Personal Mechanic vs Regular Garage
What are the benefits of working with your Personal Mechanic?
You have someone who knows your vehicle and keeps a caring eye on it all the time. Every time you bring in your vehicle for inspection, maintenance, or repair work, it will be the same person. It is the second-best thing in car care: because the first best thing is to do everything yourself. Provided that you are capable and equipped to do so. Your personal mechanic knows your car almost as well as he knows his own car. Actually, I know more about some of my customer's vehicles than I know about my own ones. My vehicles don't give me that many troubles to get them known better...
A personal mechanic is genuinely and organically motivated to do the best job possible. Not just because he wants you to be satisfied and come back again, but also because it would be him who would have to deal with all the consequences of a bad job. If I cross-tread some bolt or break something, it won't be some other poor guy in some other shop who will have to deal with the consequences and explain to a customer that "it wasn't my fault; it was already broken when I started this job." Nope, it will be me - so I better get the job done right and make sure I won't create unnecessary complications for the next time this car or truck comes in.
Direct connection between customer and technician, no middlemen standing in the way of communication. This way, no information gets lost in the process of communicating your concerns and observations to a technician. You will have all your questions answered directly by someone who is the most knowledgeable about the work that got done on your vehicle. The best advice and the most precise and complete answers always come straight from a working professional, not some boy or girl in the reception who tries to answer your questions sometimes without ever seeing or touching your car. I don't know about you, but if I need a professional to do some work for me, I much prefer to talk to that professional face to face.
You will get more and better results for the money you pay. Essentially making it the most economical option in the long run. Remember, it is not the lowest cost job or product that is the cheapest in the long run - but the one of the best quality. What good is the cheap job if you have to do it again soon?
But maybe you think that a "personal mechanic" is someone who works from a dark and dirty shed by his house, while the big garages and dealerships all have nicely equipped, clean, and bright bays? Well, here is my workplace, and yes, it is what I have at home
And here is what my last working place at a major dealer looked like. You may even spot two of the same tool chests in these pictures :-). And oh, I had to share that bay below with another guy, his tool chest can not be seen behind the truck but takes about a half of whatever room this bay had for tool boxes, uggh! I'll let you make your own judgment on which shop looks better. And trust me, the one below is by far not the worst I've seen while working in dealerships. At least, this one was warm in the winter, reasonably well-lit, and kept relatively clean...