Do I have to service my new car at the dealership?
Purchasing a new car is a significant event for most consumers. It is an exciting time, marking the start of a new journey on the road. However it can also be a complicated and time-consuming experience. From settling on a model, to negotiating price and deciding on which extras to purchase, it’s likely you’ll feel exhausted by the time you sit down to sign the final paperwork that details those finer points of your new vehicle’s manufacturer warranty. So it’s no surprise that many new car owners drive off the lot under the impression that they must return to the dealer for servicing to maintain their vehicle’s warranty.
Australian Consumer Law provides a range of consumer guarantee rights which cannot be excluded by contract. This means that there is no requirement under Australian Consumer Law for your car to be serviced by an authorised dealer, nor can a manufacturer void a warranty simply because you choose to have your car serviced outside the dealer network.
In fact, there are several reasons why taking your new car to a qualified and reputable independent auto mechanic is a better alternative for both you and your vehicle.
Are you sure it won’t void my warranty?
If you’re worried that taking your new car to an independent auto mechanic will void your new vehicle warranty, you’re not alone. A recent Consumer Survey conducted by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) found that 32% of consumers who take their new car to an authorised dealer service centre do so under the misconception that dealership servicing is mandatory under manufacturer warranty.
The ACCC and consumer advocate Choice have independently established that many dealers fail to clearly explain protections under Australian Consumer Law to buyers, and in some cases have explicitly failed to comply with the law verbally or by misrepresentation in logbooks and dealer stamps.
If you’ve signed up for an extended warranty (a product that comes into effect after the expiry of your standard manufacturer warranty), read the terms of the agreement carefully and keep in mind that commission-based remuneration in dealership networks can be a stronger incentive to sell extended warranties than benefits to consumers.
What about cost?
Those capped-price offerings might seem appealing, but large dealer overheads and narrow sales margins apply upward pressure on the costs of servicing. In fact, Deloitte’s Dealership Benchmark overview for 2017 suggests that less than 10% of high performing Australian prestige dealers’ profits come from new car sales, with close to 70% of profits coming from servicing alone. As an independent operator, we have the freedom to offer competitive quotes for servicing. We pride ourselves on doing our homework on costs and providing the best deal and highest quality of service. We’re transparent about our costs and process and will keep you informed at every step, talking your language, plain and simple.
Do you have access to the latest equipment and diagnostics?
Our specialist technicians have access to the latest in diagnostic equipment. We own and operate the same equipment as major dealer networks, use only the highest quality parts, and have been an accredited member of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) for over 25 years.
Enjoy the journey with Cox Auto
Servicing your vehicle at regular intervals is important. But regular servicing shouldn’t feel like a chore. When you service your vehicle at Cox Auto, both you and your car will receive a premium service experience unmatched by dealerships. From our welcoming shopfront (complete with complimentary barista-made coffee and free WiFi) to the flexibility to prepay for easy pick-up, we are here to bring the human touch. We have a number of loan cars available and even a Mercedes Vito Van to keep businesses on the move, all free of charge. Our aim is to take the complexity out of your experience of servicing so you can get on with enjoying your journey.