Every car insurance plan in Singapore typically offers two options when you want to get your car repaired – using an authorised workshop or picking “any” independent car workshop of your choice.
Which service and repair option is the best value for you can depend on several factors, including whether your insured vehicle is a mass market car model or a niche model, the final price you are prepared to pay to get your car repaired, the quality of parts desired, and more.
Many new car owners find it difficult to decide whether an authorised repair service or an independent workshop is best, which is why it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both potential options before purchasing your car insurance plan – as not every car insurance company will enable you to choose your own preferred workshop in the event of a car accident. In this blog, Instant Loan reveals everything car owners need to know about both choices.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Between an Authorised or Independent Car Workshop
Once new car owners start owning a new car, they will usually get to enjoy a warranty offered by their car manufacturer for anywhere up to three years – during which authorised service centres will ordinarily be used.
Once this warranty expires, however, car owners need to think about whether continuing with an authorised service centre or switching to an independent workshop is the best choice for them. In this scenario, there are five key factors the car owner will need to consider, which are:
1. Price Transparency Toward Car Owners – Is a Fair Final Price Charged?
Independent car workshops have a reputation for being more expensive than authorised service centres, as a more specialised service is usually offered. That said, you should always double and triple-check the final price you’ll pay with any service centre. While some car workshops offer an all inclusive price, others may charge separately for repair parts and labour costs. Always look out for hidden costs.
2. What is the Warranty Period or Warranty Offered for Spare Parts?
Just as repair costs are important when choosing between independent car workshops and authorised workshops, you should also consider the level of warranty offered on spare parts. Most authorised service centres will offer either a lifetime or pre-defined warranty period on spare parts, but you should double-check what warranty is available if choosing an independent workshop instead.
3. Mass Market Car Model Repairability – Same Car Models Might Not Always Be Covered
Not all car workshops are willing to repair all car models. Just as a Zi Char stall or Japanese restaurant won’t always serve pizza, or an Italian restaurant won’t always offer Yang Zhou fried rice or sushi. It’s important to confirm that repairs carried out to your car model can be properly conducted at your preferred workshop before handing over your keys.
4. Do They Use Only Original Parts or Just Substitute Parts?
While some independent workshops and specialists will use only original parts from an authorised dealer for all repairs carried out to your vehicle, authorised repairers won’t always use spare parts direct from your car manufacturer. Keep in mind that cheaper car workshops might use substitute parts instead – which might not be so great if you drive a rare, luxury or niche model.
5. Do They Use Qualified Mechanics with Sufficient Experience?
Every authorised workshop or independent workshop should use qualified mechanics who have ample experience dealing with most cars – or, at the very least, specialise in servicing the kinds of cars they advertise themselves as being able to repair. Read up on past customer reviews to avoid a rude shock. The best workshops make sure their staff have undergone regular training to maintain their technical proficiency.
Authorised Workshop Vs Any Workshop – Different Options for Car Owners Compared
Naturally, there are a number of differences between authorised repairers and independent car workshops, and it’s important to be properly aware of these before making a decision on which is best for you and your car insurance plan. The table below runs through the key differences to help you determine the best value point for your unique use case:
|Authorised Repair Service||Independent Car Workshops|
|Suitable Car Models / Brands||Most regular car model types covered||Some car models may not be covered – some workshops might specialise in a certain car model only (e.g., BMW)|
|Freedom to Choose Your Preferred Repair Service||No – authorised dealer workshops only||Yes – unlimited choice|
|Guarantee / Warranty on Spare Parts||Lifetime or pre-agreed period||Warranty period can vary|
|Impact on Car Insurance Premiums||Generally lower premium costs||Your insurance company may quote you a higher price|
|Tailored Service Available||Sometimes limited||Often available but sometimes you might need to pay extra at an additional cost|
1. What is an Authorised Workshop?
In a nutshell, an authorised workshop is a workshop appointed by an insurance company for the purpose of getting your car repaired if you have a car accident or wish to fix own damage accident repairs your vehicle via a car insurance claim. Your insured car will be restored to its original condition by authorised repairers with ample experience dealing with own damage accident repairs.
Which Car Owners Best Benefit from Using an Authorised Workshop?
- Any car owner who has no particular preference over where their car is repaired.
- People looking for a lower premium on their car insurance.
- Anyone who owns a mass market car model that’s easily repaired.
- Car owners who want guaranteed parts with warranty assurance.
Authorised Workshops – Perks Vs Limitations
- Car insurance costs are lower, but repair quality might not match specialist independent car workshops.
- You’ll save time and effort on organising repairs, but you might not get the same level of expertise you’d get from experienced mechanics elsewhere.
2. What is “Any Workshop” or an Independent Car Workshop?
Independent car workshops or “any” car workshops are any other workshops that you can voluntarily choose to have your insured vehicle repaired at instead of taking it to the authorised dealer dictated by your car insurance company. As the policyholder, you can choose any preferred workshop you please, but might need to pay extra on your car insurance policy for the privilege of being able to do so.
Which Car Owners Best Benefit from Using Any Workshop?
- Anyone who owns a luxury or niche model car requiring special attention during repairs.
- Car owners who want a tailored service or demand technical proficiency.
- A new car owner who prefers a manufacturer-recommended service.
- Any other car owners who value the ability to choose.
Independent Car Workshop – Perks Vs Limitations
- You’ll have more flexibility but might need to pay a higher servicing cost and car insurance premium.
- Qualified mechanics offer optimum performance on repairs, but this service might not be worth the additional cost for regular car model owners.
Authorised Workshop Vs Any Workshop – Which is Best for Car Owners Like You?
1. Choose an Authorised Service Centre if…
- You originally bought car insurance that covers authorised workshops.
- A high level of car care isn’t important to you.
- Spare parts and warranty guarantees are important to you.
- You own a generic car model.
- You are a budget-conscious car owner.
2. Choose “Any” Workshop or an Independent Car Workshop if…
- You own a unique or luxury car model.
- Technical proficiency is a top priority when you get a repair.
- You would like to use more than just one car repair service or workshop.
- Accessing a tailored service is important to you.
- You feel using only original parts for the car bode well for you.
Authorised Workshop Vs Any Workshop – How to Make the Right Choice for Your Needs
While using an authorised workshop is probably the best choice for budget conscious car owners who rarely intend to repair their cars and want to save on car insurance costs, an independent car workshop will usually be more suitable for luxury car owners with more unique needs.
When deciding which is the best option for you before getting your car repaired, don’t forget that:
- Authorised dealer workshops and independent car workshops won’t always be able to repair the same car models as one another – you might need an independent specialist if you drive a rare or unusual car.
- Using original parts to repair your car bode well for its longevity, but most cars are fine to be repaired with substitute parts, and using a regular authorised repairer will ultimately result in a lower final bill.
- If opting for an independent repair service is your preferred choice, be sure to shop around widely and read past customer reviews to secure a reputable repair service with staff who have sufficient experience to deliver the level of service you desire.
- You should think carefully about your unique needs and preferences and use our comparison table above to help you decide which repair service is the most suitable option for you.
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