Major car brand dealers would have you believe that your car can only be serviced by them in order to not void your warranty. But independent service centres would have you believe that they can repair your car without voiding the new car warranty. So which is correct?
Long story short….you can service your car wherever you’d like. However, there are a few other things to take into consideration when considering a service centre during your new car warranty.
The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 is what protects a customers rights to freely choose their service centre after the purchase of a new car. It prevents the practice of attaching restrictions to the sale of a vehicle as to where the car has to be serviced during the warranty period. Essentially this means that a car manufacturer cannot void your new car warranty based purely on where you chose to get it serviced.
However, a manufacturer can refuse a warranty claim if there is evidence of use of non-genuine parts, lack of maintenance or poor or inappropriate work practices as a result of having it serviced elsewhere.
An independent service centre also cannot perform warranty work. They will most likely not have access to the latest technical information, special service tools, factory tools and complete service information. In addition to this, specific and dedicated electronic equipment and updates are regularly required for services, which may not be available from the independent centres.
When it comes to choosing where to take your vehicle for its warranty services, cost is often what makes people go elsewhere. Although a manufacturer service centre may cost more, it is important to consider the benefits they will provide over a smaller, independent chain. If your priority is cost, then you may jeopardize the quality of work performed; whereas if your priority is quality, you will likely pay more for your service.