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VW Van Centre or Independent Garage

BerndRos

BerndRos

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Messages
1,493
Location
Abergavenny
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Wondering at what point people tend to stop using an official VW van centre and start using an Independent Garage for Service, DSG Oil Change, Brakes, Cambelt Replacement etc.

Have got a quote off one of each this morning and it seems there is only about a 20% price difference. Also need to balance between a local garage close by against going to a van centre and maybe having to leave the van there overnight.

Mine is now 11 years old but in great condition.
 
SusiBus

SusiBus

2-pedal power Peppa Pig trike
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,135
Location
Watford,Herts
Vehicle
Looking to buy
If you've been a long term customer of the VW van centre, how about talking to them about a loyal customer discount. Car owners are sometimes offered cheaper servicing on older vehicles. No harm in asking.
 
Wildcamper

Wildcamper

Messages
403
Location
T6 High top LWB 150 DSG: Gloucestershire
Vehicle
Please Select
Depends. If you know your local independent well and have had good work done by them in the past then no problem with using them. You know they do good work and you probably know who did the work. As mentioned on here not all VW van centres do a good job, so how well do you know your local can center? One thing is for sure, you will not know the individual who does the work. If you have a VW warranty then maybe the van centre. For my VW Golf, my local independent that I have used for years is roughly half the price of my nearest VW centre. I also find that if I pop in to ask a question to my local independent I get an instant answer. If I pop into my local VW center to ask a question I get told to book it in, cost £75, and bring it back later. No contest, if you know your local independent well.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
18,117
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Wondering at what point people tend to stop using an official VW van centre and start using an Independent Garage for Service, DSG Oil Change, Brakes, Cambelt Replacement etc.

Have got a quote off one of each this morning and it seems there is only about a 20% price difference. Also need to balance between a local garage close by against going to a van centre and maybe having to leave the van there overnight.

Mine is now 11 years old but in great condition.
Remember, VW have a 2 yr warranty on Parts & Labour.
 
Elmo3

Elmo3

VIP Member
Messages
611
Location
Wales
Vehicle
T5 Beach
20% doesn’t sound much of a saving on main dealer prices. Your van is 11 years old, same as mine. Find yourself a good local mechanic. Mine is old school, can fix anything and I trust him 100%. I buy the parts and he charges me next to nothing for his time and top work. A main dealer is about the last place I’d go. They are very expensive fitters.
 
Ch1pbutty

Ch1pbutty

VIP Member
Messages
1,220
Location
Burgess Hill
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Wondering at what point people tend to stop using an official VW van centre and start using an Independent Garage for Service, DSG Oil Change, Brakes, Cambelt Replacement etc.

Have got a quote off one of each this morning and it seems there is only about a 20% price difference. Also need to balance between a local garage close by against going to a van centre and maybe having to leave the van there overnight.

Mine is now 11 years old but in great condition.
Most will collect / deliver, which is probably where some of the additional cost goes...
 
66tim99

66tim99

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,041
Location
London
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
If anyone knows a good independent in London that knows Californias Id be grateful...
 
BerndRos

BerndRos

VIP Member
Messages
1,493
Location
Abergavenny
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Remember, VW have a 2 yr warranty on Parts & Labour.

Good point. And I think you rate the VW garage at Hereford highly. And VW do hit back, with their ‘menu’ priced items against the independent garages.

Interestingly for a Service, DSG Oil change & Cambelt & Water Pump change they are less than a properly set up independent garage.

Don’t just look at the hourly rate, but rather the chargeable hours.
 
bob_summers

bob_summers

Messages
168
Location
País Vasco
Vehicle
T6 Cali On Order
Having never owned a new car (that wasn’t a company car), when do you take it to the independent? After the warranty expires?
My local Indy looks after my 12yo van, the service intervals and whatever little jobs it needs. When I sheared a glow plug, they were reasonable in price to sort it (front of van off to get the extractor tool in), likewise with two seized-on wheel bearings. I wouldn’t have liked to do that with VW.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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18,117
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Good point. And I think you rate the VW garage at Hereford highly. And VW do hit back, with their ‘menu’ priced items against the independent garages.

Interestingly for a Service, DSG Oil change & Cambelt & Water Pump change they are less than a properly set up independent garage.

Don’t just look at the hourly rate, but rather the chargeable hours.
Yes, I use South Hereford. It’s a joint showroom and servicing setup, not just commercial.
Things have changed since Covid in that you can’t wait and have a coffee and they weren’t running their free taxi service into town, but courtesy vehicles were available.
 
flying banana

flying banana

T6 Ocean 204ps manual
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2,212
Location
doncaster
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
am i alone in servicing my bus myself ? it's not difficult. but i get that not everyone can do it. the pollen filter should be renewed at 1900 miles apparently or your breathing dirty air.its a bit like wearing a face mask for 2 years according to some. even when camping when the air doesn't go through the pollen filter. 'sorry i'm having a pop at something else here '.
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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Messages
3,932
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
I prefer local Indy.
I have a good one and trust them far more than the local dealership.
The last time I used the dealer, it took 50mins to hand the vehicle over to them and the same to pick it up. Plus the 40mins each way.

To be honest, I’ve lost confidence in the dealerships. Their techs only seem to know what the computer tells them. Totally clueless on fault finding. All they do, is keep throwing parts at a problem instead of investigating...
 
Elmo3

Elmo3

VIP Member
Messages
611
Location
Wales
Vehicle
T5 Beach
I prefer local Indy.
I have a good one and trust them far more than the local dealership.
The last time I used the dealer, it took 50mins to hand the vehicle over to them and the same to pick it up. Plus the 40mins each way.

To be honest, I’ve lost confidence in the dealerships. Their techs only seem to know what the computer tells them. Totally clueless on fault finding. All they do, is keep throwing parts at a problem instead of investigating...

Exactly. Main dealers are computer instructed parts fitters, not mechanics. Fine whilst under warranty, but for an older van, you want someone who understands how things work.
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
3,932
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Exactly. Main dealers are computer instructed parts fitters, not mechanics. Fine whilst under warranty, but for an older van, you want someone who understands how things work.

The best guys I’ve come across are those who previously worked in motorsports, not necessarily dealer trained, part fitters.
 
Phoenix387

Phoenix387

Messages
14
Location
North West
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Independent VW specialist once out of warranty. These are almost always staffed by people who have spent many years in and around VW / Audi. They often know of the little problems that creep up and how to fix them. They can often also advise on some preventative maintenance for known faults that creep up on older VW’s. My Haldex system was rescued by ADS in Preston thanks to some good advice before the whole system needed replacing.
 
66tim99

66tim99

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,041
Location
London
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Independent VW specialist once out of warranty. These are almost always staffed by people who have spent many years in and around VW / Audi. They often know of the little problems that creep up and how to fix them. They can often also advise on some preventative maintenance for known faults that creep up on older VW’s. My Haldex system was rescued by ADS in Preston thanks to some good advice before the whole system needed replacing.
Keeping my eyes peeled for a recommended London independent specialist
 

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