Supporting independent, locally-owned repair shops has many benefits. Not only are you supporting people and businesses of your own community, but you and your vehicle, are receiving, in most cases, more individualized, personal care and attention.
Any shop advertising that they work with a specific make or model of car must be certified to claim to do so. For this reason, you can be assured that by going to independent repair shops, the work being done on your car will be done with at least as much competence as that which would be at a dealership. And don’t worry about voiding any warranties: warranties are not allowed to exclude any professional from working on the car. Just keep accurate records and receipts and follow the suggested maintenance schedule to the letter.
Independent repair shops must, due to their smaller size and personal management, pay special attention to customer service. In other areas of business, good customer service is nice, but in auto repair it is essential. Customer service in auto repair doesn’t just include politeness and timeliness, but honesty and attention: two things that you will find more difficult to come by in a large dealership. In smaller repair shops, you will find much less in the way of pressuring sales tactics and scams.
Smaller repair shops will also often be able to find you better deals when ordering a part. This is because they make contact with suppliers and know the market well, rather than relying on a desk clerk to look up a supplier from a company-provided list. The smaller shop will have to invest time and effort into staying constantly familiar with the ever changing suppliers and the deals they offer, and you will reap the benefit. Supporting independent repair shops is good for them, good for the community, and good for you and your vehicle.