Once your warranty period on your car runs out, you’re at a crossroads: to continue sending your car to the authorised service centre for maintenance and repairs or take it elsewhere – perhaps to an independent service centre.
There are pros and cons to both.
Authorised Service Centres
One thing you can count is that authorised service centres are going to be the experts at your particular brand, especially models that are still fairly new or current. Technicians at authorised centres are trained for each new model launch, and they will know it inside and out. Also, you’ll probably be able to wait in comfort while your servicing is ongoing as most authorised service centres would have a comfortable lounge.
Having said that, these benefits come at a cost. Authorised service centres are usually pricier to cover all these perks and also for your peace of mind. Also, once your car gets quite old, less experienced technicians may not be so familiar with your car if it’s an older model as they spend more time working on newer ones.
Independent Service Centres
When it comes to price as well, independent service centres are likely to be more affordable compared to authorised service centres due to lower labour costs and lower markups on parts pricing. Having said that, independent workshops often do not come with a customer lounge or much frills.
As such, if you’re expecting the same level of service as an authorised service centre however, an independent service centre may not be able to deliver in terms of comforts such as lounges, refreshments or, in some cases, cleanliness. Also, an independent service centre doesn’t have the same guarantee of work or options for escalation that an authorised centre has in the event of an issue. If there is a problem, you can only take it up with the workshop itself or perhaps file a complaint with a consumers tribunal.
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