Why don't drivers have their cars serviced at independent workshops instead of franchised dealers?
I read with interest your replies to AB and JD about the advisability of franchised dealer servicing in order to keep a new car warranty valid. Over the years I have experienced the efforts of both franchised and non-franchised dealer servicing both as a customer and as a technical representative. Whilst there is good and bad in both camps, I have found that franchised dealers, aided and abetted by the manufacturers, have turned this servicing requirement into something of a gravy train. All too often it seems that just so long as you have that little stamp in your service book it matters not one jot how good, or more especially how bad, the servicing actually was. European law suggests that it is only necessary for the vehicle 'to be serviced in accordance with the manufacturers instructions' for the warranty to be valid, and most independent garages are quite capable of doing this. Of course, if you go to a backstreet garage with your brand new car and something goes wrong then you have only yourself to blame.
I simply give practical, expedient advice. Too many readers have thought they could go elsewhere for their servicing, then when something went wrong with their cars the manufacturer discovered that the cause was incorrect oil, incorrect filter, incorrect settings, etc. And going to an independent you miss any technical service updates that a manufacturer's franchise might perform on the car. My last franchised service cost £189, this week. Good value.
Answered by Honest John on