No, you are not required to take your new vehicle back to the Main Dealer for servicing simply because it is in warranty.
Providing the garage follows the manufacturer’s service schedule and uses original/manufacturer OEM approved parts - you are free to use any garage you prefer.
Can I get my car serviced at my local garage without effecting its warranty?
Since October 2003, European Block Exemption Regulations 1400/2002’ (BER) means that you can use any garage to service your new car without invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty. This regulation only covers cars in their original new car warranty. Any additional warranty cover products you purchase will not be subject to this regulation and you should check your contract.
Using a reputable independent garage is perfectly fine and they will provide you with records so that should you need to, you can demonstrate to the manufacturer that works were carried out to the manufacturer’s specification. Always keep invoices and records for warranty and resale purposes.
Independent garages offer high quality workmanship, with skilled, qualified and experienced technicians at a competitive price – if you have found yourself a local garage with a great reputation and who put you first – there’s often no reason to go back to a main dealer for servicing and maintenance.
Will having my new car serviced by an independent garage effect my finance/lease agreement?
This is where you may have to be careful. Some agreements stipulate that you must take your vehicle to a dealer approved centre for your car service to maintain the future value of the vehicle. Check your contract to ensure you meet your obligations.
What about repairs in new car warranty?
Manufacturer's can insist that repairs covered under warranty are carried out by their own workshops/dealer approved centres. This is fair as the repair is being paid for by them.
Why should I go back to the Main Dealer for servicing or maintenance?
The main argument would be that the dealership should know your car like the back of its hand. The coffee may be a bit fancier (though even some of us independents have coffee machines and herbal teas too!). The waiting room decor may be a bit sleeker.
Will my car be worth more to re-sell with a Main Dealer service record?
If you have a high value vehicle that you plan to sell in the near future, it may be beneficial to have dealership stamps during the warranty period.
It really depends on the vehicle value and circumstances. Independents will also complete and stamp your service book.
How do I know the independent garage can stick to the schedule and use the correct parts?
Independent garages can easily follow your service schedule and stamp your service book accordingly. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts and approved lubricants are readily available for all makes and models.
Talk to your garage and they will be able to confirm exactly what they will be doing before they start, and they can itemise the part numbers on your invoice for future reference.
What are the benefits of having my car serviced at my local independent garage rather than the main dealer?
A more competitive price - independent garages tend to focus on the customer service and personal touch over showroom chic and forecourt landscaping. Most independent garages won't have sales teams booking you in with sales targets to hit - generally you'll be dealing with directly with the business Owner, Manager or Technician working on your vehicle. Independents also have to price themselves competitively against other local garages, whereas Main Dealers are usually city to city apart. This means independent garages can keep overheads lower and pass savings directly onto customers.
Our services are often more detailed than the main dealers, for instance we always clean and adjust brakes on a full service when many main dealers don't even take your wheels off!
At PW Auto Repairs we always offer a documented 32 point Vehicle Safety Check and complimentary Service Wash as standard.
Going the extra mile - independents have the flexibility to offer you great customer service with extras that dealerships can't or won't. For instance, at PW Auto Repairs we offer secure key drop off, collection/delivery, often open early and work late!
A personalised relationship with a garage you can rely on all year round - with an independent garage you can get to know your mechanic and garage staff. You are often able to tie in your MOT and servicing, and if they are more local this can also save you time and money. Independents are able to work on all your family vehicles no matter which make or model. You can usually call in at short notice to get a niggling concern checked out, putting your mind at rest.
We are often asked if we can service and maintain a new car under warranty, and are happy to answer any further questions you may have.
If you would like more information on your servicing options please feel free to get in touch - call us on 01636 550852.
Check out our Services page for more about what we can do for you.
PW Auto Repairs, Unit 4 Brunel Drive, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 2EG