There are many reasons why you may want to consider looking into an independent repair shop instead of going with a bigger chain. An independent repair shop is one that has no ties to any dealerships and is only in one location. These are very common in smaller towns that do not have a lot of bigger named businesses nearby. You will find that while there are a lot of reasons why these types of shops can be a lot more beneficial, there are still a few things that you should keep in mind whenever you are trying to decide if they are right for you.
You will find that the biggest benefit that comes with an independent shop is that they are typically less expensive. Bigger shops will end up having a set price no matter how big the job; you will normally have to pay a base amount just for bringing your vehicle in. With an independent shop, it is usually a case by case basis. Many of these independent shop owners will provide people that are loyal to them a better deal because they know they can keep them around by doing this. They may even be more likely to throw in something free later on. However, this is something that you cannot expect with a bigger chain.
Something that you should always make sure to do is ask around. This is something that is especially true whenever you live in a smaller area. Everybody at some point will need to have their vehicle worked on for some reason or another. What this basically means is that a lot of people will have experience on who is a better mechanic and who will end up charging more or less for something. You will need to make sure that you ask around to a few different people to see if they can tell you anything. Go to your local auto parts store and ask them if they can refer you to somebody. They most likely deliver to every single mechanic within a 10 to 20 mile radius.
It is important that you pay attention to whether or not the mechanic that you go with is one that is ASE certified. This is something that you typically do not have to worry about whenever you are working with a bigger chain. Most mechanics that have an independently owned shop will be ASE certified, but it is still a good idea to make completely sure before you go with them. It is also important that you know what the prices are before you decide on them. Make a deal and talk about the price beforehand to make sure that they are not going to try to overcharge you for something that you are not comfortable with. Try to get it in writing before you have them do any work on your vehicle to make sure that they will not be able to overcharge you very easily.