where should you have your used car repaired?

Have your car repaired. An expensive but mandatory need to ensure its longevity, its reliability and its level of security, but also, at the beginning of its life, its guarantee. Scheduled every year, or every two years, at 15,000, 20,000 or 30,000 km depending on the model, the revisions require, for those who do not have mechanical knowledge, to go through a professional for its realization.

But that comes at a significant cost. At dealerships, it is not uncommon to have to pay more than € 300, and sometimes even more than € 500 for premium brands, for easy maintenance, with oil change, filter change and visual checks. in addition to liquid upgrades.

Hence the strong temptation to leave the network of the manufacturer, move to the neighborhood garage, or car centers, or even do it yourself, in order to reduce the bill. It is not impossible, depending on the case, to split it in two!

But is it always a good idea? The answer is not simple and depends on several factors, including the age of the car, its mileage, the duration of the legal warranty, the technicality of the model, and so on.

How to see clearly? Caradisiac has tried to define the profiles of the cars, and the best way to maintain it, with the ideal cost / efficiency / safety / warranty ratio.

The profile of the car

Your car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty

Since 2002 and Community Regulation no. 1400/2002-CE, is clearly authorized to do the maintenance of your car outside the manufacturer’s network, while retaining the benefit of the contractual warranty. However, as we have already mentioned in our columns, getting the benefit of this warranty is much easier if the maintenance has been done on the network of your car brand.

Therefore, our advice is, despite the obvious additional cost, to keep it in the manufacturer’s network as long as it is covered by the contractual warranty, ie for 2, 3, 5 or 7 years depending on the brand.

If the higher budget is, of course, a drawback, you will have on the side of the “advantages” the security that your car will be maintained by mechanics trained in their specificities, and in workshops equipped with the right tools, sometimes specific, especially when this is a high-end model.

Plus, you’ll be assured that reminders, updates, and electronic updates will be done automatically. Also, they are not always notified to the customer and are done under the cover. Finally, some manufacturers, such as Toyota, even extend the contractual warranty, sometimes up to 10 years, if the interviews are conducted annually at home. A way to keep your customers captive and keep them from going elsewhere.

Your car is less than five years old

Car dealership, garage, car dealerships, DIY - where should you have your used car repaired?

Except for those with a warranty period of 5 or 7 years, the question of leaving the network of dealers of the brand arises, for some owners, from the 3rd year of life of their vehicle, or as soon as it leaves the warranty. .

But should we rush to a car center, or keep it to ourselves, as soon as the contractual warranty has expired? Not really.

Indeed, between 3 and 5 years, a car can still suffer from the appearance of a hidden defect, a manufacturing defect. It may still be subject to updates and withdrawals. The latter are most often applied according to a support grid that integrates online interviews, such as the replacement of parts for manufacturing defects assumed by the brand.

Therefore, it is important, before the age of 5 of your car, to keep it online, even if it means choosing a small agent, cheaper in labor, than a large dealer. At least for regular reviews and major operations. Dealers and agents still benefit from the so-called “experience curve.” That is, when they see many models equivalent to yours in their hands, they will have experience in their maintenance and repair, and therefore will work more quickly and efficiently.

But when replacing wear parts (brakes, exhaust), you can do these operations in a car center, making sure, however, that the parts used are original parts of the manufacturer, and do so mentioned in writing in the order of intervention. and the bill.

Your car is between 5 and 10 years old

Car dealership, garage, car dealerships, DIY - where should you have your used car repaired?

After five years, and even more so when your model is no longer on the market, which can happen quickly, the relevance of staying in the manufacturer’s network decreases.

At the same time, the skills of independent garages, or car centers, in terms of your model, will have improved or almost improved with those of the manufacturer. The technical information will have been made available, the diagnostic cases will have integrated their model, making possible any diagnosis and any repair.

However, we recommend performing important and more technical operations, such as replacing the distribution, a gearbox, a steering wheel, or any intervention in the emission control system, within the brand network.

Your car is over 10 years old

Car dealership, garage, car dealerships, DIY - where should you have your used car repaired?

After 10 years, it is clear that staying online is no longer interesting or profitable. Of course, no one is stopping you from doing it, and some homeowners are very interested in it. It is true that for some brands, such as premium or luxury or sports brands, it is much easier to resell second hand with a 100% manufacturer history. Even for some buyers it is a sine qua non condition.

But for “all-rounders”, a timeliness maintenance, but in a car center or a small independent garage with no sign, will be totally acceptable and risk-free for the vast majority of cars on the market. The budget, leaving the network, can be up to 30 to 40% lower, sometimes saving several hundred euros a year.

It is even very possible to start routine maintenance on your own, with the parts 100% available, either at a branded dealer spare part counter or on parts sales websites. And specific tools can also be found more easily, if necessary.

For certain interventions, all you have to do is go to the dealer to turn off a light, update a feature, or restart the maintenance counters. But in general, we cut the maintenance budget in half, and sometimes more.

Your car is high-end, or even very high-end

In this particular case, the problem is different. In fact, as we have already mentioned, there are certain cars for which leaving the network of manufacturers, even after 10 years, is synonymous with difficult resale, if not impossible. They are often high-end, premium, sports or luxury cars.

Car dealership, garage, car dealerships, DIY - where should you have your used car repaired?

For these same cars, maintenance and repair sometimes becomes impossible outside the network, due to lack of availability of parts, or because they require specific tools, which can only be found within the network of the brand. .

In this case, of course, we advise you to stay online, or resort to brands that specialize in a brand, without being officially affiliated with the network. This is very much the case with premium or Porsche brands. These workshops are less expensive than the official network, and just as competent, equipped, and sometimes even much more passionate, therefore respectful of your car.

Your mechanic profile

You have no mechanical skills

For those with no mechanical skills, we simply advise you to follow our tips above. While some maintenance operations are really easy, if you have no experience, errors with unfortunate consequences occur quickly.

So in this case, let the professionals do it …

Car dealership, garage, car dealerships, DIY - where should you have your used car repaired?

You have basic mechanical skills

In this case, after 5 or 10 years of your car, depending on its level of technicality, you can consider doing the maintenance and replacement of the basic wear parts yourself. Oil change, brake replacement, shock absorbers, exhaust, filters and belts are within reach of a good manual, with some experience, and tools.

In fact, it is necessary to have the minimum (cat, candles, tools adapted to the car) and an adapted space.

In this way, you will be able to make a substantial savings on maintenance, further halving the budget needed to maintain a car center, and therefore by four compared to a dealership.

Do you have experience in mechanics?

Has your career gone through car workshops? Are you a retired mechanic? You can consider an almost complete maintenance of your car by yourself, past the warranty period or 5 years of the car.

Car dealership, garage, car dealerships, DIY - where should you have your used car repaired?

The limiting factors will be the tools. But if you have a solidarity garage or a self-service garage in the area of ​​your home, you can use it to rent a bridge and the tools needed to carry out virtually all maintenance and repair operations, including heavier (distribution). , clutch, gearbox, cardan shafts, DPF (particle filter), probes of all kinds, turbocharger, etc.

Only electronic dangers, which require the diagnosis of a professional, will end up out of reach.

The key is huge savings, which can reduce maintenance and repair costs by 50 to 75%.

Leave a Comment