Does my car have to be serviced where I bought it?

Hi John,

I'm ready to buy a new car but I'm concerned that if I negotiate a better deal at a dealership right across town, I'm going to be locked in to getting the car serviced from them. How important is purchasing a vehicle where you will service it - and can I get it serviced anywhere else?


Hello Tanya,

It’s completely unnecessary to purchase the car where you will get it serviced. Every car dealership is keen to sell you the car. Every car dealership is keen to service it. The two transactions are completely separate.

If I were you I’d be buying the car wherever you can for the lowest possible price, and I’d be servicing it that way as well (within the limits of geographic convenience). In other words, I'm advising you to get competitive quotes for the standard service every time, and go with the cheapest one.

Servicing makes dealers money. It's a business undertaking. Therefore, you are doing them a favour by getting the car serviced with whichever dealer you choose.

The notion that you need to get the car serviced where you bought it, or that if you attempt to get it serviced at another dealer they will treat you like a second-class citizen is common enough among car owners, but wrong.

See also: Can I have my Car Serviced by an Independent Mechanic? >>

There’s nothing Car Dealer A would like more than to acquire some of Car Dealer B’s servicing clientele.

Read: How does Servicing affect my Warranty? >>

The two commercial dealings (sale and servicing) are completely unrelated, although obviously the dealer you buy from would like to service the car as well.

WARNING: Most dealers will try to stitch you up with a so-called extended warranty that’s really just a servicing contract … if you’re not careful. All this does is lock you into getting the car serviced at that dealer ... in exchange for an extended warranty that's absolutely not worth the paper it's written on. When the subject of extended warranty comes up at the dealership (and it will) just say 'no'.

See also:

John Cadogan