Just like filling up with fuel or paying tax and insurance, it’s a fact of life that cars need maintaining.

Regular servicing doesn’t just catch little niggles before they turn into potentially time-wasting and expensive breakdowns. It also helps to ensure that your car is running as efficiently as possible and therefore using less fuel.

And it should reassure you that crucial safety kit such as brakes and tyres are performing as they should.

But before you take your car to the garage, there are some questions to ask yourself and the garage to ensure your car has the work it needs carried out in a way you’re happy with.


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Car Service Questions: What to Ask Yourself


What Service Does My Car Need?

All new cars come with a service schedule in the form of a booklet. This is usually found with the user manual in the glovebox.

Inside, it will have a series of mileages or time spans when the car will need to be serviced.

Each time the car is serviced by a garage, they should stamp or sign the relevant section in the service schedule.


What If the Service Book is Missing or Isn’t Stamped?

Not all drivers are diligent about getting their cars serviced. Some don’t bother until the car either shows signs that it needs work doing to it or it stops running altogether.

It means that unless you can find an appropriately stamped service book, you can’t take it for granted that the car has been regularly serviced.

If there’s no evidence of how the car has been serviced, assume the worst and plump for a major service.

Fortunately, you can recover a lost service history and it is easy to do so. Please see our guide for more information.


What Does a Service Include?

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

On a mechanical level, a minor service will usually mean having the oil changed plus a new oil filter. Depending on the garage, the screen wash might be topped up and the tyres checked.

A major service will include those items plus a new air filter, new brake fluid and a replacement pollen filter. They may also check the wheel alignment. Your car’s user manual should explain exactly what each kind of service will include.

When you book a service through BookMyGarage, you get three options: Interim, Full or Major. You can see exactly what is included in each service on our comparison results or on our service schedules.


Car Service Questions: What to Ask the Garage


How Much is it Going to Cost?

None of us like unpleasant surprises, particularly of the financial variety. When you know what kind of service your car is going to need, ask the garage how much it’s going to cost.

Make sure when you get the quote, it is a quote and not simply an estimate. And confirm that the garage has included VAT in the price. Infuriatingly, some don’t.

To make sure you're getting the best deal on your car service, enter your reg and postcode into BookMyGarage to compare instant prices from garages near you. They all price their car services against the same checks so you can compare like-for-like.

This means you can save up to 70% when you compare deals and choose one of the lower-cost options!


Book online today!

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Will You OK Any Extra Work With Me?

It doesn’t matter if you settle on a price, the nature of cars is that when a technician starts poking around, they might well find something unexpected.

Although most garages will call to check before ploughing on with any extra work, asking them to call you first guarantees there aren’t any misunderstandings.

If you’re using a garage for the first time and it calls with a list of unexpected and potentially expensive problems, it’s worth getting a second opinion. This will help you work out if you can trust the new garage.


Do You Follow Manufacturer Procedures and Use ‘Original’ Parts?

There’s a huge difference in cost and quality between original parts and components that are made by non-accredited manufacturers. These are usually called replacement, pattern or remanufactured parts.

Although they might be cheaper than the manufacturer components, this may be a false economy if they wear out much quicker.

Equally, a garage may have decided that your car doesn’t need certain jobs doing that the manufacturer specifies at that mileage.

In all cases, it’s best to stick to car maker recommendations.