A new law in Jersey requires car dealers to inform new car buyers that they have a right to have their vehicles serviced at independent repair shops.

That right has been enshrined in federal law since the mid-1970s. The new state law was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Jan. 9.

Sal Risalvato of the New Jersey Gasoline and C-store representing independent shops said some owners prefer their local mechanics because of convenience, or longstanding relationships. Also, he said, "it's no secret that generally repairs cost less at your neighborhood repair shop than the manufacturer's dealership."

"Too many people are misled, either intentionally or unintentionally, to believe that the (warranty) would be voided if they get repairs done at their favorite repair shop," Risalvato said. "Quite often people come in to their favorite mechanic and say, 'Hey, you know, you can still service this car, but I just bought a new car, so I'll see you in a couple of years when it's out of warranty.'

"And this happens often enough that even the repair shop owner is kind of hesitant to go to service the vehicle, because he does not want to cause problems for his customer."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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