Are local mechanics cheaper than dealerships?

The average person spends $438 a year on car repairs. That might not seem like a lot, but it adds up: If you’ve owned your car for ten years and drive 15,000 miles each year with an average repair cost of $438, the total cost of repairs would be $7,840!

The cost of car repairs doesn’t have to break the bank though. It all depends on where you go—and what kind of work needs to be done. So before you start worrying about how much money will drain out of your wallet when something goes wrong with your vehicle, here’s everything you need to know about finding a trustworthy mechanic whose prices won’t leave you feeling ripped off or stressed out:

The cost of labor.

When you visit a local mechanic, you’re likely going to pay less for labor. That’s because local mechanics can charge less for their services and pass the savings on to customers. In general, dealerships have higher labor costs than independent shops.

For example, when you bring your vehicle into a dealership for servicing or repair work, the cost of parts is usually included in your bill—and that means that the technicians who install those parts will be paid by the dealership itself instead of directly from customers like you. The same goes for any remote diagnostics performed by specialized technicians at dealerships: they’re part of an overall package being sold by a single company rather than divided between multiple small businesses (which may be located further away).

Additionally, there are also other factors that contribute toward greater prices when using service facilities operated by large corporations instead of smaller operations run by individuals or partners. For example:

The cost of parts.

When it comes to the cost of parts, the answer is: it depends. If you’re looking for a part that’s not in stock at your local mechanic’s shop, you could find it cheaper—or more expensive—at a dealership or online. In most cases, though, prices will be similar. The exception is if you happen to need a specific part that’s no longer made and/or not available through any manufacturer channels (eBay and Craigslist are great places to look if this is your situation).

For example, let’s say you have an older vehicle with a manual transmission and it needs a new clutch kit. You can buy this kit online from Amazon or eBay for $100-$200 (depending on what kind of quality level you want), which would save money compared with buying it at an auto parts store where they might charge $300+.

But here’s where things get tricky: Let’s say that same clutch kit costs $400 at Walmart; but then Walmart tells us we can get one for $250 if we take advantage of their price match guarantee policy! So now our choice becomes whether we want to pay less than usual but sacrifice an entire day wasted driving back-and-forth between stores trying different offers until we find one that works… OR just bite the bullet and spend another couple hundred bucks?

What does it mean to be certified by the manufacturer?

Being certified by the vehicle manufacturer means that you have been trained by the manufacturer and passed a test to be able to work on the particular make and model of car. This is a good thing for several reasons.

  • First, it means that your mechanic has access to training materials from the manufacturer. These materials can help him or her diagnose problems correctly and efficiently, which means you won’t have to pay for unnecessary repairs.
  • Second, certification means that your mechanic has a good reputation within his or her community. That reputation relies on honesty and integrity as well as competency with quality workmanship—and no one wants someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing working on their car!

What’s the best way to find a good local mechanic?

Finding a good mechanic is like finding a good doctor. You want someone who’s experienced, reliable, and trustworthy. So how do you go about it?

  • Ask friends and family for recommendations. If they have a mechanic who’s done work on their cars in the past and they’ve been happy with them, ask if they’d be willing to give that person’s name out to you. You can also try asking people on social media—you never know who might know a great mechanic in your area!
  • Look for reviews online. Many cities have review sites where people leave feedback on local businesses (including mechanics), so check those out first before making an appointment with anyone else in the area—you may find someone who has great reviews but isn’t as well-known as some of these bigger chains are!
  • Make sure whoever does work on your car has official certification from either General Motors or Ford before trusting them with any repairs/maintenance jobs; otherwise there is no guarantee that what was done was done correctly (or safely). This goes double when dealing with specialty parts like transmissions or engines; those require specialized knowledge which isn’t always easy for newer technicians working outside major cities where there aren’t many options available locally.”

Can take your car to a local mechanic or the dealership and have confidence that you’re getting good service at a fair price.

If you’re looking for a new car, then you’ve probably seen commercials for dealerships and their low prices. These ads often use phrases like “we’ll save you thousands!” and “affordable financing.” They make it sound like every dealership is cheaper than local mechanics.

But here’s the thing: while dealerships may be able to offer lower prices on some cars, they can also charge more than local mechanics—and sometimes even more than other dealerships! That’s because they have overhead costs, including a lot of staff. Local mechanics don’t need all those people, so they can pass on savings by selling vehicles at lower prices.

So what does this mean for you? Well, it means that if a dealership offers an awesome deal on your next car purchase (like say $10K off), then maybe going with them would be worth it. However if their deal isn’t as good as other options available from another dealer or even from local mechanics then there’s no reason not go local instead—especially since this option will likely save money without sacrificing quality workmanship or service!


It’s important to remember that there are many factors that can influence the cost of a repair. Even if you go with a dealership, it’s always a good idea to ask for estimates from multiple shops so that you can compare prices and quality in order to make an informed decision about where your car gets its maintenance.