Average Cost of A Full Car Service UK

What is the Average Cost of a Full Car Service in the UK?

Ah, the joy of cruising down the road in your own car is unparalleled. Yet, this four-wheeled marvel of engineering needs a bit of pampering from time to time to stay at its peak. As you enjoy the last bit of your espresso, the thought sneaks in—what’s the current average cost for a full car service in the UK? Grab another cup; we have a detailed, intriguing dive ahead.

How Much Does a Car Service Cost?

You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you look after your car, your car will look after you.” Well, that might be true, but just how much will this reciprocal relationship set you back? In the UK, the ballpark figure you can expect for a full car service is between £150 and £250. However, don’t be surprised if the numbers fluctuate. Like ordering a bespoke suit or dining at a gourmet restaurant, the final tab depends on several nuances.

Car Service Type Average Cost What’s Included
Car Full Service £150 – £250 Preparations for MOTs, 6-weekly inspections, engine diagnostics, etc.
Preparations for MOTs £40 – £60 Pre-MOT check including lights, brakes, and emissions.
6-weekly Inspections £30 – £50 General check-ups like fluid levels, tire conditions, and visual inspections.
Body & Machine Repair Work £100 – £500 Depends on the extent of damage; could involve panel beating, paint, etc.
System Fault Checks £25 – £50 Diagnostic test to find any faults in the car’s system.
Engine Diagnostics £40 – £100 In-depth look into the engine to spot any issues or potential concerns.
Emission Testing £30 – £60 Checking the exhaust system for pollutant levels.
Brake Testing £20 – £50 Evaluation of brake system, including fluid levels and wear on pads.

What Affects the Cost of a Car Service?

Understanding the average service costs is just scratching the surface. To truly gauge your potential expenses, it’s critical to recognize the variables that contribute to the final bill. These are like the plot twists in a riveting thriller—some you might anticipate, others may catch you off-guard.

Affects the Cost of a Car Service

Cost of Car Service

What’s Included in a Full Car Service?

Interim Car Service Cost

An interim service is your “quick health check” for your car, ideal for frequent drivers covering a lot of mileage in short spans. This type of service will generally set you back between £80 and £120. It primarily involves an oil and filter change and a basic tyre pressure check. It’s like a routine medical check-up; you don’t expect any surprises, just a general sense of your car’s well-being.

Full Car Service Cost

A full car service is the “annual physical” for your vehicle, and it costs between £150 and £250. It covers a broad spectrum of checks and tweaks, including:

  • Preparations for MOTs: This is critical if your car is older than three years. The service prepares your car to pass the Ministry of Transport test, which is a legal requirement.
  • 6-weekly Inspections: These regular inspections help in identifying and fixing minor issues before they escalate into major problems.
  • Body & Machine Repair Work: The service may reveal aesthetic or functional damages like dents, scratches or malfunctioning components, which can then be corrected.
  • System Fault Checks: The mechanics run a computerized scan of the vehicle’s system to identify any fault codes. Think of it as a digital doctor diagnosing the hidden ailments of your car.
  • Engine Diagnostics: This involves checking engine lights, engine temperature, exhaust systems, and fuel injectors. It’s like a deep scan that goes beyond the superficial signs.
  • Emission Testing: This ensures that your vehicle adheres to emission standards, contributing to environmental conservation.
  • Brake Testing: Your brakes are rigorously checked for wear and tear, alignment, and responsiveness to ensure they will not fail you when you need them the most.

Major Car Service Cost

Now, if you’re thinking of pulling all the stops and going for a comprehensive service, you’re talking about a Major Car Service. It’s the whole shebang and costs around £300 to £400. It includes everything in a full service and dives even deeper with:

  • Comprehensive Engine Check: Every nook and cranny of the engine is inspected.
  • Transmission Inspection: This is the part of the service that examines the gear system to ensure smooth shifting.
  • Electrical System Diagnosis: The service includes a thorough check of all electrical components, from headlights to in-car entertainment systems.

The Size of the Car Service

The dimensions of the service center play a significant role. Small, family-run shops may offer personalized service and perhaps cheaper labour costs. These could be your hidden gems. Larger, more commercialized centers might charge more due to the overheads but could offer warranties and use high-tech diagnostic tools.

The Make and Model of the Car Service

The brand and type of car you drive is like your membership card to a particular club. Some clubs are more exclusive (and expensive) than others. Luxury and high-performance cars, like a Porsche or a Jaguar, will almost always have specialized requirements.

The Current Mileage of the Car

Think of your car’s mileage as its “age.” The higher the mileage, the more likely it is to require additional care, parts, and services. Just like in humans, age can bring wisdom but also a few aches and pains!

Any Work That Needs to be Carried Out

Surprises are fun at parties but less so at the mechanic. A routine service might uncover additional issues. While this could stretch your initial budget, addressing these concerns is pivotal for long-term savings.

Your Location

City slickers, brace yourselves; your urban lifestyle comes at a cost. Due to higher overheads for service centres, those located in cities are often pricier than their countryside counterparts.

How Much to Save for Car Maintenance

Money matters require prudent planning. A wise approach is to set aside around £30-£50 each month for car upkeep. Such financial cushioning can help you face those unexpected repair costs that spring up like uninvited guests.

What’s Involved in a Car Service Checklist?

Your car’s service checklist is exhaustive:

  • Oil and Filter Change: This is a must. Think of it as your car’s diet plan.
  • Tyre Checks: Not just pressure, but also treads and overall condition.
  • Brake Inspection: Mechanics look at brake pads, fluid levels, and even handbrakes.
  • Fluid Level Checks: Coolant, brake fluid, and even windshield washer fluid levels are checked and topped up as necessary.
  • Exhaust Inspection: Besides emission, the mechanics also look for leaks or excessive noise.
  • Steering Alignment: Crucial for your vehicle’s balance and the lifespan of the tyres.
  • Light Checks: Headlights, brake lights, indicators – they all get scrutinized.
  • Battery Test: The charge and overall health are assessed.
  • Air Conditioning Check: Not just cooling, but also checking for bacterial buildup.


Understanding the landscape of car service costs in the UK is like decoding a complex but fascinating puzzle. It’s not merely about fishing for the cheapest quote; it’s about value. Quality service not only keeps your vehicle running smoothly but also elongates its lifespan, giving you more miles for your money.

Frequently Asked Questions

What maintenance should be done on a vehicle?

Apart from the basics—oil changes, air filters, and tyre care—your vehicle may require additional maintenance like timing belt replacements and spark plug changes as it ages.

How often do you need an oil change?

The consensus varies, but most manufacturers advocate for an oil change every 3,000 to 7,000 miles, depending on the type of oil you use and your driving conditions.

What maintenance needs to be done on a truck?

Beyond regular maintenance, trucks often require additional attention to fuel filters, transmission fluid, and axle lubricants. The air filters in trucks may also require more frequent changes due to higher air intake.

How often should a lorry be serviced?

Given that lorries are used for extensive purposes, it is generally recommended to get them serviced every six weeks or so, depending on the mileage covered.