When it comes to finding the best car repair services, you have a couple of options. You can choose to go back to the auto dealership you purchased your vehicle from, or to go with a local mechanic. Often the choice comes down to just a few fine points, including affordability, convenience, and trust.
Interestingly, the National Institute for Automotive Excellence finds that 70% of car owners in the US choose to go to their local repair shop— even when their new car is still under dealership warranty.
So, why do so many Americans place their trust in local, independent repair shops? We’ll explore the local difference in car repairs, services, and customer relationships below.
Why Local Repair Shops?
Now more than ever, the importance of supporting our local economies is a value many people share. From ordering a cuppa at the local coffee joint to shopping for fresh produce at the farmer’s market, using our purchasing power for local goods and services is the neighborly thing to do. But beyond being a good neighbor, how else does going local benefit you as a car owner?
Dealerships typically have revenue goals they must meet—and their mechanics are encouraged to hustle for bonuses to ensure those target numbers are met. There are no such revenue goals at independent repair shops. Auto dealerships often have set hourly prices as well, so whether your service meets the set minimum time or not, you’ll be charged the same (high) set price. Local car repair shops, on the other hand, are typically more flexible and fair in their approach. Independent repair shops set their own prices, of course including repair and parts, and their pricing is informed by the local economy instead of fixed corporate rates. In fact, in order to ensure we are properly diagnosing your vehicle we don't give auto repair quotes over the phone. When giving a quote it is best when a mechanic looks under your car's hood.
Local shops find other ways to save their loyal customers a few bucks too, such as offering a variety of parts at different price points, including rebuilt or aftermarket parts. And contrary to popular belief, independent auto repairs do not void your warranty. So, anything that’s not already covered by your warranty can be safely—and often more affordably—covered by your local mechanic. Many local mechanics already put in their time at corporate dealerships and understand the high churn rate at dealership shops. Tired of pumping out high-volume repairs with little personal touch, local experts have the experience it takes to care for your car - while also caring about building relationships with their customers.
Part of the personal touch that local car repair shops bring includes the convenience of direct communication. At an independent repair shop, you won’t have to work your way through layers of middlemen to find an answer: you can talk directly to your mechanic to understand the how and why behind the services they perform on your vehicle. And if there’s a simple at-home fix, you can usually count on a local mechanic to be upfront about what they suggest. Your local car repair specialists are highly motivated to empower you as the car owner because their good reputation depends on your satisfaction. If you establish a relationship with a local car repair shop, you will know the convenience of working with someone who knows you by name, your car by every intimate detail, and is willing and able to meet you where you’re at.
When it all boils down, the affordability and convenience of choosing to go with a local car repair shop would mean very little without trust. This is where we stress it time and again: do your research, ask around, and make sure you go with a mechanic who comes well vouched for. One of the benefits of choosing an independent repair shop is their local reputation. Without major corporate spending on marketing and advertising, word of mouth and firsthand experience is what counts when it comes to going local . Chances are, if your local car mechanic has a great reputation, they’ve worked very hard to earn it and will continue to do so with you.
Getting repairs done with a local mechanic can be the most cost-effective choice when it comes to maintaining your vehicle for the long haul. Don’t wait for what seems like a small problem to become a huge one—maximize the savings of low overhead and personalized service by establishing a relationship with a local car repair shop.
On top of the cost benefits of getting timely car repairs, there are a few more reasons to prioritize a speedy local repair. For one, maintaining your vehicle at its optimum performance helps you minimize your impact on the environment. A smoothly running vehicle uses less gas per gallon, which means less air pollution. You know what else fuel efficiency means: a more wallet friendly vehicle, too. Finally, doing your part in ensuring a smoothly running vehicle helps promote your own safety as well as that of your friends, family, and fellow motorists.
In addition to staying on top of any timely car repair needs, getting regular maintenance, tune ups, and services is an essential part of maximizing the cost effectiveness and safety of your vehicle. Your trusted local car repair shop can and should be able to perform factory-recommended services for your vehicle, in addition to the usual routine tasks like fluid changes and inspections. Remember, once you’ve begun building a positive relationship with your local car mechanic, you’ll have the built in confidence knowing that your mechanic is already several steps ahead of any big repair needs - but staying in touch and making your regular maintenance a priority is up to you. Make sure you get to know your car inside and out - and don’t be shy about asking your local repair experts for advice. That’s what we’re here for!
Get Local Repairs and Service from the Experts
There is plenty that can be said about the benefits of choosing an independent repair shop over a dealership. But brass tacks? It all comes down to establishing a good working relationship to deliver the most personalized service available for you and your car. Going local is the best bet whether you’re looking for major savings, convenience, or simply a more trusting, hometown feel to your regular business transactions.
If you’re wary of rushed, pricey, impersonal service, have questions, or just want to stay ahead of those big repairs, reach out to your local car repair specialists at Naylor’s Auto Repair today.