Ask The Dealer

December 16th, 2011 by

Being in the automotive business for the past 26 years I have witnessed many changes in how and where people have there car or truck serviced.  For many years the dealers were blessed with a captive audience.  Unfortunately the luxury that dealerships were blessed with started to disappear rapidly in the 80’s and continued for the next 30 years.

The problems were a result of taking for granted that the business would always be there.  The big problems were that all the new upstart franchise repair facilities did a great job of portraying the image that dealer’s charge to much.  While I take great accept ion to the untruth that dealers charge too much.  When someone calls and asks a dealership how much they charge per hour and they are told $90.00 per hour the typical response is I can get it done cheaper elsewhere.  You really can not get it done cheaper elsewhere for many reasons.  If you take your car to the Dealership that charges $90.00 per flat rate hour to have a repair done it is being repaired by someone that is trained to make the repair and the flat rate time is written for all Dealerships to follow.  It is not a clock hour it is a published time that the industry agrees is just and fair.  Also Dealerships are monitored by the multiple outside companies to make sure the times charge are in line with what the industry feels is fair.

So you bring your car or truck to the Dealership even though you think they charge more and you need a specific repair that pays 2.0 flat rate hours.  The technician then repairs your vehicle in that amount of time, sometimes more and sometimes less; the charges are 2.0 at $90.00 per flat rate hour.  Your charge is $180.00 plus tax.  Now let’s take the same vehicle with the same problem to an aftermarket shop that does live under the same rules the Dealership does.  The vehicle is then given to a lesser trained technician that has not been trained by the factory but this repair facility only charges $75.00 per hour.  Here is what really happens.  The lesser trained technician struggles through the repair but finally figures it out and spends 3.0 hours doing so.  Your lower price works out like this, 3.0 at $75.00 per hour and your bill is $225.00 plus tax.  What happened to the Dealership being more expensive?

The other hidden bonus of using a Dealership is that multiple times a repair that you paid for may have been covered under warranty.  Dealerships also have the power to Goodwill items that they feel should not have failed with the factory’s blessing.  The next time you need service done on your car or truck contact your Dealership because you made surprised.

Posted in Car Corner, Dealer News