Should I use an independent garage to service my car?

I purchased a 2018 Toyota Auris last year - just over three years old. The main dealers I purchased from have called me to book it in for service and MoT. Apparently, this is a major service, and will cost £340 plus MoT on top, so around £400 - eye watering! I called an alternative family operated established garage for a comparative price and the major service was £165, and they'd do a reduced price MoT if I serviced it there. I bought the car at 49,073 miles and it has now done 53,500 approx, so only 4,500 miles over the last year. When I challenged the price, and told them of the alternative, he said that spark plugs alone cost £50, and that for that price, I could not expect the other garage to do as proficient a job as the main dealer would.

There are some issues with damp/condensation inside the vehicle, and in a headlight unit as well, and tracking/pull/alignment so I might need these things done under warranty. I feel obliged to go there, so I can hope to maintain the goodwill for sorting these issues out.

I would greatly value some opinions on what I should do please, including whether I invalidate my Toyota warranty/or should worry about loss of goodwill from the main dealer if I go to the alternative (non-main dealer) garage for servicing?

Asked on 22 March 2022 by Mr Geoff Butler

Answered by Dan Powell
You can have the car serviced outside of the dealer network and maintain the warranty. However, the independent garage must service the car in accordance with Toyota's service schedule and use approved parts and fluids - this must all be shown on an itemised invoice.

If you keep the car within the Toyota dealer network you may qualify for the Relax service-activated warranty, which will continue until the vehicle reaches 10-years of age or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
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