Keep your car serviced and it will be more likely to pass the MOT, with less chance of breaking down – and it will be worth more when you come to sell. Find a car service centre you can trust to keep you safe on the road.
Get your car serviced
Cars need to have routine and scheduled maintenance to keep them running and in good condition. A car that runs well will save you money, and the stress of an unnecessary breakdown.
Expensive car = dearer service
As a guide, the value of the vehicle when new will determine the cost of the service. For instance, an Audi R8 costs a lot more to buy than a Ford Focus ST, and likewise, it should require more to get the service.
Servicing a car is not cheap
Many drivers avoid getting a car service to try and save money. Although missing a scheduled service may not cause a problem in the short term, sooner or later something will go wrong with the car. It may cost you much more to get repaired than if you had kept to the correct service interval.
Protect your asset
Your car is an asset, and you need to protect the value. One day you may want to part exchange it for another vehicle. With regular servicing, your car will remain in better condition, and you are likely to receive a better price when you come to sell.
DIY servicing is not advisable
Before cars became as complex as they are now, the thought of doing your maintenance was quite reasonable. However, due to the technical advancement by car manufacturers, routine car servicing is much more involved and best to leave to a professional.
Check the garage out first before booking your service
Your car needs to be professionally serviced by a garage using trained and trustworthy technicians in the interest of your safety and your car’s health.
Choose a garage that has a reliable reputation and fair pricing policy. A lot of garages will be able to give you a fixed price for the service.
Always ask the garage to supply a schedule of the service before starting work, and get an itemised bill afterwards.
When being serviced it’s quite common for something to be found wrong with the car, that neither you or the garage were expecting. What is essential is the garage doesn’t carry out any additional work without first informing you of the other costs and getting your approval.
Does your car need an interim service or full service?
When booking your car in for the service, you will typically arrange for an interim service or a full service.
- Interim service (6 months or 6000 miles) – this is usually for higher mileage cars requiring more frequent checks, and generally includes checking of all the main moving parts that may need attention over a short period.
- Full service (12 months or 12000 miles) – comprehensive annual maintenance checks, including detailed inspection of the engine, drive system, brakes and other parts.
Before the service
Most garages offer a fixed price for the service, but beware if they find something not covered in the service price it may cost you dearly.
Some garages – especially the franchised dealers – tend to either offer you a superior brand product to what you may want to pay or will charge the maximum retail price for the product anyway. Chances are you would be able to arrange to have this done outside of the service at a reduced cost, had you thought about it in advance. For example:
- Empty windscreen washer bottle. If you let the garage fill it up, you may be surprised at how much they charge you. A bottle of screen wash may cost the equivalent of an OK bottle of Champagne from your local supermarket.
- Tyres need replacing. Do you want the expensive brand tyre they fit, or would you prefer to pay for a less expensive option?
Don’t get conned by a dodgy garage
There are many competent and trustworthy places to have your car serviced but beware of the unscrupulous garages who will claim that significant work needs doing when it doesn’t.
Be careful if your car has a manufacturer’s warranty
To make sure the manufacturer continues to honour a warranty, you may need to take your car to a main franchised dealer for servicing and maintenance.
However, motorists who have a manufacturer’s warranty are not restricted to use only the main dealer for servicing. The work could be carried out by an independent garage, which could cost less.
However, you must be confident the garage you use can comply with the manufacturer’s service schedule.