Where to service?! - Wales Forester
My Volvo S60 is due it's 96,000 mile service, which includes the cambelt change.
I have been quoted the following prices, both using Volvo technicians and original parts.
Volvo Main Dealer - £778
Local Volvo Independent - £435

I got the independent quote first, then called the main dealer. Once I'd been quoted the £778 menu price I asked if they would price match the independent.
To my surprise the service advisor said that he would ask the service manager and call me back.
When he returned my call I was even more surprised to be offered the service at the main dealer for £494, a £284 discount on the menu price!
I confirmed that this new price would not mean 'less of a service'.

The car is a 2002 model and is out of Volvo warranty, but has a full Volvo dealer service history.
I currently have an issue with the car wandering excessively, and this will be investigated as part of the service. I am mindful that the main agent may see this as an opportunity to claw some of the discount back. Similarly, I may need front brake discs.

What do you think folks, where would you take it??
Where to service?! - cheddar
Volvo dealer.
Where to service?! - Navara Van man
The independnt.

The main dealer was happy for you to pay £200 or so over the odds and would hapily have let you pay this had you not queried it. As you rightly say they may well try and claw back the dicount in investigating the stering problem.
Where to service?! - DavidHM
Without wanting to be glib, whichever is better. There is not enough of a difference to take a chance on workmanship.

If you're planning on selling the car soonish, I'd definitely go for the dealer but if you're planning on keeping the car past its fifth or sixth birthday, the independent specialist's service stamp is likely to be as well regarded as the dealer's.
Where to service?! - Navara Van man
The independant is STILL a Volovo specialist so this is unlikely to make a differance when you come to sell.
Where to service?! - NowWheels
What's the bet that once some dismantling has been done, the Volvo dealer will identify some problem needing a few hours of charageable work? (thereby putting the bill back up to where they'd like it to be)
Where to service?! - PhilW
Support your local independent! - if he is anything like mine- good mechanics, good prices, very helpful, open all day Saturday, genuine manufacturers parts, only charges for the hours taken rather than the "book hours", can watch him doing the job and/or the diagnosis, even does the occasional "little thing" for free.
Where to service?! - bell boy
agree 100% PhilW anybody that can knock £200 off at the cock of a hat would not get my business ever.
Where to service?! - BobbyG
I assume with the local independent you will actually deal with the guy who is getting his hands dirty on your car?

If so, that would be my choice.
Where to service?! - Navara Van man
One other thing an independent gardge must rely is retaining customers wereas many main dealers viewe the repair of cars as jet another excuse to bump up the profit margin safe in the knowledge that even if you never come back, another person will be coned into the false sense of security a main dealer gives, albeit till a problem ocurs with the car wereupon they can charge hansomely jet again.

The local independnt garadge I use services all my vehicle including the vans to a very high standard and is also wiling to arange for speacilist contractors to do air con service and windscreen repair etc on the same day as the service and mot.
Furthermore the owner is happy for me to drop the vehicles off in the night before and will stay open later to enable me to setle up. Unforseen brakedowns etc are treated as a priority. This helpfull atitude and work ethic is one that binds the staff aswell. Very differnt from my experience of the two local ford dealers.

Where to service?! - L'escargot
The independant is STILL a Volovo specialist

Volvo themselves will certify that the Volvo main dealer is competent to service a Volvo, and that their technicians are Volvo trained . An independent may claim to be a specialist but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are competent. It may only mean that they mainly service Volvos.
Where to service?! - Roly93
There's 2 scholls of thought on this one. A main dealer stamp in the book potentially adds value and desirability to the car when you sell it. However the Volvo specialist would probably do a better and more conscientious job than the main dealer, and as someone else pointed out, the dealer would probably try to claw back the cash looking at your other problem which may be suspension bush related. Frankly I would find it insulting that the dealer was ready to rip you off in the first place.
Where to service?! - Flying Red
I think it's more that a service specialist stamp in the book is an indication that the owner has looked to save money and will cause the buyer to look further for evidence of penny-pinching (or walk away). Having all main dealer stamps probably generates more interest in a used car.

Having said that, an older high-mileage saloon car with a big engine is not that popular in the used market these days (so will probably sell behind book) and I would be looking to save on servicing by using the independent.
Where to service?! - Wales Forester
Thanks for all of your replies.

I think I'm going to go with the majority and stick with the local independent.
They were very good when I had a couple of problems in the first few weeks of owning the car, and as they are dedicated to Volvo sales and service I am confident that they will do the work as well as, if not better than, the main dealer.

I can still not quite get my head around how the Volvo main dealer are willing to knock almost £300 off at the drop of a hat. How many people must just pay the full amount without question?!
They are obviously short of business as they offered to do the work today, my initial enquiry was only yesterday.

Another case of rip off Britain me thinks.

Where to service?! - defender
discount=if you dont ask you dont get


Value my car