Why Auto Repairs Cost More at Dealerships

July 28, 2015


If you’ve ever compared a quote from a dealership with a quote from your local Anne Arundel auto repair shop, you were probably shocked to see such a drastic difference. In some cases, a dealership service costs almost twice as much as what you would pay at an independent garage. It’s great if your warranty pays for it, but if it doesn’t, you are facing a difficult decision. To help you out, here are a few things you should know about why dealerships charge so much for even the most routine repairs and factory maintenance.

Are you paying for the experience?

If you ask anyone who takes their car to a dealership religiously, they would probably tell you that they do this because they trust the experience of the mechanics. And it makes sense: someone who received factory training and has worked for the past 5-10 years exclusively on Hondas and Acuras probably knows a great deal about these cars. Out of the dozens of possible issues related to your OBD-II error code, the dealership mechanic knows which one is the most likely culprit considering your vehicle’s make and model.

However, the dealership is not the only place where you can receive quality service. And it’s definitely not your only option for repairs under warranty. There are numerous auto repair shops in Maryland that can provide service and customer care that rivals that of a dealership. For example, the techs at our Davidsonville auto repair shop have Honda/Acura dealership experience and are platinum-certified. You won’t be sacrificing quality for price—at Choisser IAS you can get both!

Or are you paying for the overhead costs?

So, if the expertise doesn’t cost as much as the dealership is charging, what are their prices based on? The answer is simple: overhead. A dealership has a large lot packed with cars that lose value every day they sit there. And there are often more employees in a dealership than there are customers on a daily basis. When a dealership calculates the cost of repairs, they factor in all these expenses to ensure they make a profit.

Here is something else to think about: multiple studies have shown that people are buying fewer new cars and driving fewer miles. Manufacturers keep making cars that are increasingly more reliable and don’t require frequent replacement. Besides, for many millennials, owning a new car (and a car in general) is an overrated and unnecessary experience, considering they have student loans to worry about. And when a dealership loses profits in the sales department, they have to make up for it with the service and repairs by marking up prices.

Do you need the services suggested by the dealer?

Dealerships make more profit on cars that are out of warranty. Therefore, they may be more inclined to offer you services that are outside of what’s recommended in your owner’s manual. This may include “preventive” part replacement or fluid flush. You feel like you are being proactive in managing your vehicle’s health, but you are actually paying for services that your car won’t need for the next 100K miles or maybe ever!

Independent auto repair shops, on the other hand, don’t have the advertising budget of a car dealership, so the majority of their business comes from referrals from satisfied customers. That’s why you will find many honest and reliable mechanics in this field who would never ask you to pay for something you don’t need.

Ready to experience what kind of expertise and service you can get at an independent auto repair shop? Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

What Our Customers Say..

"Robert (Rob) Choisser has been servicing my 1998 Honda CRV for nearly 3 years. I have never had better, more honest service done on any of my cars. Rob is extremely thorough in his work and more than fair in his pricing, I would recommend his work to anyone in my family and to my friends. He is a real credit to his profession, his family and friends."

- Gary, Owings, MD

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Anne Arundel County Auto Repair: Annapolis (21401, 21403, 21409), Arnold (21012), Crofton (21114), Crownsville (21032), Gambrills (21054), Glen Burnie (21060, 21061), Hanover (21076), Jessup (20794), Pasadena (21122), Severn (21144), Severna Park (21146).

Baltimore County Auto Repair: Arbutus (21227), Catonsville (21228, 21250), Cockeysville (21030, 21031, 21065), Dundalk (21222), Edgemere (21219), Essex (21221), Garrison (21055), Lansdowne (21227), Lochearn (21207), Lutherville (21093), Middle River (21220), Milford Mill (21244), Overlea (21236), Owings Mills (21117), Parkville (21234), Park Heights (21215), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Rosedale (21237), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204), White Marsh (21162), Woodlawn (21207), and more.

Calvert County Auto Repair: Dunkirk (20754), Chesapeake Beach (20732), North Beach (20714), Prince Frederick (20678), Owings (20736), Solomons (20688).

Howard County Auto Repair: Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044), Cooksville (21723), Dorsey (21075), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Granite (21163), Hanover (21076), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Lisbon (21765), Marriottsville (21104), North Laurel (20723), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Woodstock (21163), and more.

Montgomery County Auto Repair: Olney (20832), Damascus (20872), Laytonsville (20882), Silver Spring (20910), Clarksburg (20871), Gaithersburg (20878), Germantown (20876), Bethesda (20816), Chevy Chase (20815), and more.

Prince George's County Auto Repair: Bowie (20715, 20716, 20720, 20721), Beltsville (20705), Adelphi (20783), College Park (20740,20742), Greenbelt (25689), Hyattsville (20781, 20782, 20783, 20784), Landover (20785), Laurel (20707, 20723), Springdale (20774), Upper Marlboro (20772, 20774), Woodlawn (21207).

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