How Much Is a Car Service

How Much Is A Car Service

Getting your car regularly serviced is essential to keep it running safely and efficiently. But how much should you expect to pay for a car service in the UK? The cost can vary significantly based

on your vehicle’s make and model, garage location, service type, and parts required. This guide will explore average car service costs, key factors that impact pricing, and tips for saving money on your next service.

What is a Car Service?

A car service is preventative maintenance to check and replace items at recommended intervals. Services include tasks like:

  • Oil and filter changes
  • Checking and topping up fluid levels
  • Replacing air filters
  • Checking brakes, suspension, steering
  • Checking for leaks or damage
  • Testing battery and electrics
  • Reset service lights

Manufacturers provide a service schedule outlining the recommended intervals based on distance driven or time elapsed. Interim and full services alternate, with full services being more extensive. Failing to keep up with servicing risks invalidating your warranty and can lead to breakdowns.

Average Cost of a Car Service in the UK

Car service costs can range hugely. A basic interim service may cost £120-£180 while a full service could be £200-£500. The Association of British Insurers estimates the average cost of a standard car service in the UK is around £165.

For a typical family petrol car, expect to pay:

  • Interim service – £120-£180
  • Full service – £180-£350
  • Major service – £350-£500

However, prices ultimately depend on factors like car make, model, age and mileage.

Interim service£120-£180
Full service£180-£350
Major service£350-£500
average cost of a car service in uk

Key Factors Affecting Car Service Costs

Prices for the same service type can easily vary by £100 between garages. Here are key reasons for cost differences:

Key Factors Affecting Car Service Costs
Key Factors Affecting Car Service Costs

Service Type

  • Interim vs full service – Full services cover more checklist tasks and take longer, costing more in labour and parts.
  • Manufacturer vs independent – Main dealerships often charge 50-100% more than independents for the same services.
  • Service history – Evidence of previous timely servicing can qualify you for lower service prices at some garages.

Vehicle Details

  • Make and model – More premium brands have higher service costs. Common models tend to be cheaper.
  • Age and mileage – Older, high mileage cars require more extensive checks and replacements, meaning pricier services.
  • Engine size – The larger the engine capacity, the more expensive oils and parts generally are.
  • Parts costs – Luxury models use pricier branded parts rather than pattern parts which cost less.

Garage Details

  • Location – Inner city and airport garages tend to charge more for rent and overheads.
  • Reputation – Renowned specialists or dealerships command higher prices based on perceived expertise.
  • Discounts – Loyalty schemes, student discounts, over-60s offers can reduce service bills.
  • Additional charges – Some garages have extra fees for waste disposal or courtesy cars.

How to Save Money on Car Servicing

While regular car servicing is a must, here are some handy tips for reducing the costs:

Shop Around

  • Get quotes from several local garages – prices can vary hugely even for the same work.
  • Avoid main dealerships if possible and try independent specialists.
  • Check comparison sites like BookMyGarage for discounted service deals.

Buy Your Own Parts

  • Ask if you can supply your own parts like oil and filters. This avoids garage markups.
  • Ensure you get the right specifications required for your make and model.

Consider Membership Servicing Schemes

  • Joining schemes like AA Cars & Repairs can secure discounts on parts, labour and MOTs.
  • Look for schemes that allow service points to roll over if you miss the deadline.

Take Advantage of Free Inspections

  • Many garages offer free health checks which highlight what work is urgently needed.
  • This avoids paying for unnecessary servicing if major issues aren’t found.

Extend Service Intervals Cautiously

  • You can often safely extend annual services to every 18 months/20k miles if driving fewer miles.
  • But don’t void warranties – check with your dealer first before delaying.

Learn DIY Skills

  • Self-servicing isn’t for everyone, but learning to change oil and filters yourself will save on labour costs.

Improving the Cost Efficiency of Servicing

Aside from shopping around, you can optimize servicing costs by:

  • Following manufacturer service schedules to catch issues early before major repairs are needed.
  • Choosing a reputable garage with well-trained technicians who diagnose issues accurately the first time.
  • Using high quality oils, filters and parts that last longer between changes.
  • Driving smoothly and avoiding excessive idling to extend the life of components between services.
  • Addressing even minor faults promptly before they worsen or cause secondary damage.
  • Keeping accurate service records to show prospective buyers. This helps maximize resale value.

Car servicing certainly isn’t cheap. But punctual maintenance saves far greater costs down the road through prevented breakdowns and extensive repairs. By choosing garages wisely and utilizing cost-saving tips, you can keep your car in top shape without breaking the bank.

Improving The Cost Efficiency Of Servicing
Improving the Cost Efficiency of Servicing

Main Car Servicing Cost Considerations

To recap, main factors influencing car service costs include:

  • Service type (interim, full, major)
  • Your car’s make, model, age and mileage
  • Garage location and reputation
  • Discounts available
  • Additional labour or parts needed
  • Quality of parts fitted

Getting quotes from several garages and asking the right questions will help you anticipate realistic costs. Avoid skimping on vital servicing, as this increases future breakdown risks which ultimately cost far more. Your goal is maximizing cost-efficiency through regular maintenance at a reputable garage charging reasonable rates.

With some savvy research and cost comparisons, you can keep your car running safely and reliably without overpaying on servicing. Keep the tips in this guide in mind, and you’ll soon develop a good understanding of what constitutes fair car service pricing.


How much does a basic interim service cost?

For a typical family petrol car, an interim service costs £120-£180 at an independent garage. At a main dealer, it’s usually £160-£220.

What’s included in a full service?

A full service is more extensive, costing £180-£350. It includes all items in an interim service plus full inspection, potential fluid top-ups, and replacement of filters.

How can I save money on servicing?

Shop around for quotes, go to independents instead of main dealers, supply your own parts, join a servicing scheme, get free checks, extend intervals cautiously, and learn basic DIY skills.

Why are main dealers more expensive?

Main dealerships charge higher labour rates and use more expensive OEM parts, so typically charge 50-100% more than independent garages for the same work.

What affects servicing costs?

The main factors are service type, make/model of car, age and mileage, engine size, garage location and reputation, any discounts available, and additional work required.

Should I follow manufacturer service schedules?

Yes, you should follow the recommended service intervals to stay valid for warranties and prevent avoidable breakdowns or extensive repairs later on.

When’s the best time to service my car?

Book well in advance in slower months like February to take advantage of offers and discounts. Avoid peak times like September when garages are very busy.

How can I keep costs down between services?

Drive smoothly, avoid excessive idling, address minor faults immediately, use quality oils and parts, and learn to spot early signs of issues like leaks to prevent accelerated wear.


How much you’ll pay for car servicing in the UK depends on various factors like your location, garage, vehicle type and service needed. While prices at franchised dealerships are highest, independent garages offer greater value.

Savvy motorists who shop around and utilize cost-saving tips can get quality servicing at competitive rates. Investing in regular professional servicing delivers convenience, safety and long-term financial benefits.

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