Should You Get Your Car Service at the Dealership

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Should You Get Your Car Service at the Dealership

There’s a long-standing belief that you need to get your car serviced at the dealership. Otherwise, your warranty will be voided and the car’s resale value will be compromised. It’s a well established myth that encourages car owners to exclusively have their car service at the dealership. But should you?

The dealership myth

The dealership myth says that if you don’t have your car serviced at the dealership, your resale value will diminish and your warranty will be voided. The truth is that as long as you have your car serviced by a licensed mechanic, they complete the service to the parameters of your logbook, and they use genuine parts, your warranty will stay in tact. When you’re selling your car, as long as you can show buyers that the car has been serviced by the book, the resale value should hold up too.

Your local mechanic is cheaper

There’s definitely a dealership car service tax. Car dealerships actually make a greater profit from their service department than they do from selling new or used cars. Local mechanics can do everything the dealership can do in terms of servicing. Except, sometimes dealers will have better or more specific scanners or more robust diagnostic tools. This basically means they might save some time on your service using those tools, but the time saved won’t be reflected on your invoice anyway. Plus, car dealerships love an upsell. 

Why are European car services so expensive?

European car owners experience the dealership tax to the extreme. They get a luxury car tax added into the equation. European cars actually do cost more to service than regular cars. It’s because the parts they require are usually of a higher quality, so they cost more already. But they also need to be shipped over to Australia which adds an extra cost on. 

Your Mechanic crunched the numbers and back in 2016, they worked out the most expensive car brands to own over a ten year period were:

they found that the most expensive car brands (not just European car brands) to maintain over a ten year period were: 

  1. BMW
  2. Mercedes-Benz
  3. Cadillac
  4. Volvo
  5. Audi

This wasn’t just out of European cars either — these just are the most expensive cars to own. In the ten year period, they considered maintenance costs like depreciation of value, insurance, registration, and fuel. 

How much should a typical car service cost?

It really depends. It depends on what a typical car service is. The price of your car service will depend on how many kilometres you’ve travelled, whether it’s a minor or major service, and if there are any large maintenance events — like a timing belt change or a clutch replacement. Are there any additional repairs needed as well as the service?

There are all these outside factors too. It depends on which state you live in. A car service in the ACT will cost more than the same service in Western Australia. It’ll depend on whether you’re living in the city or regionally too. Then, it’ll depend on the kind of car you drive. Not just the make of car, but the size and kind of car too. A small hatchback will typically be cheaper to service than an SUV or a 4WD. 


Looking for an affordable car service? Get in touch with our Bosch Service mechanics today.