Most car owners understand the importance of regular oil changes and to ensure you are getting the most for your money, it’s important that you understand the costs. Below we walk you through everything you need to know and the approximate oil change cost that you may be expected to pay at a garage.
What Does An Engine Oil & Filter Involve?
If you are wondering what actually happens during an oil change, it includes the following:
- Remove the sump plug
- Drain the old oil into a bucket
- Dispose of the old oil
- Remove and replace the filter
- Replace the sump plug washer
- Pour the new oil into the engine
- Reset the service light using an OBD2 scanner
If you are willing to change the oil yourself, we have written an in-depth guide on how to change your car’s oil. We perform many oil changes on a variety of cars and the only time-consuming part is waiting for the oil to drain as shown on our Instagram video below. The rest is pretty straightforward and very easy to do with limited experience.
Does The Filter Have To Be Changed?
Due to the fact that most oil filters cost very little, it’s always recommended to change them during an oil change. The filter is a crucial component that holds any dirt or debris and if it isn’t replaced, this dirt and debris can be passed onto the new oil. It will also not be able to filter the oil as well as it should because it will be full up as it wasn’t replaced.
How Much Does An Oil Change Cost?
Now that you can see what’s involved, you may be wondering about the cost of an oil change. On average, an oil change can cost between £80 to £150 at a local independent garage or £120 to £250 at a dealership. However, the oil change cost is highly dependent upon the vehicle that you drive. For example, some manufacturers may charge a premium (i.e. Bentley, Ferrari, etc) and some cars may use a higher quality engine oil.
If you were to perform the oil change yourself, the only cost is the oil, filter and sump plug washer, which can cost as little as £40 to £100 for everything that you require.
How Often Should You Change The Oil
The frequency to which you change your car’s oil is dependent upon a number of factors. These can include the type of oil your car uses (synthetic or conventional), where you drive (mostly motorway, city or urban) and of course how you drive (cruise control on the motorway or track days).
Most modern engines only require an oil change every 5,000 to 10,000 miles whereas older vehicles may require more regular changes. However, we would recommend checking your owner’s manual for the exact oil change intervals.
Changing your car’s oil is very easy to do and if you are happy to get your hands dirty, it’s worth doing it yourself to save some money. However, if you do perform the oil change yourself, ensure that you keep the receipt for the oil and filter you used. This will act as proof that an oil change was carried out as well as the oil that was used, which will be useful when you eventually come to sell the car because most buyers will be asking about it.
It’s also important to note that an oil and filter change isn’t a replacement for a full car service. Other components and fluids will also need to be changed and this can be found in your car’s owner’s manual.