General Q's about car servicing - hootie
You've probably gone through all this before, but....

I've been reading complaints mainly about VW dealerships, and I've seen it said that Honda have a reputation for being on the pricey side for servicing. So I have some general comments and queries, if you don't mind bearing with me.

My own experience - bought Hondas new from dealership (2Mills, Ledsham, Cheshire) and got very good service so always went back there.

When we moved, we found a different story. Chepstow - dealer closed down, Newport (S Wales) new dealer opened up - thought they *were* VERY expensive, only went once, next time service required - they'd closed down. Moved again - not far from Tunbridge Wells (don't laugh pl) Honda dealership in the yellow pages, had become Saab. Eventually, found one in Maidstone (not convenient at all, but they did come and fetch the car) - next time service due, they'd changed from Honda. A new dealership opened in TW, but not over impressed. Sooooo took the plunge and had a service (at a fraction of the cost) by the little backstreet garage who'd done my last couple of MOT's and replaced the battery for me last year.

My last service (small) cost the same as the 6,000 mile one which I had to have (according to Honda) 6 months after buying the car brand new ( you don't have to do that now do you? ) This invoice doesn't detail the bits and bobs, and seems to have just been a flat fee.

All in all over the 6 years, servicing etc costs have been £1,150, including a new tyre, battery and a cam belt change last year. oooh and some wiper blades (I've only told you that bit for info.)

Mr H had always insisted on a main dealer service before, but this year, I just pleased myself - am I doing the right thing? I'm looking for pointers here. Feel free to put your own thoughts/experiences too.


"Appearances can be Deceptive"
General Q's about car servicing - hootie
Oh, and someone told me, although I don't know how true it is, that the reason a lot of dealerships were changing from Honda, is because Honda themselves are demanding uniformly high standards of showroom premises etc. and a very high level of investment from the dealership?

Incidentally having just bought a Toyota for delivery in September, has anyone any comments on their real-life after sales etc?

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
General Q's about car servicing - sean
Hi Hootie.

Now then, there are changes afoot to UK legislation from late september this year.

It concerns "block exemption". Most things you buy can be sold anywhere. Comet, Currys, Dixons, Northern Electric etc will all compete with each other to sell you the same washer.

Not so with new cars. The manufacturer dictates who he will allow to sell his cars. He dictates service stds etc.

Not selling my posh jeans at Tesco's was a similar case.

Diminishing block exemption this year will transfer much of the power away from makers over to dealers.

Makers are trying to sort a few dealers out now, but really, too little, too late.

Some, like Mercedes Direct, are getting in on the action. Getting rid of franchised dealers and taking over their own retailing.

Watch this space.
General Q's about car servicing - MS
Having bought my first brand new car a few weeks ago I will be having it serviced by Peugeot main dealers for the duration of the warranty.

Once the warranty has expired I will use a couple of small independents. One is 5 minutes walk away and the other about 10 miles away specialise in French cars.

My petrol Citroen XM didn't see the inside of a main dealer after 69000 miles and I replaced it at 1/4 million miles for the only reason that at last I could afford to buy new!!

The XM had oil and filter changes every 6000 miles at Kwik Fit, air filter changed for every MOT and spark plugs changed when I remembered!

Brakes were replaced about every 12 months either by the local garage or Kwik Fit.

Other service items seem rather petty to pay a mechanic to check - do the lights work... is the washer bottle full... etc.

Regular oil changes seem to be the answer to long life. My Opel Manta died at only 140000 miles because it didn't get regular new oil :-((((

I hope to get well over 1/4 million miles out of the new Peugeot :-) Half a million miles maybe??

Hope this helps
Michael a summer's day out
General Q's about car servicing - Roger Jones
If you buy cars new and sell them within, say, three years, then the main-dealer stamp in the service book is probably worth having, the quality of the servicing notwithstanding. Beyond that age and in light of my experience with Audi, VW and MB, I would do some local research and find an independent specialist -- an outfit that really knows the vehicle and its siblings inside out. I've done this on two occasions, both times starting at the local VW/Audi independent parts shop for suggestions. I have little doubt that the quality of work done by the independents has been as good as, and is almost certainly better than, that of the dealers; the bills have been very much lower. And, best of all, you can have sensible discussions with the independents and build up a professional relationship with them; you never get past the nice but ever-changing people at the service counter of the main dealer. One upshot of that for me was that I felt confident in putting the prospective purchaser of my old Audi 100 in touch with the independent who had serviced it, so that he could get an authoritative opinion on the soundness of the car.
General Q's about car servicing - Obsolete
And of course if you want to maintain the 3 year warranty on a new car you have to have servicing done by the main dealer to the stated schedule.

My own experience is: Basingstoke Nissan dealer good, local Nissan dealer not so good; local Ford dealership very poor (totally disorganised and contemptuous attitude), Windsor Ford dealership very good. I think a lot of factors come into play. I am told that Ford dealers that service fleets do not care much for the private individual and my experience agrees with this. And yet a small Ford dealer was very good. Maybe this is not just a Ford thing.

Value my car