GO FOR A MAIN DEALER
THESE days, driving and owning any car is more pleasurable than ever before. Nevertheless, when the time for servicing or an MoT does finally arrive, you'll want an experienced place to go that keeps running costs low.
Keeping expense to a minimum is often difficult when it comes to things like tyres, exhausts, batteries, clutches, shock absorbers, servicing and all the costs associated with MoTs. So it's natural to think no further than your nearest fast-fit-style operator.
However, many don't realise that the kind of deals on offer there are often available at your main dealer. Here, as well as prices comparable to any of the high street chains, you'll find all the experience that is directly relevant to your particular make and model of car. The best of both worlds in other words.
Which is all the more surprising when you consider that at a main dealer, only genuine original equipment parts are used. Parts of better quality, designed specifically for your car to last longer and keep you safer. Especially if you've a family to consider, that's important if you're to have the peace of mind of being able to count on reliability, particularly in the moments you need it most.
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What you will want is to be able to budget for your maintenance costs and to be sure that the price you see is the price you'll pay.
One area where the high street express-fit centres have led the way is in menu pricing, but main dealers soon caught on to the fact that customers liked knowing what they were set to pay in advance, and the practice has been taken up.
Some main dealer servicing centres operate finance schemes that allow you to spread the cost of your service. Try getting that at a local garage.
With the backup of the manufacturer, main dealer service centres can afford to stay open longer, thus catering for the needs of today's busy customer. They can supply courtesy cars from a modern fleet, will be able to advise you on any forthcoming safety or security recall information and will also know your specific car inside out, being factory trained in every aspect of service and repair.
However, at the end of the day the bottom line is often money. Main dealers are often perceived as being much more expensive than local garages and in some cases it's true.
It's always best to take the long term view, calculating the lifetime cost of main dealer servicing and weighing that against the money you'll make back when you sell your car with a full dealer service history. In many cases the differences are marginal and you'll be getting all of the benefits above for very little outlay.
For more prestige cars, it's financial madness not to get the car main dealer serviced. It's not a case of can you afford to, more a case of can you afford not to?