How much is a car service?

How much is a car service in the UK? With the cost of living where it’s at, you probably want to know exactly how much you need to set aside — and how to get the best deal.

In this article, we’ll talk you through the typical price of a car service, including interim, full and major services for different-sized cars. We’ll also guide you through some steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your money. 

Let’s get started.

How much does a car service cost in the UK? 

A common figure hanging around the internet is around an average of £125 for a car service, but in reality, there’s a lot of variation around this figure. 

That’s because your car’s size, make, history and condition all come into play, as does the location you choose to get your car serviced. There are also different levels of service on offer for your car — ranging from a lighter interim service, all the way to full major service. 

In reality, the cost of getting your car serviced in the UK can fall anywhere in the range of less than £100 to more than £400.

Why should you get your car serviced? 

With the price of getting your car serviced in the order of hundreds of pounds, it can be something that many car owners are tempted to skip. But getting your car regularly serviced comes with a whole host of benefits (and might actually save you money in the long term, too). 

Here’s what it involves:

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During a car service, a qualified mechanic will check, top up, and fix a whole range of aspects of your car — helping to ensure the safe and smooth running of your car.

Getting your car regularly serviced will help improve the performance and efficiency of your car, which will extend its life and help you get more miles per gallon.

Having a record of regular services over the lifetime of your vehicle increases its resale value

If your vehicle is still fairly new you might find getting your car regularly serviced is required by the manufacturer to keep it under warranty. You can check your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule if you’re unsure. 

Keeping your car in good working order (getting it serviced regularly helps ensure this) is typically one of the conditions for motor insurance

If not attended to, small issues can turn into much bigger problems down the line. After all, the cost of replacing a radiator, a water pump, or a cylinder head gasket is more than a typical car service. 

For these reasons, it’s generally advised that you get your car serviced regularly, although it’s not a requirement under UK law (like getting an MOT).

What’s the difference between a car service and an MOT? 

Although often offered at the same time, a car service and an MOT are not the same thing. 

Remember, having a valid MOT is mandatory. It’s an annual test to check your car is safe and roadworthy. It’s illegal to drive in the UK without a valid MOT and you could be fined up to £1,000 for doing so. 

A car service, on the other hand, is not a legal requirement — but it does help keep your car in tip-top condition, which means your car will be more likely to sail through when MOT day arrives! 

What is a full service on a car? 

A full service on a car is recommended every 12 months, or 12,000 miles (whichever one comes first). 

A mechanic will check all vital parts of your car during a full service, including safety and mechanical devices, engine oil, air and oil filters. If you have an electric or hybrid car, then the charging port, connections and cables should be checked, too. 

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Different providers may differ slightly on what a full service includes, so it’s always worth checking exactly what you’ll get.

What is an interim service on a car?

An interim service is carried out every six months or 6,000 miles. Although this type of service includes many key checks (such as those concerning the engine and fluid levels), it’s not as comprehensive as a full service check and is therefore not a replacement. 

How much is a full service on a car?

The size of your car plays a big role in how much you’ll pay for a full service. 

For example, figures from the RAC specify that a full service on a smaller-sized car could cost you £170 to £210, whereas a full service for a medium-sized car typically falls in the range of £210 to £300. A full service on a large-sized car tends to cost £400 or more. 

But there are other factors that come into play when it comes to the cost of a full service, including your vehicle’s make, model, age, mileage, and even where you live.

How much is an interim service on a car?

Unsurprisingly, an interim car service is cheaper than a full car service, usually about a third of the price.

How long does a car service take?

The exact time it takes to service a car depends on a range of factors, so it’s always best to check with the garage doing the work. 

But as a rough guide: you can expect an interim service to take around 1.5 hours whereas a full service will take longer, often more than three hours. 

Are any other types of car services available? 

Interim and full car services tend to be the most talked about types of service in the world of car maintenance. But there are other types available. 

For example: 

A manufacturer service: This type of specialist service is used as part of the maintenance for new cars still under warranty. It’s also used for higher specification cars, which benefit from specialist expertise and parts. 

A major service: This is a sort of “beefed up’ major service, designed for cars that may have not been looked at in a while or once every two years (24,000 miles).

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Bear in mind that the average cost of a major service is substantially more than a full or interim service. 

How often should I get my car serviced? 

For those drivers clocking up an average number of miles, then a car service of once every 12 months is usually recommended. 

But if your car tends to cover a lot of miles, (for example, 15,000 or more per year), then it’s recommended that you have your car serviced more regularly, for example, once every six months. 

How do I get the best deal on a car service? 

While getting your car regularly serviced is certainly a good long-term investment, it can also be pricey. 

Here are our top tips to make sure you’re getting the best deal: 

Shop around: Make sure you get quotes from different providers. 

Make sure you’re comparing like with like: For example, a provider using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts is going to be more expensive than one that uses generic parts. 

Keep track of when your next service is due and your mileage: Rather than letting your vehicle’s condition lapse and then needing to pay for more costly repairs, stay on top of your serving schedule and do it on time.

Because getting your car serviced isn’t a legal requirement, there’s no public database to check when a car was last serviced (as there is with MOTs) — so it pays to be organised!

In summary: How much is a car service?

A car service can cost anything from below £100 to over £400. It all depends on what level of service you’re looking for, your vehicle, and where you choose to have the service carried out. 

Whatever price you decide to pay, putting your car in for a regular service is a good long-term investment — helping improve its reliability, safety and efficiency. A vehicle with an up-to-date service history is more likely to attract a higher offer than one with a spotty service record should you decide to sell your vehicle. 

Although getting your car serviced and having its MOT are two separate things, investing in a regular service now is very likely to pass your car come MOT day. Which means less stress for you (and potentially) your wallet in the long run.

At Howden, we’ve got plenty of motor insurance extras to help look after you and your vehicle should the worst happen — from breakdown cover, windscreen cover, key cover and even cover for using the wrong fuel. Get in touch to speak with one of our experts to find out how we can help you today.

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