Everyone gets a little nervous when they see their car’s service light turn on. We get it. No one likes taking their car in for service. But staying on top of your car’s maintenance is a necessity, especially if you plan to maximize its value over time.
A lot of people ask us, “Do I need to get my car serviced at the main dealer?” Although there are plenty of places where you can service your car, your local dealer is typically your best bet. That’s right–the dealer. Here’s why.
Dealerships Are More Than Salespeople
When you buy a car, there’s a good chance you only work with a couple of people at the dealership: the finance officers and the sales staff. But there’s a whole other side of the building you may not see until the car is yours: the service department.
The dealer service department is made up of trained, experienced mechanics who work closely with vehicle manufacturers to ensure each car that runs through their garage is up to the highest standards. However, when people have bad experiences with a salesperson, they’re less likely to bring their car into the dealership for service.
You talk to your salesperson once or twice–but you’ll work with your dealer service team over the entire lifetime of your car. Pay them a visit before buying a car.
The Value of Maintenance
Let’s say you’re looking at two used cars. One was serviced at several different garages over the years. The other was serviced exclusively at a dealership. The dealer-serviced car may be $500 more, but 9 out of 10 buyers will spring for it without a second thought. That’s the difference maintenance makes on a car’s residual value.
The Dealership Difference
You will likely pay a little more to service your car at a dealership. You probably already knew that. But what you probably didn’t know is how many benefits come with getting car service at a dealership versus an independent. Benefits like:
- Certified parts
- Experienced technicians
- Longer warranty on parts and labor
- Manufacturer’s financial backing
- Loaner cars while you wait
Because they work so closely with their manufacturers, you’ll often see service departments going above and beyond to do things that keep the brand’s reputation intact. They’ll perform optional recalls at every service–often without the customers even knowing it. We’ve even seen dealerships call their direct competitors to ask if they can bring in some of their cars for recalls. That’s the level of dedication you should expect from your service department.
Make Maintenance a Priority
Think of your car’s maintenance the same way you do your home’s. You spent a lot of money on both and you have a vested interest in preserving their value over time. Cutting corners with your maintenance may save you a little in the short-term, but the long-term savings are far more valuable.