Normally in the car repair department we have a number of things that we will do before taking it to the dealer for repair, as this is the most expensive option.
Firstly, we will do it ourselves. So MrShoestring just replaced the front windscreen wipers using parts he bought at Halfords. Initially we tried really cheap, generic parts from Screwfix but these did not fit, so he got the money back and bought more expensive Bosch ones which did fit.
Secondly, we use the small, local garage who will often tell us that a repair is not needed now but will be in the future. So in December they said that we should watch out for the front passenger side tyre whilst it was in for the MOT and service. Many garages would have been tempted just to say we needed a new tyre but these people are really honest and are all about having you come back. So we will when we need the new tyre !
Last of all we will use a main dealer. We need a rear windscreen wiper but these are not essential so we have been putting it off as you can only get them from the dealer. However, the car has a fault and has been recalled to have it fixed. It will have to go in all day and the dealer will give us a courtesy car whilst the fault is fixed for free. When I made the appointment I asked about the rear wiper and they said that since the car will be in anyway they will fix it just for the cost of parts, £6.50 ! This is about ten times cheaper than we were quoted when we enquired originally at another dealer.
I was delighted that the car will be repaired and I'll have a working rear wiper at such little cost. So dealers are not always really expensive, it pays to shop around !