Why an Independent Shop is Better for Your Car, and Your Budget, than a Dealership

Posted by Swedish Motors on Jun 2, 2014 7:13:00 AM

Say you take your beloved 2007 BMW Z8 Roadster to a BMW Dealership here in Lancaster. You describe the funny noise to the service advisor and hand over your keys. They say they’ll call when they have some information. You ask who will be working on your car; but it's not that simple at the large dealerships.  With many technicians working at any given time, and the assembly line production environment, it's hard to know who your beloved BMW will be entrusted too.

BMWBlogThis is not the personal touch you’re looking for. And, frankly, it will probably take more time, and cost more, at the BMW dealership than it would be at Swedish Motors.

This is because dealerships cater to new car buyers, not owners who want to keep their cars in great shape after the warranty expires. And because they have much higher overhead costs, dealers often charge more for service than smaller independent shops. Edmunds estimates that labor at a dealership can cost $15 - $20 more per hour than at an independent shop.

We recently ran across a CBS News report of a study confirming that dealers charge more than independent shops. The research, conducted by AutoMD, showed that owners who use dealers spend an average of $300 more on maintenance and repairs every year. For long-term owners, using an independent shop—instead of a large BMW dealership—may well result in significantly lower costs over the lifetime of your car.

But, you may ask, what’s the catch? Well, there really isn’t one. Independent shops offer Original Equipment (OEM) parts at a fraction of the dealership cost. They have lower overhead, so their labor costs are lower. And most are committed to ensuring that their techs are factory trained and kept up to date on the latest technology and techniques—just like at the big dealerships.

Most importantly, smaller shops offer a personal touch that you just can’t get from the big dealers. You’ll get to know the owner and managers, and can communicate directly with the service technician who works on your car.


If you bring your BMW Z8 Roadster to Swedish Motors, instead of a local Lancaster dealership, you’ll meet owner Rich Kushner, service manager Eric Gish and Service Advisor Josh Nissley, and our BMW tech, Ryan Foltz. Like all our techs, Ryan is an enthusiast that is invested in your car and regularly attends professional workshops and seminars.

Ryan will love your roadster like you do. And that’s the biggest reason our independent shop is better for your BMW than the dealership.


Topics: BMW

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