How much does a car service cost?

How much does a car service cost?


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 a car service, so how do you know if you’re getting good value for money?  In fact, do you even know what you should be paying on average for a car service in the UK? What should a service include? What's the difference between a full service and an interim service? We'll answer all these questions and more from our expert inhouse mechanic.

Is servicing worthwhile? 

Unless you drive something worth less than the cost of a service - which with the recent secondhand market, is very unlikely - then we think it’s worth getting your car serviced.  

Not only does it save you money in the long run by reducing the likelihood of major issues occurring, but it also significantly increases your car's resale value. 

What is the average annual cost of car services in the UK? 

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

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, and less in years when only minor services are due.  

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.   

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

Worried about servicing costs? With Bumper you could benefit from 0% interest car repair financing and pay for car repairs in instalments in easy-to-manage monthly payments. 


Here’s how it breaks down:  

Different types of car service?  

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

  1. An Interim service is usually recommended every six months or 6,000 miles   
  2. A full service is usually recommended every 12 months or 12,000 miles   
  3. A 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 into the shop and what parts and fluids need looking at.   

As the car gets older, naturally things start to break down. A scheduled service is meant to address common issues before they turn into a problem, so it is definitely always worth getting regular services done.

What do the different types 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.   

What is the 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 the size of your engine, that price could go up.  

How much does an interim car service cost?

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

How much does a full car service cost in the UK?

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

How much is a major service in the UK?

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


What affects the cost of a service?

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: 

If you're concerned about the cost of servicing, then Bumper might help with our 0% interest car repair finance options.

Does engine size affect the cost of a service? 

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.  

Is servicing an electric car more expensive? 

Electric vehicles and some plug-in hybrids often need specialist servicing, which comes at a higher hourly rate. On the other hand, they have fewer fluids and moving parts, it usually depends on the type of service your hybrid or EV needs. 

What are the cheapest car brands to service? 

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.  

What cars cost the most to service? 

Luxury vehicles are more complicated and often have higher parts costs, brands such as Range Rover, BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar are known for high part and labour costs. 

Are services covered by warranty? 

Generally, no, most warranties do not cover the cost of regular maintenance or servicing. 

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.  

Cost of an MOT 

The price of a class four MOT, required for passenger vehicles that have a seating capacity for eight passengers, is limited 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 of £54.85.  

Is it cheaper to combine an MOT and 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 a 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 a car repair loan from Bumper. It’s easy, fast, and completely interest-free. 


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