Here is what others are saying:
“For maintenance, based on more than 373,000 experiences, 84 percent of [auto] owners said they were very satisfied with independents, only slightly higher than the 78 percent who were very satisfied with dealerships.  But if repairs were involved, 74 percent were very satisfied with independents, but only 59 percent said they were very satisfied with dealerships.” ~June 2010
“Repairs at a new car dealership cost an average of 34 percent more than those at independent repair shops, resulting in $11.7 billion in excess costs to consumers annually, according to a new study released by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).”
“People are more satisfied with independent repair shops,” says Robert Krughoff, president of Consumer’s Checkbook, which has been rating auto repair shops since 1976. “And they tend to be less expensive than dealers.”
We do know that dealerships have really been reaching out to consumers to get their service and repair work these days.  This is probably because profits of new car sales are way down and as cars are being built better, warranty work has also plummeted. They now need and want the service and repair business just to survive.  
Despite this consumers prefer independents.  Of course, consumers do need to take any warranty work back to the dealership in order to get the problem fixed for free.  Consumers do not, however, have to continue going to the dealership for service in order to keep their warranty intact.  
What is it about independents that consumers appreciate?
Generally lower prices for service and repair
Owner on the premises who really cares
Smaller staff who is very motivated to do the job right…the first time and is not just trying to meet a quota
They place a very high premium on customer satisfaction as word of mouth is their chief form of marketing
They have the same technical and repair information as dealers thanks to software
They, like the dealerships, take a lot of training classes to be state-of-the-art
They, like the dealerships, have state-of-the-art equipment
They also offer warranties on their services
Many offer roadside assistance programs
You do have a choice when it comes to getting your car serviced and repaired.  Remember, you don’t have to return to the dealership for routine service such as oil changes even if it is still under warranty.  Just keep your receipts and follow the maintenance schedule for your vehicle as you would have to do in any case.


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