Cars are an essential part of our life. People love their cars. For some cars are a reflection of their persona, for some of us they are our extension, for others, they may be a symbol of status. So, each time your car has some kind of issue, you tend to rush to your dealership for a solution. And its obvious dealerships are most trusted due to their deep knowledge about car design, systems, safety and their technician training regarding maintenance of their cars.
But are dealership always the best option?
Windshield replacement is such a situation where you can look for better alternatives than your dealership. You may think that if you have the option to go for the dealership why you should even consider other sources? Can someone give better service than the authorized dealership?
Let me explain how a specialized windshield replacement and repair company proves to be better than a dealership.
1. High pricing: Dealerships have a large infrastructure setup. They need to fulfill all kinds of demands for car maintenance. They perform regular service. Repair any kind of glitch with the mechanical parts like engine parts, clutch, brakes, etc. They have specialized paint shops for denting and painting, that may be required in case of an accident. They can perform performance checks for your cars onboard systems. Overall, dealerships have everything your car may require to replace.
But it needs lots of capital investment, which can’t be recovered easily. Also, dealerships need to pay a royalty to the car brand for use of their resources and brand name. Hence, the price for parts and labor costs are always higher in Authorized dealership than any specialized workshop which does a specific job like a car glass replacement company for the windshield.
2. Overpricing: Someone may argue that authorized dealership provides original brand products/Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) parts, so they are costly. But, do you know the same manufacturers that are providing OEM parts to car companies and through them to dealerships also provide their parts to other workshops. These parts are identical to their OEM parts in specifications and quality but don’t bear the car manufacturers’ logo. Which is a property of car brand and can’t be used without authorization. That’s why dealerships pay a royalty to car brands. These parts are known as Original equipment equivalents (OEE) and have the same specifications and quality standards, but not the brand logo.
To give you a clear idea let me give you an example of a Mercedes-Benz E Class windshield.
Saint Gobain Sekurit (SGS) provides OEM Windshield Part No. A 212 670 40 00 28 for Mercedes E-Class. This windscreen has a logo at the bottom which shows a Mercedes-Benz logo, manufacturers’ names i.e. Saint Gobain Sekurit and other certification-related information. This OEM part is as per Mercedes-Benz specification for Mercedes E Class.
The same SGS provides its OEE windscreen but it only contains Saint Gobain Sekurit logo and certification specifications and not Mercedes-Benz logo. This windscreen is 20% – 30% cheaper than its OEM equivalent but is identical in quality standard.
Most of the workshop and car glass dealers supply OEE windshields at a lower cost compared to the OEM windshields. But still, if you want, workshops can supply OEM windshields after buying them from Authorized dealerships as they are the only source for OEM parts. Under legal agreements of part supply, manufacturers are barred from supplying OEM parts to workshops directly due to IPR Laws, Trademark laws and Royalty issues. That’s the main reason why OEM parts are overpriced compared to OEE parts of the same manufacturers.
3. Choice of brands: As I have cleared, dealerships only use OEM parts, that are supplied to them through their supply chain of car brands. This is part of their agreement with the car manufacturers that dealership will only source parts from them. It also brings uniformity of products and services in the dealership service chain. But for consumers, it limits the choice of brand. In the case of a specialized workshop in general and car glass company in particular, customers have many other options. You can choose between the OEM part, OEE part and even other aftermarket parts of different car glass manufacturers.
Let’s consider another example of how your choice of the brand can affect your windshield replacement cost, which is possible outside the dealership.
Consider an Audi A6 owner wants a windshield replacement, Let’s check the options he has and their prices.
- An OEM Part 4G0 845 099 F NVB that cost about ₹ 46500.
- An OEE Saint Gobain Sekurit windscreen that cost ₹ 29836.
- Aftermarket windshield that cost between ₹ 12500 – ₹ 18500.
Let’s consider the difference. The OEM part no. 4G0 845 099 F NVB has an Audi logo and is the original Audi part as per factory specifications. On the other hand, the OEE Saint Gobain Sekurit windshield doesn’t have the Audi logo but is identical to its OEM part. The third option, Aftermarket windshield is supplied by third party glass manufacturers which don’t supply this part to Audi but maybe OEM supplier for other Audi models like Fuyao, Pilkington, Guardian, AGC Automotive, XYG, etc. Aftermarket manufacturers don’t have exact specifications as OEM manufacturers and hence these windshields may lack some features like tint, heating element, antenna or other accessories. But, they follow industry safety standards and these can be a cheap alternative to OEM parts.
So, you see if you opt for a specialized car glass replacement company, you have a choice as a customer to select a product as per your requirement and your pocket. The dealership doesn’t provide these options to the customer.
Note: Auto Glass Masters only recommend to use OEM parts or their OEE equivalent for the same experience and features.
4. Change Child parts and Accessories: If your car windshield is damaged and needs replacement it doesn’t mean that all parts attached to it need replacement. Specially moldings and sensors can be reused. But dealerships don’t reuse car glass child parts like moldings, trims, dams, and sensors. All of these are not compulsory to change with each windshield replacement. Some can be reused as their self-life is not over. Dealerships have no policy to reuse any of the child parts. Forget the moldings which are not so costly, every time you have a windshield replacement at a dealership, they change your car’s rain sensor. Even though it was working perfectly. These sensors are costly and can cost somewhere between ₹ 5000 – ₹ 20000 depending upon the brand of car you own. You can save this money if you opt for a specialized car glass replacement company.
5. Depreciation under Insurance: You may think that you have insurance cover and if you choose a dealership, your insurance company will settle the price issue. You are right to the extent that the insurance company will pay its parts as per the dealership invoice. Even insurance companies don’t argue with dealerships regarding their high costs, as they got most of their insurance business from these dealerships in the form of polices to new owners and renewal for current policies.
But there is a catch, most insurance companies offer comprehensive covers for the first 2 years with a maximum cap of 2 per year. And the number of insurance claims in these years is very low unless you have a major accident.
From 3rd year onwards you don’t have a comprehensive cover. Now even under insurance claims, the Insurance company will pay in full for car windshield and labor. But consumables like molding, sensors, trim, dam, etc dealerships don’t reuse. So, you need to pay depreciation cost for these parts for a non-comprehensive cover which is 50% of the invoice value and is pretty much high in the dealership. Also, you need to pay the depreciation cost on the windshield adhesive which is also 50%.
So, even under insurance, you need to pay out much more compared to a specialized car glass company which only changes those parts, which are either damaged or at the end of their self-life.
6. Turn Around Time (TAT): Dealerships have large turn-around-time (TAT). It’s because of their standard operating procedure and variety of work performed by the dealership. They take up your car, create a job card, and then perform the job as per the sequence. It can take about 2 days to perform a windshield replacement in a dealership. But in case you select a car glass replacement company, it can perform the windshield replacement in about 60 minutes. Considering the minimum drive-away time of 60 minutes for a new windshield replacement, you can take your car to work after 2 hours.
For more details about TAT, check here should you drive right after the windshield replacement.
7. Windshield Crack Repair: Windshield may have minor crack due to stone or bud. It doesn’t necessarily require a new windshield. But dealerships don’t perform windshield crack repairs. If your windshield is not smashed and only has a small crack about the size of a rupee coin, you can call a windshield repair company. Check out our windshield repair guide for more details on types of repairable cracks. Windshield crack repair will not only save your cost but also your time. The crack repair can be performed in about 30 minutes. Auto Glass Masters follows repair first policy and belives in repairing windscreen until there is no other option than replacing it.
8. Specialized Tools: Even though dealerships have a large infrastructure and technical equipment for car service and maintenance, they are more focused on mechanical and electrical work. They lack specialized hand-held tools for windshield repair and replacement. After visiting a workshop at an authorized dealership, you may notice that most of them don’t have lifters to pick up the windshield. They do it with their bare hands. They don’t have a windshield crack repair kit, as they don’t follow a repair concept.
9. Doorstep service: Dealership doesn’t provide doorstep service for windshield replacement like Auto Glass Masters. But that doesn’t mean they don’t care about their customers. The dealership offers a pickup and drop facility, which of course is also offered by all car glass companies. The reason why dealerships don’t offer doorstep service is that they don’t have specialized tools for the doorstep service. Also, due to a large number of daily jobs, it is not financially viable for them to send technicians to the customer’s locations.
Now, let’s see how Auto Glass Masters proves to be a better choice than a dealership. If you don’t have time to drive to the workshop, we can offer home service. Is home service better than pick and drop offered by the dealership? hell Yes. Your car doesn’t need to go to a distance for the replacement. It saves fuel.
Also, let’s say you don’t have a spare car. You have a meeting in the town after lunch, how we can help? Call us at the place of your meeting. Our service van will come to your place of choice with all the equipment. We will replace your car windshield at your driveway or parking lot in an hour. You can finish your meeting and can drive back to your office with your own car. Your windshield will be replaced at your doorstep while you are working with the same quality work as done by any dealership.
10. Written Warranty: Auto Glass Masters offer a written warranty for all products and services we provide to our customers. On the other hand, dealerships don’t offer any warranty on the car windshield. Our warranty includes all types of manufacturing defects and workmanship defects. In case you have any issue regarding glass visibility or there is any kind of water seepage, you can visit any of our centers and get it replaced free of cost.
Get in touch with our customer care executive at +91-9278783578 for all queries related to windshield brands, repair, and replacement. Auto Glass Masters stocks car glasses from all reputed car glass manufacturers and can supply OEM as well as OEE parts for all car makes and models. Our technicians have more than 8 years of experience in car glass repair and replacement. You can also visit your nearest store for more details.