‘Why do dealership prices differ for the same services?’ [Newbie Guide]

Updated Dec 20, 2021 | Same topic: Beginner's Guide

You might be wondering why one dealership charges more than the other. 

As we always say, purchasing a car (whether brand-new or pre-loved) isn’t the end; it’s always the beginning. What commences once you have a car in the garage is having a constantly empty wallet, as your cash flow is inevitably diverted towards the vehicle’s upkeep. 

Cars in Ford dealership

You'll notice that dealerships carrying the same brand charge different amounts for the same service

It’s not unusual for car owners to shop around their brand’s dealership network, and they’ll notice that prices on periodic maintenance servicing (PMS) tend to differ between branches carrying the same brand. For example, one outlet could offer a particular set of services for a given PMS interval at a certain amount, while another might propose the same item list with half (or double) the price tag. 

This will lead to car owners inevitably exchanging notes as to which dealerships carry the best services without breaking the bank. But why do they have varied pricing in the first place if they’re all display the same logo outside?


Expenses that a dealership incurs in taking delivery of parts will logically be passed on to the customer

One factor is location. Dealerships that are within closer reach of ports where parts are shipped through will logically incur lower expenses to have those components delivered to them, as opposed to branches that are farther away. This is one reason why some car buyers in other regions favor buying their units in the country’s capital and have them shipped, instead of buying directly from the dealers within their area.  

There are also details specific to each branch that have to be taken into consideration. A physically sprawling dealership could be paying more in monthly leases than a smaller one, and this applies to real estate and business taxes as well. There’s also the payroll to consider, depending on the size of the staff a dealer employs, apart from the usual overhead costs such as electricity and internet.  

Kia service bay

You can swap notes with a fellow car owner as to which dealerships offer affordable services

The beauty of a free market is that you’re not restricted to the dealership that sold you the car where maintenance is concerned, especially if that branch has rather high PMS prices. You’re free to ask other branches that service your vehicle brand, or better yet, talk to other owners with the same model as yours so that they can share their tips and experiences.      

Find more tips for beginner car owners at Philkotse.com.

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being Philkotse.com’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kapatilya

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