Franchised Servicing or not? - Robin
I have a 1998 VW Passat that is due for a service about now. Since it is now a 5 year old car is it worth paying the extra in order to get the VW stamp in the service book? So far it has been serviced by VW but I would like to save some pennies. It is likely I will be driving the car for a few more years. My feeling is that it should make no difference where I get it done.

As an aside I have asked for the price of a service (50,000 miles) at the 2 local VW garages. One told me £154 and the other £122. I gave both garages the same information (mileage, engine size, power etc) and checked with each that the price was correct. These garages are about 10 miles apart - Gloucester and Cheltenham - so I am amazed there should be a 25% price difference. Surprisingly the Cheltenham garage is the cheaper one. (Cheltenham is significantly posher and more up market than Gloucester). A local fast fit place can do the job for £85.
Franchised Servicing or not? - Morris Ox
I'm in the same boat as you (98R Passat 20V) and have it serviced by an independent garage I know. I trust the people, they're not perfect, but they're honest and do a sound job for far less than the tiled impersonality of a VW dealer.

My take on this is that unless it's a brand where FDSH is important for resale value, then I'll always go independent once out of warranty. They do the basics, they do them well, I pay a fair price and like to support someone local.
Franchised Servicing or not? - Dan G
Why not do it yourself and save £100 !

Alternatively, find a VW specialist and then hopefully you get both experienced servicing staff and lower price.
Franchised Servicing or not? - Robin
I quite like the idea of the full service history so don't want to do it myself.

I would love to find an independent VW specialist but have so far had no luck.
Franchised Servicing or not? - eMBe {P}
I quite like the idea of the full service history so
don't want to do it myself.

If you have the time, and the tools, and the skill, DIY is best. Keep all the receipts, sign the service book yourself, and it is then still a "full" service history. What's more, some buyers will prefer and trust a DIY service done by a caring competent owner than a service supposedly done or bodged by some official dealers.
I would love to find an independent VW specialist but have
so far had no luck.

Where do you live? Have you checked HJ's list of Good Garages on this site which includes some VW specialists.
Franchised Servicing or not? - DavidHM
The difference in price, per service, is about £37. If you keep the car for another three years or 30k, that amounts to £111. This does assume, of course, that the car goes through the service with nothing more than routine maintenance to be done; if you're competent enough to know what it's likely to need, I'd say stick with the franchised network.

Even if the car is only worth £2000 by then in a private sale, the extra £111 will make the car easier to sell and you'll know you've had genuine parts. Many people will also easily pay that 5% premium to know that the car's been well maintained; I would if I were looking for an older Passat.

If the car needs a specific, identifiable job done, such as an exhaust, or brake discs, or whatever, then fast fits or independent garages probably provide much better value. Even if you go there, it still has a full main dealer service history, if not a full MD maintenance history... there is a slight difference, although you may see this as sophistry.

A lot of the time, the difference in the price is much greater, and the work to be done more extensive, which means that you won't get the money back at resale time. In this case though, for the sake of £37, I'd keep the dealer service book looking pristine.
Franchised Servicing or not? - jd
I've just p/xed my '98 Passat Tdi 110 which had full VW service history until 2 years ago when I started having it done by my friend who owns a corner-shop style garage.

The stamps were then obviously different but it didn't make a blind bit of difference to any trade-in value.

Trade-in was to a Nissan garage by the way...

Franchised Servicing or not? - DavidHM
I'd tend to agree when it comes to trade in, especially of an older car that a franchise dealer is unlikely to sell on himself. I do think it's worth the small amount extra if you plan to sell privately, or trade in fairly soon to a franchise dealer.
Franchised Servicing or not? - Andrew-T
Once the car is 5 years old, change the oil and filters yourself and 'stamp' the schedule boxes as appropriate. For the bigger less frequent jobs, pay a garage and keep the bills. Then when you sell there is a full and genuine record - but by then the car won't be worth much anyway. But it may mean you can sell when others can't.
Franchised Servicing or not? - BobbyG
I can honestly put hand on heart and say that over the last few years, i have always purchased my cars from franchised dealers and never have they asked to see the service book or asked who serviced it.
For warranty purposes you obviously have to do what they tell you but I think this whole dealer servicing thing is abit of a con.
Franchised Servicing or not? - eMBe {P}
My contacts tell me that when such cars without a full stamped service book eventually turn up on a arthur-daley forecourt, some of them mysteriously and magically gain a fully stamped service book with all spaces correctly filled in using different handwriting and inks!!
Franchised Servicing or not? - PhilC
I alternate services between the franchised dealer and an independent garage who have a good reputation.

Funnily enough my car had it's first MOT done by the independent garage last week.

Amusingly they rang to tell me it had failed on a worn wishbone. This had been picked up by the franchised dealership at the previous service but due to large list of work they had 'found' left it for the MOT service.

We then had a discussion about the oil I wanted putting in the car as part of the service. As it is a Ford which uses 5W-30 they were going to order it in. When I pointed out he could get it at the local Morrisons supermarket he said he would check.

Two minutes later he was back on the phone confirming that he would buy it from Morrisons and reduced my bill by the amount he was saving. I bet the franchise would never do this!!!

Franchised Servicing or not? - Robin
Thanks for all the advice folks.
I was pleasantly surprised at the relatively low cost of the VW service (all relative I guess: they don't actually do much!) but this is a fairly small service. The last time I had it done it cost over £300. think I'll book it in at VW.




Value my car