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Dealer vs Independent Auto Body Shop In Los Angeles: Which Is Better?

When it comes time to repair your vehicle, it’s vital that you find the best auto body shop Los Angeles has to offer. But that’s often easier said than done! Most car dealerships offer auto body services, and there are a LOT independent auto body shops in Los Angeles. Which are the “best” option for your car repair? Should you go independent or take your car to a dealership body shop? Here are the pros and cons of both:

Dealership

Pros:

  • Guaranteed OEM parts — When you take your car to the dealership for repairs, you can be sure the replacement parts will all be Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. No low-quality knock-offs at the dealership!

  • Longer warranties — Seeing as the dealership is using OEM parts, they can afford to offer longer warranties on the repairs and services.

  • Specific problem solving ­-– Dealership technicians specialize in the problems common among ONLY the vehicles sold at the dealership. Instead of having a wide range of expertise, the dealership technicians know how to deal with all the models in that line of cars. This often leads to more accurate, faster repairs.

Cons:

  • Technicians paid on a flat rate — The downside of dealership repairs is that they tend to be pricey. Not only are the prices higher, but technicians are paid on a flat rate. If the job ordinarily takes two hours to complete, they are paid for two hours even if they complete the job in half the time. This means a higher expense for the customer, and some technicians tend to cut corners to earn more with less work.

Independent

Pros:

  • Lower costs — With an independent auto body shop in Los Angeles, you’ll usually find the hourly rate is lower than at a dealership. This is because the average body shop has lower overhead costs than a dealership, so they can afford to charge less for their services.

  • Better customer service — While dealerships earn most of their money from car sales, 100% of an auto body shop’s income is derived from car repairs. If they don’t treat their customers right, they will lose clients–which they can’t afford to do! This leads to better customer service and attention.

  • Hourly wages for technicians — The body shop will usually charge the same flat rate for the repair, but their technicians are paid by the hour. There is no need for the technicians to rush to complete the job, so they can take their time to make thorough, comprehensive repairs.

Cons:

  • Harder to find quality — With a dealership, you know exactly what you’re getting. Auto body shops differ from owner to owner. Not all are trustworthy, honest, or offer quality customer service. It’s often harder to find an independent body shop you can trust. (Though, once you do, you can usually have a longer-lasting relationship with them than with a dealership.)