Three German brands – BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi – consistently rank in the top five among those car brands most costly to repair and maintain. If you own a car with a German nameplate, where do you go when you need service? Is cheap Audi service acceptable to you? Do you prefer to take your BMW or Mercedes to a dealer regardless of how much it costs?
The many questions posed here are the result of a study published by The Sun in late April (2017). That study showed the geographic locations where UK drivers would find the most and least expensive repairs. The results of the study were not at all surprising.
According to The Sun, the northern regions typically fare better than their southern counterparts. The top 5 locations for the cheapest maintenance and repair costs are:
- Outer Hebrides.
On the other end of the scale are the top five locations with the most expensive maintenance and repairs:
Each of the geographic locations was ranked based on hourly rates charged by dealers, franchised garages, and their independent counterparts. Interestingly enough, independent traders charge rates roughly half those charged by franchised garages and dealers.
All this data is well and good, but it does not tell us why people choose certain locations or garages for car work. And that leads us back to our original question: are you okay with cheap Audi service or do you insist on taking your BMW or Mercedes Benz to a dealer?
German Engineering Costs More
Fans of German cars understand that these cost more to maintain and repair. It’s just something that comes with German engineering. It would be no surprise to learn that German car owners are also willing to spend more for repairs and maintenance performed by dealers or franchised garages. If you’re willing to put that much money into a German import, it stands to reason you are willing to pay more to fix it. Still, that’s not always the case.
There are plenty of German car owners who are more than happy to use independent garages for maintenance and repairs. All the evidence you need can be found in the number of independent garages marketing themselves as Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz specialists. It could be that the reason independent garages charge half the going rate has nothing to do with cheap labour or inadequate repairs. It may be just the simple fact that independent garages do not have as much overhead to account for as dealers and franchised operations.
These kinds of studies are fascinating to the extent that they make it clear there is room for just about everyone in the car repair business. Some independent garages are happy to offer cheap Audi service while others offer customers more in exchange for a higher hourly labour rate. The same holds true for BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen.
The Sun – https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/3416520/cheapest-places-to-get-your-car-fixed-and-the-garages-that-are-ripping-you-off/