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Main dealer service or Independent?

  • Main Dealer

    Votes: 10 71.4%
  • Specialist Independent

    Votes: 4 28.6%

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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Just after peoples thoughts - cars due it’s second service (B) in the next month, however I have little faith in my local franchise (Lookers) due to a few run ins with them over my 2018 A180d (W177) and frankly don’t want to deal with them if I can help it.

Where I live in the UK, the same franchise covers every dealership within 2 hours drive so can only use them or an independent.

My question is - should I just suck it up and give them another chance and go with the main dealer for warranty and all that or is it worth just getting the Service done through a local independent Mercedes or German car specialist? I have an independent local who is highly recommend and great reviews (cost is of course lower too which won’t hurt).

First merc I’ve owned to keen to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Cheers.
 

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I haven't serviced my cars at dealers for many years now, as they are on the whole quite unreliable. I'd rather it affect the resale value a little, than risk my cherished vehicles at the hands of fools.
 

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I've just had my first service done by a MB dealership and they were totally fine, but the only reason I did this was because I'm in the middle of a warranty claim and didn't want to give them ANY reason to try and duck out of their responsibilities.

Having said that, unless there is some contractual reason for have the car serviced by MB, I can see no reason at all why anyone would want to pay double just for the nice coffee and biscuits. The service will be the same ie oil and filter change and a quick look for leaks etc, but the cost will be half at an independent, no brainer in my own view.
 

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It has been my own personal experience over the years that good independents are just as good, if not even better than main dealers for servicing. I’ve just found them to be more attentive. Having said that, for brand new cars I’ve owned, I always had them serviced at the main dealers because I was hoodwinked into believing the residuals would be badly affected by not having a full dealer service. In reality, I don’t believe this is really the case. As long as the car is desirable enough and has a full service history from a reputable independent specialist, then I don’t believe it is any less saleable.
My one concern with these latest cars relates to software updates. As @Shaunmbcla said, I’m also not sure an independent would have the facilities to apply these. Now if MB actually delivered on the MBUX promise of OTA updates, this wouldn’t be a problem, but that’s another matter altogether...
 
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In terms of preserving your M-B warranty, you can get your car serviced anywhere, as long as it meets certain criteria (EU Block Exception Regulations). See:Watchdog: Keeping your warranty valid | Auto Express


However:


If you have a PCP or any other M-B or Manufacturer Finance Agreement - the car is theirs, they own the car, and they can "dictate" where is must be serviced, for the purposes of the finance agreement.
Do I have to service my car with the dealer if I have a PCP?




Pros of going with franchised dealer:
1. Availability of Updates
2. Availability of TPI's and Technical Service Bulletins
3. If you've had a Full Mercedes Service History with a particular dealer, they are more likely to support your claim for goodwill. Chances are that it would be successful in that scenario.
4. You keep the Mobilo Rescue Service after the 3rd year for every year you get the car serviced at a franchised dealer




So:


If you have a M-B PCP, you can get your car serviced at an Indy. Your warranty will be preserved.


But at the end of the finance term, if you choose to hand back the car and/or want the full GMFV, then the finance company can seek financial compensation from you, if you had the car serviced outside the dealer network. You have not kept your side of the agreement to preserve the full GMFV (not to exceed the agreed mileage, fair wear and tear, and serviced within the official dealer network).

Read your finance agreement carefully regarding servicing.


If however you are keeping the car, selling privately, part exchanging, then servicing at a non M-B dealer doesn't matter apart from a possibly slightly diminished value of non-dealer serviced history.
 

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You must have been very unlucky not to purchase when there was no free service plan on offer, I feel badly done by only getting 2 years free, if I keep the car long enough I’ll definitely consider an Independent for the 3rd service as it’s reported to be nearly a Grand
 

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Odd isn't it, I could not fault Lookers Brighton. I guess with a main dealer service any updates get put on that maybe and independent couldn't
I too use Lookers Brighton and have never really had anything to complain about.
 

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You must have been very unlucky not to purchase when there was no free service plan on offer, I feel badly done by only getting 2 years free, if I keep the car long enough I’ll definitely consider an Independent for the 3rd service as it’s reported to be nearly a Grand
I think you could always get the service plan for the last year, and opt to pay for it monthly. (I could be wrong)
 

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Just found out that if you dont service at main dealer, you are losing breakdown cover, which is free for 30 years on every mercedes
 

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Just found out that if you dont service at main dealer, you are losing breakdown cover, which is free for 30 years on every mercedes
True but breakdown cover is as cheap as chips and they will take you to the garage of your choice, this is important if the car is out of warranty & you want to avoid the scandalous MB dealer charges
 

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Service plan and franchise dealer for me. But don’t stick with a poor main dealer. My nearest main dealer is 2 miles away but I don’t rate their servicing so I go to one 30 odd miles away which has been very good generally in my view.
 
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