which is the best one?

To determine whether independent garages or official dealerships are better for car servicing, we must analyze their benefits and drawbacks.

1.       Cost:

In terms of cost, dealerships usually charge more than independent mechanics because of added overhead costs and other factors linked to suppliers, etc.

2.       Customer service:

While customer service is difficult to quantify, many people prefer the personal touch that smaller businesses offer. For example, DKU Performance focuses on enhancing customer relationships through direct communication and bespoke services.

3.       Amenities:

If you’re the kind of person that is won over by free coffee in a comfy waiting room, then dealerships are tough to beat.

4.        Convenience:

Independent garages are more numerous and often located closer to main roads than dealerships, making it easier to find a local independent garage. Furthermore, many independent garages can be called directly, while certain dealerships make you fill out contact forms before you can even arrange a service.

5.      Warranty:

Dealerships are able to guarantee their work because they are closely linked to manufacturers and commonly use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts to provide warranties for work carried out.  While most independent garages are unable to offer warranties for repairs, DKU performance offers a guarantee for their exhaust systems.

6.       Expertise:

Dealership mechanics benefit from the latest in official training and resources, putting them at an advantage when it comes to servicing certain makes and models of cars. However, independent garages are more likely to have a wider range of knowledge through addressing cars of various manufacture and condition.

7.      Speed:

If you are running short on time, a big dealership will be better equipped to diagnose and fix any issues with your car, assuming you can book in an appointment quickly.  However, many dealerships do not take walk-in customers, so you may need to book ahead, which naturally delays proceedings.

Final Verdict:

On the basis of cost, convenience, and customer service, we recommend you consult an independent garage for the maintenance and repairs of your vehicle. However, if the additional amenities and manufacturer warranties offered by dealerships a serious factor for you, then it does make sense to choose a dealership for your vehicle’s servicing.