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Main Dealer service cost?


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Purchased my lovely 2.0D S saloon last November and now it's time for it's first 'major' service.  Done nearly 12,000 miles in 8 months since purchase (serviced just prior to purchase), car hasn't missed a beat and all I've had to spend was £3.75 on a headlamp Bulb.


I thought about both 'Independents' and so-called 'Jaguar Specialists' but after getting quotes and talking to a variety of Service Managers, some knowledgeable and others far less so, I have opted for a Main Dealer service.


Unarguable benefit is to have the Dealer Stamp in the service book, especially as the car has 'full history' thus far albeit including 2 x 'Independent' stamps.


The old adage is 'you get what you pay for' but am I paying too much?  £299 inclusive of both the dreaded VAT ... with a Courtesy Car provided at no extra cost.  In fact they would have collected the car from my home and delivered it back at no cost as well.  I'm not used to that kind of service from previously used Independents with my other cars.


Is there a geographical cost difference?  Am I being stung?  Are any of you jealous?  Or is this a normal and expected service cost?


Discuss ... 


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Hi Rowley,


Very interesting post, particularly when you mention a geographical cost element.


It is known that periodically Main Dealers will run special offers and it could be that there was one on at the time.


However facts are facts.


My S type 2.7D [07 plate] had its service and MOT on the 11th June.  I have used a mobile mechanic for 13  years, who collects my car, and brings it back to my house.


The cost was £180 which included a full engine Oil and filter change, as well as all the other fluids, plus £60 for the MOT.


The book is stamped and I get a full invoice.


I have receipts from previous owners which show that servicing and Oil changing costs were over £500.  Probably both location and no special offer.






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Well it does look nice to have a genuine Jaguar stamp in the book but at what cost?


Your car is seven years old now or thereabouts, you are not adding to its value by having that stamp, possibly only its 'sellability' (if there is such a word) in the future.


If I am going to look for a second hand car for sure I will be looking at the service history and expect it to be as complete as possible. I might pay a small premium for that but it won't equate to the extra that you would have paid by using a main dealer. (I'll quote you some figures shortly). If you are part exchanging your car in the future it will make absolutely no difference to the price you receive from a trader, he will only pay what the car is worth to him and will probably not even look at the service book. If he's selling it on himself, he'll certainly refer to it when he's showing it to prospective purchasers and it will be him making a profit from your main dealer services, not you! 


In looking at the service history, I will be wanting to see invoices, not stamps, this way I will be sure of the work that has been carried out on your car in it's lifetime. Having worked in the trade previously I have seen where stamps can be falsified in a service book, I've even seen it done with main dealer stamps that have fallen into the wrong hands. With proper, fully invoiced paperwork, from a VAT registered garage then at least you have something a bit more tangible than a stamp.


Going onto the subject of main dealers versus independents. Main dealers have very, very high overheads and one way or the other they have to cover their costs. Not surprisingly, one of those ways is servicing charges.


I use Hatfields in Sheffield to buy most of my servicing parts, I do my own servicing but the following applies equally if you use an independent to actually do the job for you.


An Oil filter bought by me through Hatfields eBay account costs £6.45, an air filter costs £7.75 (all inc VAT), I believe in using genuine Jaguar parts wherever possible and at those prices why wouldn't I? Buy the same items as part of a dealer service and you would be charged £14 & £19 plus VAT respectively, 6 litres of Oil would probably set you back about £72, again plus VAT. Put together with Hatfields service costs, then you will pay a total of £199 for what is basically an Oil and filter change. Added to that, you'll be sure that they will come back to you with some extras that they have found that 'require attention'- main dealers nearly always do because that is what they are instructed by management to do as part of their job.


Contrast this with just down the road from me, not far from Hatfields, I have a JLR independent (Sheffield Prestige) the same service (all mechanics are JLR trained), using the same parts will cost you half that (£99 to be precise) and for a little bit less if you want to get the parts yourself from Hatfields he'll fit them for you. He's still making a tidy profit on that and they will only recommend extra work that really needs doing. Ok I won't get a courtesy car but then I don't need one.


You've decided to go with a main dealer this time, ok I respect that decision but maybe before your next service ask around your area about good independents, they don't have to be Jag specialists for normal servicing but reputation is everything.


When hopefully you've found one, then perhaps consider this. You mention having done 12,000 miles since acquiring the car and you are now having it serviced. I know that 10-12k is now the recommended service intervals but probably the most important item in a car's engine are the oil and filter- 6 litres of oil (well for my petrol not sure about yours) and a filter done by an independent means that the you can afford to have the oil changed every 6,000 miles. You will still have change from the main dealer price, your car will be better for it and in a few years when you possibly advertise it privately for sale, any prospective purchaser will see that you have taken real care of your car.

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'Saleability' is good ... and many thanks indeed for a very thorough and seemingly well informed response.


Several points well made about M/D v Indy added to which I'm clear that it makes zero financial sense to trade in a 7+ year old vehicle.


As explained, I did speak with some Independents and were immediately put off by many but of the two who seemed to know what they were talking about their 'set-cost' quotes came in not significantly lower than the main Dealer (one was £275 and the other was £249).  I would hesitate to suggest that costs are perhaps likely to be higher and less likely to be too negotiable in Surrey/South London compared with Yorkshire ... but I may be wrong.


The one route that I didn't investigate, which seems to be gathering popularity these days, is the mobile mechanic whose overheads are clearly the lowest (apart from DIY of course - and I'm far too long in the tooth to be bothered with that!).  So if there is a recommendation to be had of a trustworthy mobile option in the Croydon/Caterham/Reigate/Gatwick area then I shall be all ears.  I think that without a sturdy recommendation I would be reluctant to jump straight in - thoughts that resemble frying pans and fires immediately spring to mind!


So by giving Grange Croydon a chance and seeing if they try to screw me over I shall have taken a step forward and with the good help and guidance of you kind fellas will then be better off when making a decision come the next service ... or even an intermediate Oil change!


Thanks again Philip.

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Hi Rowley


You are of course correct about labour rates in the M25 area being significantly higher than they are here in Yorkshire. Sheffield Prestige for instance charge £60 plus VAT per hour where a main dealer will be twice that. The price quoted by the two Indys you mention, is to be honest approaching exorbitant, considering that their overheads will be nothing like a main dealers are.


I did know a Jag owner who lived near to Cobham and he used to travel up to Jagfix at Armthorpe near Doncaster to get work done because the labour rate made it worthwhile and the proprietor Chris has got such a good name! Perhaps a tad extreme but if it was combined with a short holiday in the Yorkshire Dales it could work for you??.


What about out towards Pompey down the A3 or Guldford area? I'm almost sure that there are a couple of Indys out that way and seem to remember someone on one of the other forums making a bit of a day of it down there, dropping the car and having lunch overlooking the Solent.


Final thing is that Gordon Lamb at Chesterfield near me, on their website http://www.gordonlamb.co.uk/jaguar/ are advertising servicing from £129. You could perhaps contact them by email, get a firm quote and then try and use it to beat down some of the main dealers near to you- tell them that you are heading up that way for a holiday/ visit friends, if they try and argue about the fact that it's 180 miles away from you.


All food for thought, hope you get sorted out.

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Thanks for all your input people ... there's a fairly predictable thread that's developed ...


1 - Nobody wants to pay more for a service (or anything for that matter!) than they have to;

2 - Those who are competent should do as much as they can themselves;

3 - Main Dealer Servicing is not always what it's cracked up to be ... and a M/D stamp doesn't necessarily enhance vehicle value;

4 - There are some trustworthy Independents out there ... it's just a question of finding one;

5 - It's perhaps not the stamp but the invoice that counts - always providing that the works done properly.


So ... it's a big old can o' worms.  Each to his own.  Look out for No.1 as others will always be keen to take money off you.


Sounds much like the philosophy of life.

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Bezza ... your comments make good sense, thanks very much for those, and now that I've been and done the M/D service I can comment thus.


They didn't totally screw me - but you might think otherwise when I say that given the parts cost of their 'major' service figure of £299 came to the princely sum of £64.87 I'm now a convert to a good, reliable and preferably recommended Indy!  Essentially my car has had an Oil change, Oil filter, air filter and seemingly not much more.  No brake fluid change - but then I think I was aware of that and will now have that done elsewhere.  It was an experience from which I think I've learnt a lot.


M/D did of course list several 'recommendations' ... categorised under 'visual health check' ... which (using their labour/parts costs) racked up to £1,869.91!!  When in discussion with the Service Manager none of these items (eg. rear suspension spring protector isolators ... £205.92!!  Front discs and pads ... £311.23) were recognised by either him or me as being anywhere near critical, let alone a requirement.  He gave me the impression, bless him, that M/Ds were expected to show proof that they had spent my money wisely by pointing out and highlighting the slightest blemish - presumably to avoid any legal come-back should I feel inclined to instruct solicitors at a future date - but more so, my thinking is on the basis that some rich and stupid owner might take their comments at full value and say 'yes', do the work for me, if you say it needs doing then it must need doing!  I guess some people might be like that.


Anyway, I'm now convinced about the need to secure the services (no pun intended!) of a good and reliable Indy and I have one or two in mind to investigate.

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  • 8 months later...

Hi again everyone,

Remember this thread last year?  Apart from a new battery, a new set of boots and an increasingly annoying coolant leak, all has been well.  But this week the time came for the annual major and, of course, sorting out the coolant leak.  After some serious thought and much searching I seem to have found myself a truly reliable, knowledgeable, capable, efficient, inexpensive, qualified and, most of all, trustworthy Independent.

I logged earlier in this thread that last years major was with a Main Dealer who pointed out (on their 'visual health check list') that at worst a replacement water pump might be required, for which they quoted me a staggering £567.48 (excl VAT) which, granted, did include the required amount of fresh Jaguar coolant (say £43.55 + VAT).

Not only did my new trusty Indy carry out a textbook Service for just over half the price of the MD, but he also sourced and fitted a new water pump and associated drive belt for £155.74 (no VAT of course).  As by this time I'd been topping up with fresh coolant every 200 miles we agreed to preserve that so no new coolant was needed - I doubt that MD would even have suggested that!. 

Given that the MDs major Service quote was £299, the saving Ive made for a full Service plus new water pump (and belt) using my newly acquired trustworthy Indy amounts to a staggering £660.31!!

Ive found a new best friend!

Best,  Rowley

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