Avoiding the cost of a car service will eventually lead to more expensive repairs as time goes on. Therefore it’s crucial that you keep it serviced on a regular basis to keep the car running smoothly and safe to use on the road.
The most common task of any car service is of course to change the engine oil and filter. However, as you can imagine, there are plenty of other car parts that may need changing as well as any repairs required to pass an MOT.
Regarding the cost of a car service, it really comes down to the type of service you require (interim, full or major), the car you own (Ford Focus or Bentley Bentayga), the garage you use (dealer, independent or local) and your location.
What Does A Car Service Include?
In terms of pricing up the car service cost, it highly depends upon the type of service your car requires. Below are the three main types of services to choose from:
Interim Car Service
An interim car service is usually carried out after 6 months or 6,000 miles. It’s a relatively minor service that often includes an oil and filter change as well as a full inspection of all major vehicle components. Due to the fact that it’s very minor, an interim car service cost would be approximately £70 to £150.
Full Car Service
A full car service should be carried out on an annual basis or after 12,000 miles. According to the AA, it should consist of up to 80 checks on your car. In terms of what’s included, a full car service may consist of the following:
- Oil and filter change
- Fuel filter change (mostly for diesel vehicles)
- Air cleaner replacement
- Rotation of the wheels
- … and much more depending upon the car
As there is more included with a full service, the car service cost is slightly more expensive and usually ranges from £150 to £300+ depending upon the vehicle being serviced.
Major Car Service
A major car service is certainly one that many people worry about as it can cost a fortune depending upon the car you drive. They are often recommended after 24 months or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first). In terms of some of the aspects included within a major car service, they include:
- Spark plug or glow plug replacement
- Brake fluid replacement
- Transmission oil inspection (automatic vehicles)
- Testing of the battery
- Odour and allergy filter replacement
- Plus some extras
The cost of a major car service can vary the most as there are so many aspects to the service. As a broad approximation, we would say that a major car service can cost anywhere from £500 to £1,000+.
Additional Factors To Consider
The Car You Own
As you will already know, not all car services are the same because the way you service a Fiat 500 is going to be far different to a Range Rover SVR. Not only does the premium vehicle require premium components but it may also require far more effort and time to service.
Other differences include the fuel type as petrol and diesel cars may be similar to service but electric vehicles are far different. Although electric cars have fewer moving parts, they do however require extra checks on the all-important battery and the electric car charging performance.
Type of Garage
The choice of a local, independent specialist or main dealer garage will also play a big part in the car service cost. Although local garages are often cheaper, they may not have access to specialist car OBD2 scanners, which may limit the work they can do on your specific car. They also may not have experience with your particular car model because they work on so many different cars each and every week.
Independent garages that specialize in your car’s model (i.e. Volkswagen or Mercedes) is often the best choice for slightly older premium cars. They are usually cheaper than a main dealer and the mechanics often have a vast amount of experience, which may be required for older vehicles.
A main dealer garage will always be the more expensive way to service your car but it does come with its benefits. The main advantage is that it looks better on your car’s service history when compared to a local garage. Other advantages include the option of a courtesy car and most are easy to get to as they are often near the city centre.
As with most things, your location often makes prices fluctuate. For example, if you are located in central London, you are probably used to the premium prices that can be 10 to 20% more than other areas of the UK.
Ensuring that your car has a full-service history and is also serviced at the correct intervals is certainly worthwhile. Not only does it ensure the car runs perfectly but it also helps to keep its value when you come to sell it.
If you drive a premium car, we strongly recommend opting for an independent specialist or main dealer garage to keep it serviced. If you have gone down the cheap route of servicing your car, it will reflect the opinion of any potential buyers.