A car service is an important health check which can ensure that your vehicle is running safely and smoothly. 

With regular servicing, you can improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, handling and even end up saving money in the long run.

Car servicing can reassure you that crucial safety components such as your car's brakes and tyres are performing as they should, so it is essential that you book one when needed. 

To help you prepare for and get the most out of an upcoming car service, you need to know the answers to a few key questions.

Read on and learn the six questions you should always ask a garage when booking a car service. 

 

What Does a Car Service Include?

A car service is not the same as an MOT.

It is not designed to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, rather it is an optional service which can make a real difference to your vehicle’s performance and health. 

Broadly speaking, there are two levels of service provided by a main dealership: major and minor. 

A minor service will usually include an oil change, plus a new oil filter. The screen wash may be topped up, and the tyres may be checked. Your wheel alignment may also be checked. Your car’s user manual can tell you exactly what each service will include. 

A major service includes these aforementioned items, as well as a new air filter, new brake fluid and a replacement pollen filter

All new cars come with a service schedule in the form of a booklet, which is usually found in the user manual in the glovebox. You will find a series of mileages or time spans when the car will need to be serviced in here. 

Following a car service, your chosen garage will stamp or sign the service schedule for you.

 

BookMyGarage Car Servicing

When it comes to car servicing at BookMyGarage, you can book a full, interim or major service

A full service is the most popular type of car service in the UK, including more checks than an interim service, but less than a major service. 

A BookMyGarage full service includes 40 useful checks of your car’s components, including the following:

  • External lights
  • Horn
  • Air filter
  • Oil filter
  • Radiator
  • Coolant hoses
  • Fuel system
  • Brake pads
  • Brake discs
  • Tyres
  • Windscreen
  • Windscreen wipers

A full service checks a number of other components too, looking for leaks and signs of wear and tear. 

Following a full car service, your chosen garage will fill out a printout of the BookMyGarage service schedule. 

 

How Much Will a Car Service Cost?

The cost of a car service will depend on the size of your car engine and the rates which the garage you book with charges.

Interim is the cheapest form of service you can book, and major is the most expensive

Once you know the service your car will need, ask the garage how much this car service will cost. 

Make sure that you obtain a quote, rather than an estimate - and confirm that the garage has included VAT in the price. 

To get the best deal on your car service, you can enter your reg and postcode into BookMyGarage to compare instant prices and availability on garages near you. 

 

Don't know your vehicle registration?
Full Service

 

What Should I Bring With Me To a Car Service?

Whilst you technically don’t need to bring anything with you to a car service, you should take your service book with you if you want to have it stamped to ensure you have a complete service history. 

This can also help the technicians to see when you last had certain components replaced, like the cabin filters, spark plugs and brake fluid. 

You should also make sure that you empty your boot of luggage and heavy objects in the event your mechanic needs to inspect the condition of your spare tyre, which is usually found under the boot.

You should bring your locking nuts with you, so that the mechanic can remove your wheels and inspect your steering and suspension systems.

Locking nuts are usually found in the glove compartment, under your spare wheel or in the boot.

 

What If My Service Book Is Missing or Isn't Stamped?

Without a properly stamped service book, you can’t be certain that a vehicle has been regularly serviced. 

You can contact the seller of the vehicle to see if they still have the records, contact the garage(s) you used for your car service, or contact the DVLA in order to recover your service history records. 

As some drivers only book a car service when something goes wrong or work is needed, you can’t be confident in the vehicle’s health or function unless you have this service history. 

If there is no proof that the vehicle has been serviced in line with the recommended servicing schedule, then you should probably opt for a major car service. 

Remember, a mechanic cannot complete a car service if your vehicle does not have a valid MOT certificate - something else to bear in mind. 

Many garages offer a discount on their MOT price when you book a car service at the same time, and this can be a convenient means of ensuring your vehicle is roadworthy and safe to drive. 

 

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MOT, Full Service

 

Will You OK Any Extra Work With Me?

Even if you settle on a price, a technician could still find that something else is wrong with your vehicle. 

If a mechanic notices that your vehicle needs more work done, then they should call to check with you before proceeding with any extra work. 

Still, you can ask a garage to call you ahead of any additional work, to ensure that there are no misunderstandings.

If a garage calls you with a list of unexpected problems, it may be worth getting a second opinion from another garage - especially if you have never used the garage before.

 

Do You Follow Manufacturer Procedures and Use 'Original' Parts?

The difference in cost and quality between original parts and those made by non-accredited manufacturers is huge. 

The latter parts are usually referred to as replacement, pattern or remanufactured parts. Though these components may be initially cheaper than manufacturer-made components, they can wear out much quicker

It is best to stick to your car maker’s recommendations, even if a garage decides that your car doesn’t need certain jobs done that the manufacturer specifies at that mileage.

 

Don't know your vehicle registration?
Full Service

 

Now that you are equipped with these six questions, we hope that you feel prepared for your next car service.

 

FAQs

How Long Does a Car Service Take?

Is Service History Important?

Do I Need a Car Service?