Got a phone call this week saying my Vectra was due its third service (I've got a 2.0T) and when I asked how much I was told.....£169. Bit steep I thought.
A while back I sought advice on here about how often I should get my car serviced as it's set up on Eco-Service-Flex (in spite of the dealer saying it wasn't and was set up for yearly servicing), and I only do about 5K miles a year ATM, and I was advised to settle for an oil change or an 'interim/mini service' between 2-yearly services. So the idea of paying £169 after shelling out £230 a year ago didn't appeal to me.
On the way to work this morning the dreaded 'spanner' light appeared briefly and went out. Car didn't go into 'limp mode', and performed as normal thereafter (gave it some remapped beans just to check!). Checked in the manual and it said if that lights appears briefly and disappears then it's of no consequence.
So I decided to kill two birds with one stone and drop in to a smaller VX dealer near to where I was working to ask what they charged for a 3rd service, and to ask about the 'spanner' light.
Initially they told me £149 for a third service, then after I groaned at that, they said "Is it under warranty?" and I said "not any more" they said "In that case we can do a silver service for £89 (including VAT)".
I said I wanted 5w-30 fully synthetic oil and they said that wouldn't add to the cost, and when I mentioned about the 'spanner' light they agreed to throw in a 'Tech 2' to check for any fault codes.
Result...no fault codes, oil changed, visual checks all done, aircon 'debugged', car serviced there and then, no need to book it in for a date several days away,and an extra two-way journey, and free coffee.
The staff were pleasant, helpful, not at all like the main dealers, who never say anything about cheaper servicing options for cars over 3 years old, and the place is not like a madhouse.
I had heard good things about this small VX dealer and I'm glad I popped in there. They put in 6 litres of fully synthetic in during the service and left the remaining unused 4 litres from the second 5-litre container in the boot for me. Big is not always beautiful, or best, obviously.
And I didn't have to remind them to stamp the service book afterwards....like I had to do at the main dealers. Looks like the main dealer in question has lost another customer.