As a follow-up to a previous post in which we looked at the pro’s and con’s of getting repairs and maintenance done at the dealership as compared to an independent auto shop, we now have some actual data to back up our conclusion. If some of you were a bit skeptical of the fact that we came down on the side of the independent auto repair shop (in light of the fact that this blog is by an independent auto repair shop), it turns out that we aren’t the only ones who came to that conclusion.

A study that was done by AutoMD surveyed consumers and found that the conventional wisdom that your local auto shop is more affordable and reasonably priced than the dealership is true in most cases. In addition, the survey found that although most consumers were satisfied by the services that they received at the dealership, they still preferred an independent auto repair shop two to one over the dealership.

A recent study finds that consumers prefer local auto shops two-to-one over dealerships for repair and maintenance.
A recent study finds that consumers prefer local auto shops two-to-one over dealerships for repair and maintenance.

Very interesting, indeed. Respondents cited two primary reasons for that preference: price and better relationships. We don’t mean to brag, but that is the same conclusion that we came to (see, we’re not really biased after all–at least not too much). But, that isn’t all the information they were able to gather about perceptions and opinions regarding where to get your car repair done.

Two-thirds of the respondents also said that they trust the advice and expertise of an independent repair shop more than that of a dealership. And, as for price, nearly 90% of respondents said that estimates that they received from a local auto shop were more affordable when compared to the price they were quoted at the dealership. When they did go to the dealership, most respondents said it was because of a warranty or a recall.

Of the individuals that leaned more towards dealerships for their auto work, they quoted the fact that the dealer employed technicians have more specialized knowledge as they only work on one make of vehicle.

(photo by The Consumerist via Flickr)