A simple body repair such as replacing the tailgate on a Ford F-150 can be performed at any auto repair garage, whether it is dealer-operated or independent. Customers should be aware that only dealers can perform manufacturer warranty work on vehicles, which can reduce the cost of repairs.
Customers choose between a dealer and independent repair facility on the basis of cost, convenience, staff expertise, ability to guarantee the work performed, and personal relationships with the service staff. Dealers have certain advantages over repair shops, but according to one survey, dealers cost about 15 percent more than independent repair shops for the same repairs.
Customers should also consider the type of work to be performed. For a non-electronic or power plant repair, such as replacing a body panel, door or tailgate, it is unlikely the dealer offers any unique expertise that can't be obtained from an independent shop.