Car Repair Dealer vs Independent

This past week, a new survey by Consumer Reports reported that auto vehicle owners are better off going to an independent repair shop rather than the dealership.

The report was compiled from the results of an annual survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center in 2014. Thousands of auto repair customers were surveyed on repair satisfaction for more than 121,000 vehicles— 80,000 from dealers and more than 41,000 at independent shops.  According to the report “independents outscored dealership service once again for overall satisfaction, price, quality, courteousness of the staff, and work being completed when promised.”

As an independent auto repair shop ourselves, we strive to provide our clients with the highest quality service and a great customer experience. It is thus, a nice affirmation to know that independent repair shop customers are receiving a similar experience nationwide.

The biggest complaints against automakers were over price. Jon Linkov, Consumer Reports Deputy Editor, reported that “overall, price is really the biggest driver, and that’s where you see the biggest difference between the dealers and the independents”. This was especially true when it came to the high end dealerships like Mercedes, Jaguar and Mini.

We have had customers tell us that they used to go to the dealership only because they didn’t know better. They assumed they were required to get specific repairs done by their dealer in order to get warranty coverage. This, of course, is fiction, in fact Federal law prohibits car dealers from denying warranty coverage when you go to an independent shop for routine maintenance. Almost always we can provide better prices and faster, more reliable service.

The one dealership that did outscore the mom-and-pop repair shops was Tesla, an American company founded in 2003 that manufacturers electric cars. However, the report went on to say that “part of Tesla’s current success might be because it’s new to the market, and it has a relatively small number of customers to satisfy compared with the established luxury brands.”

It is obvious to the independent repair shop that Tesla’s success is tied to it’s size because it is our ability to offer a personalized service that has allowed us to succeed against large dealerships.  By keeping the number of our clients in check, we are able to understand the needs of each of our customers and their cars and as a result make smarter decisions on their behalf.

The complete repair satisfaction survey and user reviews can be found online at, however, you must be a paid subscriber to access it. Alternatively, you can visit for free reviews. We have a four star rating, so maybe just head on over to us!