Car Maintenance

When and Why To Service Your Car

Needing to get your car serviced has always been a controversial topic amongst car owners. It has passed its M.O.T, so everything is good and roadworthy, right? Well, sadly, that’s not always the case. An MOT is not quite as comprehensive as people think. They’re actually a bare minimum that show major problems when you actually have the test or a select few problems you may have in the future, rather than a service, which is different entirely. A car service spots potential problems before they happen, and that’s why you need them so vitally to keep your car running smoothly for as long as possible.

The problem, however, it that this just brings up for questions. When you should actually get a car service and the best reasons for you to do it personally aren’t always so black and white. You need to think of the costs involved in a car service against what it adds to your driving or your car, and the impact it has on your car’s future too.

What is included in a service?

A great place to start and to understand why you may need a regular service is by looking at what goes into one. If you don’t like to throw money at your mechanic and want to know exactly what is involved in the service or understand why they’re so vital, looking at the components individually is a great thing to do.

Most critically, they check the following:

  • Brake fluids
  • Engine oil and filter change
  • Checking lights/ tyres/exhaust/steering wheel
  • Hydraulic fluid/coolant levels
  • Cooling system check
  • Suspension check
  • Steering alignment
  • Car battery health check
  • Cambelt inspection

These are all essential to good car maintenance in the long and the short term, and they’re all easy to miss on an MOT alone. Not only is your safety at risk, but your bank account too.

When/How Often Should You Get a Car Service?

Now that we have an understanding of what makes up a  car service, we need to look at how often you should be getting your car serviced too, and when it’s most important. People and cars have different and unique needs after all, but there are some good guidelines to follow that will set up your driving habits for life.

The Minimum Recommendation

Generally, it is recommended that you service your car every 12 months or 12000 miles however, this does depend on your car. Some newer cars often have a service light that comes up reminding you to take them in even, so that’s the stock minimum. It’s also worth checking your manufactures handbook on how regular you should service your car as It does vary for different brands.

On top of all that, however, there are different types of services out there we need to look at too. Understanding when you should service your car actually massively depends on your car’s health, value, and the service you’re looking to receive. These are an interim service or a full service. An interim service is known as the half service advised to have this every 6 months or usually 6000 miles or, a full service every 12 months or 12000 miles; whichever one comes first. 

Contractual Services

Good driving habits aren’t the only factor involved in this either. It’s also a great time to think about any obligations you may have to get your car served too. In a lot of cases with business cars, business fleets (for defleeting), and car finance agreements, you have a legal, contractual or warranty dependent obligation to get your car served regularly anyway.

When a car is being treated as an asset like it is in these situations, one of the best ways to protect it is with commodities like a service. It ensures the utmost care is being taken with the car and keeps the value as high as possible, with room for drivers to damage them prior to their contractual lifespan. It keeps everyone in the agreement safer, so make sure you read the small print and don’t skip your servicing!

Why is it important to Service your Car?

Understanding when and how often you should service your car is one thing, but understanding why it’s so essential is still something we need to look at in more detail. There’s a reason it’s so important after all, and it’s not all just because it’s a good habit to get into. It’s actually something that will stay with your car for its whole life.

Car Value

For the vast majority of people, car value is essential to the circle of car life. To get a new car, you sell your old one and use the money to upgrade, downsize, or simply use elsewhere. It’s different for everyone but maximising your capital and getting the most money back for your car is always something that you need to remember, and regular servicing is a great way to boost your value.

Having a service history on your vehicle when selling your car can boost the value of it massively. Just by having a regular yearly and half-yearly check for the sake of that extra few quid, your car’s value increases dramatically. It even attracts more buyers to your car just by knowing that is it’s a secondhand car that has been well taken care of. That’s why your history matters so much.

Your Own Safety

Services don’t just boost the value of your motor but having a yearly service might just save your life. They are not only crucial to the actual vehicle but for you the driver and your passengers inside it. It is important to get these checks in where a service is able to identify if there is a potential problem that could eventually cause a breakdown in the future.

Other Common Questions about car servicing

To help put all of your questions about car servicing to bed, there are a couple more things that get asked a lot too. Before you make up your mind, make sure you’re armed with all of the facts you need to make the best and most informed decision you can. These are always useful to know.

How long does a service take?

An interim service usually takes about one hour to an hour and a half, and a full service can take up to 3 hours. It would be best to make arrangements before the day so you know which service you are booked in for and can give yourself a rough timescale. It’s not essential to know the information in that respect, but it can go a long way into making your day to day a lot easier and deal with some of the anxieties that come with any car maintenance.

Secondly, the time is also dependant on whether or not they find a problem during the service. The more work that needs doing, then the longer the servicing will take after all. Your mechanic will usually give you a call to discuss this before carrying out the work needed to repair the car and later collect it when the work is completed. You should always get an estimate before any work is done, so try not to worry too much about unexpected costs.

How Much Does a Service Cost?

Costs are usually a priority in most people’s minds, especially when it comes to running a car, so when the cost of a car service comes into play it can put people off. It is difficult to say how much a service costs as it depends on the different levels available and it is based on factors such as how old your car is. A usual full service on a vehicle can cost around £100-£120 but again this will vary on different providers. A note to remember that this cost does not include any repairs that the vehicle may have to have.


All in all, servicing your car is pretty much like getting a yearly check-up on your health. Good quality car service is not only essential for the maintaining and maximising the performance of your car but it actually can help towards the resale value of your vehicle, so it’s a win-win situation.

Yes, it’s an extra yearly cost, but in the long term and for the longevity of your car, it can make it all worth it in the long run, no matter what your reasons are.  If you want that new sturdy car feeling again, now is as good a time as ever, and if in doubt please speak to your mechanic or our experienced team here at CarExamer and we will be more than happy to help you discuss your car service with you. They’re almost as good an inspection after all!


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