You don’t always need to use main dealers for car servicing, using your local, independent garage offers convenience, cost savings and a potentially mechanic to trust.
To maintain the manufacturer’s warranty, cars do not have to be serviced at a franchised main dealer. The requirement is that it should be serviced according to the manufacturer’s service schedule, using manufacturer approved parts or ones of the same quality, rather than manufacturer supplied.
Always ask for a written quote outlining the likely cost for the correct service level or repair and make sure parts (of the correct quality), labour and VAT are included. Find out why there are differences in the hourly rates and estimated timescales to complete repairs.
Independent garages are usually cheaper, main dealers may have special deals.
Ask the mechanic to show you the completed work carried out, take a friend for added confidence. If they refuse or you have concerns, ask another garage to check the work.
Ask for a receipt which details the completed work, the parts supplied and get the service book stamped. Concerns raised at a later date may refer to this. Request a list of issues for the future.