We all want to keep our cars running smoothly and the best way to do that is by booking a car service at regular intervals. However, that can be hard to do when it seems like every time you hear the words "full service", it includes different checks. Ringing around garages to compare quotes and find their service schedules can make you want to tear your hair out. 

It would be so much easier if there was a standard full service checklist you could refer to, right? Because, while you might know that you need to service your car, you might not know just how important it is to have a full service history.

As in, your car's value can be up to 20% lower if you can't prove that you've looked after it!

If you're fed up with second-guessing what a garage includes in their full service checklist, then you're in the right place. In this article, we're going to run you through:

  1. What a car service is
  2. What the BookMyGarage full service checklist includes
  3. Why you need to book a service right now
  4. How BookMyGarage can help you get the best deal (hint: you compare garages, you save up to 70%)

Plus, we've also got an FAQ section at the bottom of the page to help you understand more about what a full service includes, how it differs from other car servicing options and how much it usually costs.


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What is a Car Service?

A car service is essential routine maintenance. It's a health check, completed by a qualified mechanic, that assesses everything from your car's wear and tear to your engine fluid levels. Its main purpose is to keep you safe and keep your car working properly.

There are various levels of car service, each of which fulfils a different role and includes a different number of checks. A full service is the middle option, sitting between interim and major services.

This means that a full service is generally the most popular form of car service in the UK.


What is a Full Service?

Effectively, a full service is your car maintenance "Goldilocks Zone". While there's nothing wrong with interim or major services, they tend to check too many or not enough things to be reliable car maintenance, especially if you only have time for one service a year. When booked through BookMyGarage, a full service includes 40 checks. This covers everything from your oil and other vital fluids to your tyres, brakes and timing belt replacement intervals.

When you book a full service regularly (every 12 months or 12,000 miles), you get peace of mind about the quality of your car.

Here's what our full service schedule includes.


What Does a Full Service Include?

Now, you might be here because you've looked around a few garages and found that each of them includes something slightly different in their "full service". That makes it hard to visualise whether you're getting a great deal or not.

There's no such problem when you compare garages through BookMyGarage. We have thousands of independent, fast-fit and franchised garages on our online comparison site that all price their car services against our industry-standard service schedule. That means you always compare prices 'like-for-like'.

In short, when you see a cheap car service in your area, you know that you're getting exceptional value for money.


Here's what our full service checklist includes:


Full Car Service Checklist:

General Checks

External lights (Headlights, brake lights, indicators)

Instrument warning lamps



Internal / Vision

Condition of windscreen wipers and washers

Pollen filter condition (extra cost if replacement needed)

Windscreen integrity (cracks and chips)

Condition of all mirrors

Number plate condition

Seat belt condition 



Replace oil filter

Replace air filter

Report on any oil leaks

Advise on antifreeze strength

Radiator and coolant hoses for condition and leaks

Condition and tension of auxiliary drive belts (NOT timing belt)

Inspect fuel system + tank (if visible)

Check timing belt replacement intervals and advise


Fluid Top-ups (if required)



Brake Fluid

Power Steering Fluid

AdBlue (diesel only; extra cost for top-up)




Advise on brake fluid condition and report if replacement needed (extra charge)

Inspect brake pads for wear

Inspect brake discs for wear

Visual check all visible brake pipes and hoses

Check operation of the hand brake

Visual check brake callipers for leaks and security



Wheels & Tyres

Tyre condition and tread depth

Check and adjust tyre pressures


Steering & Suspension Checks

Condition of road springs

Steering/suspension components

Steering rack gaiters condition

Shock absorber condition

Wheel bearings




Visually check exhaust smoke (diesel)

Advise on the condition of the exhaust


Drive System Checks

Security of gaiters and report any leaks

Clutch fluid level (if applicable)

Any leaks of transmission oil


After your full service, the garage will fill out a printout of the BookMyGarage service schedule. Some may also stamp your service book or provide their own paperwork which shows any suggested repairs or other work completed. 

Now, that's all well and good, but why should you part with your hard-earned money on a car service?

Well, here are three killer reasons why you need to book a full service right now.


3 Reasons Why You Need to Book a Car Service Today

Regular servicing is the best way to keep your car in top condition. Just as we go to the doctor or dentist for regular checkups to prevent problems, cars need regular trips to the garage.

In most instances, failing to book a car service hurts our wallets more than anything else!


Car Servicing Helps to Prevent Expensive Breakdowns

Driving our cars creates wear and tear. There's no way to avoid that. However, what we can avoid is the impact and damage that wear and tear can cause. 

For example, driving on dirty oil or a clogged oil filter can reduce the lubrication in your engine. If these parts run dry, the friction can cause overheating or damage the metal. Fresh oil and a new oil filter usually cost less than £50 - new pistons can cost several hundred pounds! 

By servicing your car regularly, you get an accurate picture of what parts need replacing. This allows you to sort them out before they can cause other damage.


Your Car Can Be Worth Up to 20% Less Without a Service History

We also can't prevent car depreciation, but we can limit its impact. A recent Autotrader study revealed that not having a service history can reduce your car's value by up to 20% - that's £3,850 missing on average!

Servicing your car might seem like an unnecessary expense sometimes, but your bank balance can really benefit in the long run. Buyers like to know what they're getting, especially when making an expensive purchase (like a car).

If you don't have a detailed record of what maintenance your car has had during your ownership, they're not going to be happy spending thousands of pounds on it - especially if they might get hit with another massive repair bill shortly after.

If you can show a full service history to a buyer, they'll be far more prepared to pay the asking price. This is because they have more confidence in the quality of the car.


A Car Service Decreases Your Fuel Costs

An inefficient car is bad news. Not only is it more likely to break down, but it's also likely to use fuel much quicker. While you might think that you're saving money by not booking a car service, you're most likely losing it at the pump.

Now, a well-maintained car might still use fuel quickly depending on your driving style - but it's less likely to. When every part is working at full throttle, the engine is under less strain and doesn't need to use more fuel to perform to the same level.


If you've been looking for the perfect car service, today's the day you find it. When you book a full service through BookMyGarage, you get to compare prices 'like-for-like' to find the best garage for you.

Not only that, you can save up to 70% when you compare servicing costs through our online comparison site and choose one of the cheaper options. Plus, you know exactly what our full service schedule includes, so you know that you're getting exceptional value for money from your chosen garage. Oh, and you get to see unfiltered reviews and ratings about each garage from drivers just like you. You're always in control.

It's simple to book a full service near you. Enter your vehicle reg and postcode below, click the button and browse our instant results. Once you've found the perfect garage near you, select a suitable date and time and enter a few details about yourself to complete your booking. You deal with the garage directly and you can cancel or amend your booking right up to the day of your appointment.

Join over 5 million drivers who have compared prices and booked through BookMyGarage by entering your reg and postcode now.


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Got another burning question about a full service or car servicing in general? Hopefully, these FAQs can help answer it!


What Does an Interim Service Include?

An interim service is a less detailed check than a full service and focuses on the most important parts of your car. It is designed to keep high-mileage and older vehicles moving smoothly between full services.

The BookMyGarage interim service checklist is as follows.


Oil Change Oil Filter Change Screenwash Top-up Coolant Top-up Brake Fluid Top-up
Power Steering Fluid Top-up AdBlue (Diesels only, additional charge) Check External Lights Operation Check Instrument Warning Lights Operation Check Horn Operation
Check Condition of Windscreen Wipers Check Windscreen Washers Check For Oil Leaks Check Antifreeze Strength & Advise if Replacement Needs (additional charge) Check Timing Belt Replacement Intervals and Advice
Visual Check of Brake Pad Wear Check Tyre Condition Check Tyre Depth Check Tyre Pressure and Adjust Check Condition of Steering Rack Gaiters
Check Exhaust Condition Check Clutch Fluid Level (if applicable) Check For Any Transmission Oil Leaks Reset Service Light (where applicable) Stamp Printout of BookMyGarage service schedule


What Does a Major Service Include?

A major service includes an even more thorough inspection than a full service. It inspects the parts of your car designed to last 2/3 years but which still need attention to work properly beyond that.

The 60 checks included in a major service include everything from the full service checklist as well as the following.


Replacement Fuel Filter (if fitted externally, else replacement pollen filter) Door Operation Bonnet Operation Operation of All Locks Pollen Filter Condition and Advise if Replacement Needed (extra charge if fuel filter replaced)
Air Conditioning System Operation Radiator Cap Electrical Coolant Fan (if applicable) Change Spark Plugs Dependent Upon Age and Mileage (extra cost) Clutch Operation


Does My Car Need an Interim, Full or Major Service?

The number of miles you cover each year will determine what car service you need. You'll see the best results when you book a full car service every 12 months or 12,000 miles and a major service every 24 months or 24,000 miles.

For high-mileage drivers, we recommend an interim service every 6 months or 6,000 miles as well.


Car Service

Number of Checks Included

Recommended Interval

Interim Service


6 months or 6,000 miles

Full Service


12 months or 12,000 miles

Major Service 


24 months or 24,000 miles


How Much Does a Full Service Cost?

The average cost for a full car service in the UK is £182.40, according to BookMyGarage data.

Generally speaking, most garages will charge anywhere between £140 - £280 for a full service but the price depends on your car's engine size. Larger engines need more engine oil and bigger filters, which increases the cost.

This means if you drive a car with a 1litre engine, you can expect to pay a lot less for a full car service than someone with a car that has a 3litre engine.

When you compare garages through BookMyGarage, you can save up to 70% when you choose one of the lower cost options. You can also book a main dealer service for less than booking direct through SecretServiceTM.

The average price of a full service booked through SecretService is £146.82.


How Long Does a Car Service Take?

A full service will typically take a mechanic around 3 hours to complete. This means many garages can complete your service the same day if you book a morning appointment.

Although, you should always contact your garage to ensure it has been completed before making your way there.

An interim service takes around 1 to 1 and a 1/2 hours on average, while a major service usually takes more than 3 hours.