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End Of Dealerships' Monopoly

Dawid Bakkes
Monday, March 29, 2021
Dealerships no longer have the sole right to service your vehicle while it's still in its warranty period. But there is a catch...
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Have you ever finished a game of Monopoly without someone flipping the board and sending all the pieces flying about in an attempt to level the playing field? Well, the Monopoly where car dealerships have the sole rights to servicing your car is about to be flipped by the South African Competition Commission. 

As of July 1st 2021, YOU the owner and driver of your vehicle, can service or repair the car at any RMI accredited Auto-Electrical workshop of your choice. This comes as a result of pressure from a group called Right2Repair which has been motioning towards this freedom for the public for over a year, 

I know what you’re wondering “Can I service my vehicle anywhere when it is under warranty?” and the answer is yes, as long as they are registered with and accredited by the Retail Motor Industry (RMI). 

If quality is a concern you could easily ask the workshop to buy the service parts from the dealership because the price difference between the OEM filters and the GUD filters is not very significant. This may very well be as a result of being produced in the same factory, but that is a different story, The main benefit for the public would come from the labour rates. 

Most dealerships do not sell fragmented labour units (15 mins, 30 mins, or 45 mins) but only work in hours. The majority of your services would only have 4 things listed on your invoice namely; Oil Filter, Sump Plug Washer, 5l of Oil, and 20 minutes of labour. However, if you are not given the option of fragmented labour units then it would be an hour of labour which will be more expensive than all the rest of your parts combined. 

Many people have a Stockholm Syndrome sort of loyalty towards the dealership from which they purchased their car, and have been getting good service from them. Think about it though, if you knew someone had to service their vehicle with you then going the extra mile wouldn’t be as important. If you visit your local garage you get the beauty of competition. In other words, you don’t have to service your vehicle with them, but they really want you to. You can bet that they would be willing to cut their profits and fit you in as soon as possible in order to gain you as a repeating customer. 

And before committing to any garage ask your friends with older cars where they go, or phone around asking for detailed quotes which include the manufacturer of the filters. And as a final pro tip, tell them you are phoning around for quotes to get the best price for you. 

Book your vehicle for a service or find out more about our automotive products and services, like battery charging, alternator checks and the like.

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