When should you service your car?

Last updated July 29, 2021

To ensure your car is running well it is advisable to conduct regular servicing. As a standard rule, a car should be serviced every 12 months or when the vehicle has done a certain number of miles, which varies depending on the make and model. Therefore, when a car should be serviced is dependent on the manufacturer’s guidelines. Regularly servicing will ensure your car remains in good condition, which may save you money on costly repairs in the long run.

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What is included in a full service?

A full service is usually conducted on a yearly basis, but can also be required if you exceed a certain number of miles. Usually, you don’t need to have a full service for the first two years of ownership with a new car, but this differs by manufacturer. A full service usually includes checks on the following:

  • Engine oil and oil filter
  • Lights, tyres, bodywork and exhaust
  • Brakes and steering
  • Fluid and coolant levels
  • Suspension
  • Car battery

What are the different types of service?

There are three different types of service:

  • Interim car services are recommended every 6 months or 6,000 miles. As with a full service, this is dependent on what comes first.
  • Full car services are generally conducted every 12 months or when the car reaches a specific number of miles, depending on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Major car services may be recommended for a vehicle after 24 months or 24,000 miles. This has all the same checks as a full service, with some additional checks such as testing the brake fluid and battery.

How much does a car service cost?

The cost of a service is determined by the garage or dealership. If you have bought a car direct from a manufacturer or dealership, you may have a service and MOT package included, but this is something you will need to check in the documents you received when you purchased the car.

Prices at local garages will vary, and some may charge less than the approved manufacturer dealerships or nationwide stores. However, if you choose nationwide servicing centre, prices could be more consistent as they may have a set price list. There are several factors that are considered when pricing a service for a vehicle, such as the age, make and model of the car.

Is a service different to an MOT?

A service differs from an MOT as an MOT is a legal requirement for any car over 3 years old, whereas a service is not. From this point, it is an annual test to check on the safety of your car and ensure it is road worthy. As it is a legal requirement, you will not be able to drive your car without a valid MOT certificate. You can check the status of your MOT using our easy-to-use online tool.