Wrenches resting on a car engine

How Much Should a Car Service Cost and What’s Included?

Ensuring your car is regularly serviced and in a working condition is an incredibly important part of car ownership and gives you the peace of mind that your car is going to be running at its best. But what actually is a service, and how much is it going to cost you?

What is a Car Service?

A car service is the motoring equivalent of going to the doctor’s for a checkup. When you take your car into a garage for a service, the mechanic will look at the car’s condition and check key components such as the brakes, oil, filters and engine belt for any significant wear and tear.

How Much Does a Car Service Cost?

Prices of services will change up and down the country, from garage to garage, and from car to car so it’s well worth shopping around and seeing if you can find yourself the best deal locally. Large chains such as Kwik Fit or Halfords will likely charge a standard price across the country.

While it’s impossible to tell you an exact figure, the average cost of services across the UK will likely see an interim service costing in the region of £75-£125, while a full service will likely set you back at least £150. Of course this is just the cost of the service, and if there are any parts that need replacing these will incur additional costs. If you’re carrying out the service yourself, then you’ll only need to worry about the cost of parts (and you’re own time).

How Often Should I Service My Car?

Thankfully, most modern cars will let you know when the next service is due by popping up on the dashboard with a service reminder. All cars are different and will have their own specific service requirements, but the general rule of thumb is that you should get an interim service every six months, with a full service 

What’s Included in a Car Service?

Most garages will offer different levels of service, depending on the amount of work required and the amount of time or miles passed since the last service.

These can usually be split into the below categories:

  • Interim Service
  • Full Service
  • Major Service

An interim service will usually see a check of all fluid levels, including brake fluid, screen wash and coolant, along with checks to the engine’s general condition and tests of the batteries, lights and tyres. Interim services aren’t quite as exhaustive as a full service but still include around 50 individual checks and will take around 90 minutes to complete.They are designed to be carried out every six months, or approximately 6,000 miles, between a full annual service and should not replace the annual checks. 

A full service is designed to be carried out every 12 months, or 12,000 miles, and will include everything from an interim service but also includes oil and filter changes and more comprehensive checks of the engine, brakes, drive belts and your air conditioning systems. Air filters are also usually replaced with other fluids gaining a top up. 

A major service is the most extensive service available from garages, and is recommended to be carried out every two years. Everything that would be carried out on an annual service is included, but you will also see parts changed that are recommended for every two years, such as brake fluid and cabin filters.

How do I know if my car needs a full service?

Your calendar is often a good barometer of when you need to check your car in for a full service as the general rule is you should book one in every 12 months, or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. Other telltale signs include dashboard warning lights, which can include the helpful light that literally says “SERVICE” or just simply knowing your car and any unexpected changes in its performance. Odd sounds, such as grinding or rattling, can be a good warning sign, as can puddles, smoke, vibrations or a lack of power. Anything out of the ordinary should always be checked by a professional.

For more tips on keeping your car on the road, from everything to driving lessons to how to change your own brake fluid, make sure you visit our Car Care hub.
If your car has recently been put through its service and you’ve discovered a major issue that’s going to be far more hassle to fix than it’s worth, then maybe it’s time to look into selling your car as a salvage vehicle, or even scrap. If this is the case, then visit the Scrap Car Comparison online quote generator today to see just how much your car can be worth, and we’ll even come and collect it for free.

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