We are asked this question quite a bit, so we decided to write down our OPINION on this subject. Firstly, a dealer is a great option if you do not have a solid "independent specialist" within reasonable distance of convenience. The dealer offers all high quality OEM (original equipment parts). Their skill set is generally good. There is however a big curve of skill set at a dealership. There are "just started today" low dollar apprentices all the way to high caliber/paid diagnosticians or Masters of their trade. When you take a car in for routine maintenance at a dealership, the odds that your vehicle lands in the "masters" or high cost bay is usually pretty slim. They are working on more complex work. Everyone needs to start somewhere, but at a solid independent specialist, the owner is usually one of those "masters" that went out on their own, so if they are training a newbie, you still have the "masters" eyes on your vehicle when even the simplest of tasks (oil changes, etc.) are performed. They are usually using high caliber OEM parts as well. Ultimately, in today's world of information at your fingertips where you can price many things side by side, service and skill set is the hidden price factor. Would you now still be willing to pay the same price for the same service, one performed by a master, the other by a possible apprentice on his/her first week on the job without the OWNERS name on the line? Choose what makes you comfortable.