What should a car service cost and how often do you need your car serviced?
What do garages do in a car service? Let Us Explain…
When a car is designed, the manufacturer sets out a service schedule for the car, which they believe will keep it running reliably and safely.
Typically a manufacturer service schedule consists of 65-85 checks (see table of examples later) and 5 – 15 changes to your car. It will be slightly different for each car, depending on the engine, transmission, age and mileage. In order that the original manufacturer warranty is not invalidated, this service schedule must be adhered to, while the car is under warranty.
As well as the services being very similar, there is an enormous amount of overlap between any given service and the MOT test.
So for cars that are out of their original manufacturer warranty, garages design their own services, which broadly match the following five categories, that get more expensive with each step:
- Oil & Filter Change
- Basic or Interim Service
- Full Service
- Major Service
- Manufacturer Service
Oil & Filter Change
An oil and filter change is one of the most crucial parts a service and is one of the few things included in all services. It helps to ensure your car continues to run reliably and helps fuel efficiency.
Garages have a ‘duty of care’ to customers when they work on their car. So all reputable garages will complete a Visual Safety Inspection when they work on a car, which identify any obvious safety concerns with a car, even if it is just booked in for an oil and filter change. But they will not be able to complete a full brake check with this kind of service and that is, in MOT Angel’s view, a crucial check to have at least once a year.
Basic or Interim Service
Each type of service builds on the previous level. So a Basic service typically includes an oil and filter change and visual inspection.
But it usually adds a top up of all the key fluids in the engine bay (washer fluid, brake fluid, anti-freeze, steering fluid) and a check of up to 35 key components.
A good garage, performing this kind of service, will usually check the brakes and manufacturer guidelines so that they can recommend any additional work that your car may need. Sadly not all garages do though.
Our MOT service is unique to MOT Angel. It is designed to give you optimal servicing and value if you just want to visit the garage once a year, so need an MOT and Service at the same time.
We ensure that any garage we book you into gives you all the servicing you need without any duplication or waste, as you can see in our Service Pledge. For example, if the garage doesn’t check your car’s service schedule, we do. But we don’t ask the garage to do checks already covered by the MOT.
A full service will include the basic service work, and typically add an extra 15-30 checks of the car’s components compared to the basic service. But a number of the checks will already be covered by the MOT test (if you are having it done at the same time).
As with the basic service, if the car needs any repair work, or the manufacturer guidelines recommend extra maintenance work, this will be an additional cost.