Auto Body Shop vs Dealership: Pro’s and Con’s You Should Know

Posted on: July 15, 2020

Car Dealership Service Myths

After an auto accident, the last thing you want to do is make any tough decisions. The steps involved with your insurance and finding out how to get your vehicle repaired can feel like a stressful and difficult process.

One thing that can make this all easier is to know whether you will go with a body shop or a dealership when it comes to handling your repairs.

This seemingly simple detail can have a major impact on how smoothly the process will go and how much it will cost you in the end.

Body Shop or Dealership: What’s the Difference?

Though this is a bit of a loaded question, there are a few significant differences between these two repair destinations. The biggest variables are seen in the types of vehicles each location is able to service. Most auto body shop techs frequently train to handle numerous brands and vehicle makes, while the majority of dealerships only handle the types that are sold on their lot.

Dealership Advantages & Disadvantages

The best way to determine the appropriate fit for your auto repair needs is to take a look at the pros and cons of using an auto body shop or dealership. Let’s dive into the good and bad of using a dealership first.

Car Dealership Repair Services

Dealership Pros

Many dealerships get a bad rep due to their pushy sales tactics and overbearing sales staff. But they do offer a handful of benefits when it comes to using their service department.

Since most dealerships mainly work on the same makes and models sold at their location, their technicians may be more likely to specialize in your specific vehicle. This can make it a bit easier for them to pinpoint problems and get started on repairs.

Along the same lines, they may also offer repairs that are already covered under your current warranty if you purchased your vehicle from their lot.

Dealership Cons

But on the other hand, dealerships often work on strict deadlines to meet their daily, weekly, or monthly quotas. This often means cutting corners and doing all they can to save time when getting repairs done. That could lead to your vehicle repairs not being as high quality as you’re hoping for.

Dealerships also typically have higher hourly rates for their repair work. Because they have the big brand names on their front doors, they’re able to charge a premium for the services they offer to customers.

Many of their technicians work on a commission basis, meaning they are less interested in providing customer satisfaction and become more focused on getting cars in and out of the shop as quickly as they can. Some of the top techs may even turn down repair jobs because it isn’t worth their time.

Todd's Auto Body - Collision Repair in Danville, IL

Auto Body Shop Advantages & Disadvantages

Independent service providers offer many of the same benefits that come with hiring a dealership, without the sales and commission aspects. See the pros and cons of picking an auto body shop vs a dealership.

Auto Body Shop Pros

Possibly the biggest perk to choosing a body repair shop over a dealership is the chance to find the best deal available. You won’t be limited to the single dealership that services the make and model of your vehicle.

One of the many auto repair myths out there is that you have to use the repair shop selected by your insurance provider. Some insurance companies even claim to offer additional incentives to go with their preferred dealership or body shop. But in reality, most auto body repair shops already provide these same benefits and warranties as part of their standard services.

Another one of the many benefits of choosing an auto body shop vs a dealership is that the customer is never seen as a potential car sale. Instead, the focus is always on customer service and long-term satisfaction.

Are body shops cheaper than dealerships?

This is always one of the biggest questions on everyone’s minds after an auto accident. And the short answer is most of the time.

Because technicians at auto body repair shops are usually paid hourly, they’re not going to rush through the process. Thanks to this type of compensation, clients can expect to get great customer service as well as a professional, high-quality result.

And even though auto body shops don’t typically specialize in one specific car brand, they are an amazing resource of knowledge for many types, styles, makes, and models of vehicles. This means you can develop a long-term relationship with them for any and all future repairs, regardless of what kind of car you drive.

Trusted body repair shops frequently upgrade their equipment to offer the same level of service that can be found at any dealership. They also provide their technicians with training to keep up with new models as they hit the market.

Auto Body Shop Cons

The main disadvantage you’ll find with an auto body shop vs dealerships is when you choose a company that is outdated or unreliable. They may not be as dedicated to keeping up with the best practices or modern technology and equipment.

A handful of specialty vehicles such as high-end cars could be more difficult when it comes to finding a shop that knows how to make repairs. It is important to do your research beforehand to make sure they have experience with the make and model you are bringing to them.

Another potential downfall is that some body shops don’t have the same access to certified parts that are needed to repair your vehicle. This could possibly lead to a voided warranty if you still have an active one through a dealership. But keep in mind, a good auto repair shop will offer you their own warranties for the work they do.

Todd's Auto Body Auto Body Repair Shop

Choose a Trustworthy Auto Body Shop Over a Dealership

The truth is that each side has its perks but it will ultimately be up to you and your needs when deciding whether you will go with a body shop or dealership. A great way to decide which option to go with is by checking their online reviews to make sure they have a proven track record of providing quality service to past customers.

If you’re still unsure whether you should get your car accident repair at a body shop or a dealership, get in touch with Todd’s Auto Body today! We’ll be happy to go over our options and offer the best deal available!

Give us a call at (217) 431-7209 to learn more!

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