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What’s the annual cost of servicing a car?
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What’s the annual cost of servicing a car?

11/05/2022

To keep a car running like clockwork you need to bring it for regular servicing, usually after 5,000 to 6,000 miles of driving. Some services are quick and simple while others are time and cost-intensive. There’s a lot of variation in the price of what you pay, so how do you know if you’re getting good value for money? 

On average, UK car owners spend around £280 on servicing each year. The age of a car is obviously a major factor.  

Newer cars usually have fewer problems and the manufacturer’s warranty limits the cost in the first few years. Older cars are often out of warranty and the added wear & tear from more years on the road means the cost of service and repairs goes up.  

And not every year is the same. You'll spend more in a year when your car has had a breakdown or is scheduled for major service, less in years when only minor services are due. 

To help you navigate the wide range of costs and price tags out there we’ve analysed the top search engine results British car services and calculated the average prices you should expect.  

Here’s how it breaks down: 

What are the different levels of car service? 

There are normally three levels of regularly scheduled car service: interim, full, and major. Manufacturers set different intervals for each one based on the age or mileage of the vehicle.  

  • Interim is usually recommended every six months of 6,000 miles  
  • Full service is usually recommended every 12 months or 12,000 miles  
  • Major service is usually recommended every 24 months or 24,000 miles 

The manufacturer draws from analysis of all the vehicles of your type it has on the road. It uses repair and breakdown data to determine when you should bring the car in to the shop and what parts and fluids need looking at.  

As the car gets older, naturally things start to break down. Scheduled service is meant to address common issues before they turn into a problem. 

How much do scheduled service tiers cost? 

As the time and replacement parts required by the mechanic go up as you move up the three levels, so does the cost. Here are the factors that determine how much time and effort servicing will take: 

Engine size 

Cars with an engine size smaller than two litres will usually be less expensive to service. High-performance cars with larger engines and more expensive components will cost more. Electric vehicles and some plug-in hybrids often need specialist servicing, which comes at a higher hourly rate. 

Make & model 

Popular cars like the Vauxhall Corsa and Kia Sportage will typically be in the lower price range for servicing since so many of them are on the road.  Parts are cheap and readily available and their simpler design means they’re generally faster and easier to fix. 

Warranty status 

If a car’s warranty cover is still in place, the cost of a scheduled service will be capped by the policy. Of course, to sustain the warranty's validity you have to stick to the prescribed service schedule. Skipping or putting off a scheduled service to save money isn't really an option. 

What do different car services cost? 

Looking at the search engine results for UK car services we've been able to come up with these average prices. For reference, we assumed a 2019 1.2 Vauxhall Corsa SXi with 42,000 miles on the odometer.  

Cost of an oil change 

Changing engine oil and filter is usually part of an interim service, but you can also buy it as a standalone service. The average oil change and filter price was £61. Depending on the quality of engine oil and size of your engine, that price could go up. 

Cost of an interim service 

The average cost of an interim service is around £96, with service centres including an average 35 checks in their interim service. 

Cost of a full service 

The average cost of a full car service is currently around £158. Garages bundled in an average 53 checks in their full service. 

Cost of a major service 

Not every garage offers a major service so lack of supply tends to push up the price. From those garages that do offer major car service, the average price was £219 for about 62 checks on average. 

Cost of an MOT

The price of a class four MOT, required for passenger vehicles that have seating capacity for eight passengers, Westminster limits the cost to £54.85 maximum. Beneath that level the price of an MOT can change significantly from one garage to the next. In some of our searches we found MOT prices as low as £20 when booked at the same time as an interim, full, or major service. Dealerships tend to charge more and most price an MOT at the maximum £54.85. 

Cost of a combined MOT with service 

Since many garages offer discounts and package deals for booking an MOT together with an interval service, it makes sense to have your car serviced and get the MOT done all in one go. You’ll cut down on time without your car and save money on the overall price of a combined service.  

Even if the garage doesn’t offer discount, consider doing your MOT whenever your next scheduled service is due. You’ll save time and hassle, even if you don’t save money. 

Worried about how you’ll pay your next car repair bill? Consider an car repair loans from Bumper. It’s easy and fast. 

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