When should you service your car?

Last updated October 21, 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 car. Therefore, when a car should be serviced is dependent on the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Regularly servicing your car will keep it in good condition, which may save you money on costly repairs in the long run. It will also allow you to build a full service history, which is important when you come to sell your car as potential buyers may carry out a car service history check.

Once updated, you should keep your car’s service history book in a safe place – a missing car service history may affect its value or appear untrustworthy to potential buyers when you want to sell your car.

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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 on a new car, but this differs by manufacturer. A full service usually includes the below checks:

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

What are the different types of service?

There are two 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 conducted every 12 months or when the car reaches a specific number of miles depending on the manufacturers 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 brake fluid replacement and a battery test.

How much does a car service cost?

The cost of a service can be determined by the garage or dealership you chose to go to for your service. 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 will be more regulated as they will 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.