We all know that booking a car service is a great way to take care of your vehicle. As part of the regular maintenance of your car, it can be helpful to know exactly which checks are included in a full service. 

The process of contacting garages, comparing quotes and inspecting service schedules to find out more can quickly grow frustrating and time-consuming. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide - complete with an FAQ section - which can tell you everything you need to know about a standard full car service.


What Is a Car Service?

A car service is a health check designed to ensure that your vehicle is running as smoothly and safely as possible. As part of the essential routine maintenance of your vehicle, a qualified mechanic will inspect several components of your car.

Everything from general wear and tear to engine fluid levels will be checked. If the mechanic identifies any parts that need replacing, they will be able to advise you as to next steps. A car service is not the same as an MOT - it is not a legal requirement - but both can keep your car in excellent condition.

Whilst a full service is the most popular form of car service in the UK, there are various levels of car service to choose from. A full service is more extensive than an interim service, with a major service being the most comprehensive check of the three.


What Is a Full Service?

Whilst there is certainly value in both an interim and a major service, these checks tend to cover too few or too many components to be reliable car maintenance. If you can only afford to book one car service a year - both in terms of time and money - a full service is a great option.

When you book through BookMyGarage, a full service includes 40 useful checks. Covering everything from your car’s fluid levels, to the health of your tyres, brakes and timing belt, a full service is sure to give you the peace of mind you deserve.


What Does a Full Service Include?

If you are reading this article, chances are you may have already looked around a few garages. You have likely noticed that the checks included in a full service can vary from garage to garage. This can make it hard to visualise whether or not you are actually getting a great deal. 

BookMyGarage can simplify the process for you. All of the garages listed on our site price their car services against our industry-standard service schedule, meaning you always compare prices ‘like-for-like’. With thousands of independent and franchised garages to choose from on our online comparison site, you are sure to find an excellent deal on the right garage for you.

In the tables below, you will find an exhaustive list of every check included in a BookMyGarage full car service.


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


Following a full service, your chosen garage will fill out a printout of the BookMyGarage service schedule. In some cases, the garage may stamp your service book or provide their own paperwork with any suggested repairs or other work completed highlighted.


Why Should I Book a Car Service? 

Booking a car service when needed is one of the easiest and best ways to keep your car in excellent condition. If you neglect to book a car service at the appropriate intervals, this can actually do more harm to your wallet than good.


Car Servicing Helps to Prevent Expensive Breakdowns

Whilst gradual wear and tear is to be expected, a car service can help you to reduce the impact and damage that this can cause. 

Driving with a dirty or clogged oil filter can reduce the lubrication in your engine. If these parts run dry, the friction caused can lead to overheating which can in turn damage the metal. Whilst fresh oil and a new oil filter can cost just £50, replacing the pistons can cost several hundred pounds.

Regular car servicing can help you to curb these additional costs, by giving you the chance to stop problems in their tracks. 


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

Just like wear and tear, car depreciation is also an inevitability, but regular maintenance can limit its impact.

According to a recent Autotrader study, not having a service history can actually reduce your car’s value by up to 20% - that’s £3,850 missing on average. Whilst car servicing can seem like an unnecessary expense in the moment, it can really benefit your bank balance in the long run. 

Potential buyers will want to know that the car they are purchasing is in good health. When you regularly service your car, you can give buyers the reassurance they need that your vehicle is worth investing in. By keeping a detailed record of the maintenance your vehicle has gone through, you will be able to provide a buyer with a full service history that can give them confidence in the quality of your car. 

This is also a plus when it comes to insurance - if you have an accident, your insurer may look at your car’s service history to gauge the vehicle’s pre-accident value. A full service history can help you to improve this valuation figure.


Car Servicing Decreases Your Fuel Costs

When your vehicle is experiencing issues, not only will you be more likely to break down, but you will find that your vehicle uses more fuel as a result. The money you save by neglecting to book a car service can actually end up costing you more in the long run. When every component is working as it should, the engine will be under less strain, and depending on your driving style, you will likely use less fuel as a result.


What a BookMyGarage Car Service Can Do For You

When you book a full service through BookMyGarage, you get to compare prices 'like-for-like' to find the best garage for you. You can save up to 70% when you compare servicing costs through our online comparison site. 

You will know exactly what our full service schedule includes, so you can be confident that you are getting exceptional value for money from your chosen garage. Visit the BookMyGarage website, and compare garages based on ratings and unfiltered reviews to find the perfect one to perform your car service. 


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What Does an Interim Service Include?

An interim service includes fewer checks than a full service, and focuses on the most important parts of your car. If you are a high-mileage driver, or own an older car, then an interim service can help you to ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly. 

A BookMyGarage interim service includes the checks listed in the following table.


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 Needed (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 is even more thorough than a full service. During a major service, a mechanic will inspect the components of your vehicle that are designed to last 2-3 years, but that still need attention if they are to last longer. 

A BookMyGarage major service includes 60 checks - covering everything from the full service checklist, in addition to 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 car service your vehicle needs will depend on how many miles you cover in a year. For the best results, we would advise that you book a full car service every 12 months - or 12,000 miles - and a major service every 24 months - or 24,000 miles.

High-mileage drivers can book an additional interim service every 6 months - or 6,000 miles.


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

In such a small space of time, a car service can get your car running to its full potential when you book with a professional garage.

Choose the right garage to perform your car service, and experience quality car care today.


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