Servicing: Toyota versus an independent garage

Struggling to decide whether to have your car serviced at a Toyota dealer or an independent garage? Let us help you decide with this handy flowchart.

Toyota servicing flowchart

If you’re still in two minds about where to have your car serviced, ask yourself a few questions.

Do you want to preserve the future value of your Toyota? Of course you do. According to one 2014 survey which quizzed 2000 people about buying a used car, only 37% felt that an independent dealer service history was as valuable as a main dealer service history. So, if you want to get the best possible price when you sell your car on in a few years it makes sense to have it serviced at a Toyota dealer.

It goes without saying that you want your car to be worked on by an expert. Every technician who works on your car at a main Toyota dealer is a graduate of the Toyota Academy. They know Toyota cars inside out and back to front. All Toyota technicians regularly attend further training to make sure they stay up to date with the latest models and developments.

Now, the mechanics at your local garage are very probably skilled professionals and will do a decent job. But they’re generalists rather than specialists, and will work on many different makes rather than concentrating on Toyota. They just won’t know the cars and how to best care for them as well as a Toyota expert.

That goes double if you own a Toyota hybrid. These are high-tech machines and a general mechanic could be unfamiliar with them, while a Toyota technician will work on hybrid cars all the time.

In your local Toyota dealership, our technicians have access to the latest diagnostic kit. They’ll get to the bottom of any problem quickly and efficiently. Will an independent garage be able to identify the cause of any problem so quickly?

Then there are the parts used in any servicing and repair work. Toyota dealers use official parts and nothing else, while independent garages may use pattern parts. Toyota parts are the real thing, designed to fit your Toyota perfectly and function just as well as the parts fitted to your car when it rolled down the production line. They come with a warranty lasting at least 12 months, too.

Now, the parts an independent garage uses may look much the same, but are they made to Toyota standards? Will they last as well as the genuine article? Why take the risk?

If expertise, quality, reliability and the future resale value of your car matter to you, then it makes sense to have your Toyota serviced at a Toyota dealer.

See also:
Why service your car at a Toyota dealership?
Genuine parts: Toyota through and through
Book a service online


  1. Do you want a poor clean of your car? Do you want the dealership offering to do work that the car doesn’t need (because they didn’t realise it had private plate and thought T were making Prius Plugins in 2004 – and they’ve done this twice!). Do you want to pay £900 for 3 services – which is a ridiculous price

    1. Hi Neil. We’re sorry to hear you’ve had a negative experience. Have you spoken to our customer relations team about these issues? They will be happy to investigate, and you can do this here: Thank you.

      1. Yes, I have talked to the service management and they mumbled apologies. Taking the car back to have it re-cleaned is a waste of 1/2 a day (its 20 miles away).

        We’ve now used the 3 relatively local Toyota dealerships (there isn’t one very close to us – they are all 20+ miles away) and don’t have confidence in any of them – they all seem to have the attitude that we are inconveniencing them by bringing our car in and treat us as idiots.

        For reference the same 3 services that Toyota want £900 for, would be £552 through an independent service chain – a HUGE difference! Maybe Toyota are using servicing to pay for their flashy buildings….

        I have looked at the “service plan” and it seems to offer no savings at all over the menu prices – just payment by installments, which in its turn ties us in to the dealership for the next 2 years…

      2. Hi Neil, thanks for getting back to us. Our customer relations team are based at our HQ, and are independent of the dealer network. They can investigate your issues and, if needed, take action to resolve such issues. We strongly recommend getting in touch with them so that an investigation can be raised. Once again, you can do this here: On the subject of the servicing costs – a Toyota service guarantees that the parts used are official Toyota parts, and also ensure the validity of your warranty. Again, these issues can be discussed with our customer relations team, who will be happy to advise. Thank you again.

  2. The cost of oil on my annual Prius service rose from £30 to £50 (+VAT) in 12 months.

  3. what I find most annoying is that my Auris hybrid has only done 26000 miles in 4 years but the dealership will not sign my Servicing booklet if I request that the sparking plugs are not replaced at a cost of £60+ at the 4 year service (60000miles). To my mind this is a total waste of money and is putting me off the intention to use a Toyota garage for servicing the car

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