Looking After Your Vehicle

What is included in a car service?

Paul Green, National Remarketing Manager
Friday, 21 January 2022

You might know when to service your vehicle, but you may not know exactly what is included. We’re here to explain the different types of car service to help you choose what suits you better.

You might know when to service your vehicle, but you may not know exactly what is included. We’re here to explain the different types of car service to help you choose what suits you better.

What is a car service?

Any car service, although not a legal requirement, is something that we all should get as vehicle owners. 

A car service is when you take your car to a mechanic for a routine check up. The mechanic will check your car for general wear and tear, which will include things such as the brakes, oils and the engine belt, and much more. A service ensures that your car is kept running smoothly and will allow the mechanic to see any jobs that may need doing in the not-so-distant future. Removing that element of surprise when something goes wrong with your car. It’s also important to take your car to a mechanic when warning lights show on your dashboard that you shouldn’t ignore.

If you’re unsure of what service your car needs, what it includes, and of course, what it will cost you, then we’ve got all the answers for you in one place.

What is a car service?

Any car service, although not a legal requirement, is something that we all should get as vehicle owners. 

A car service is when you take your car to a mechanic for a routine check up. The mechanic will check your car for general wear and tear, which will include things such as the brakes, oils and the engine belt, and much more. A service ensures that your car is kept running smoothly and will allow the mechanic to see any jobs that may need doing in the not-so-distant future. Removing that element of surprise when something goes wrong with your car. It’s also important to take your car to a mechanic when warning lights show on your dashboard that you shouldn’t ignore.

If you’re unsure of what service your car needs, what it includes, and of course, what it will cost you, then we’ve got all the answers for you in one place.

Types of car service

What service does my car need? There are 3 types of car service, which can make it difficult to know what you should book in for. A service is important as it can catch any problems with your vehicle before they become an issue, ultimately stopping you having unexpected breakdowns. The service will check your overall vehicle condition including wear and tear, brakes, oil, filters, tyres, windscreen wipers, engine belts and much more!

You can also keep your car in good shape by getting an MOT and avoiding silly mistakes, as well as checking serviceable parts of your vehicle yourself, including checking tyre pressure. These should be looked at every several thousand miles. Engine oil can sometimes also run low between services but it doesn’t always mean you need to take it to a professional, checking your car oil is also something you can learn to do yourself.

Different types of services are given depending on how many months have passed or miles travelled since your last service. Whichever comes first. So understanding when to book your service is the first hurdle, but understanding what you need is just as important.

Man servicing a car

What service does my car need? There are 3 types of car service, which can make it difficult to know what you should book in for. A service is important as it can catch any problems with your vehicle before they become an issue, ultimately stopping you having unexpected breakdowns. The service will check your overall vehicle condition including wear and tear, brakes, oil, filters, tyres, windscreen wipers, engine belts and much more!

You can also keep your car in good shape by getting an MOT and avoiding silly mistakes, as well as checking serviceable parts of your vehicle yourself, including checking tyre pressure. These should be looked at every several thousand miles. Engine oil can sometimes also run low between services but it doesn’t always mean you need to take it to a professional, checking your car oil is also something you can learn to do yourself.

Different types of services are given depending on how many months have passed or miles travelled since your last service. Whichever comes first. So understanding when to book your service is the first hurdle, but understanding what you need is just as important.

Man servicing a car

You don’t need to get an interim service every 6 months, unless you’re driving more than 20,000 miles a year. Then it is advised as you are driving some considerable miles every year. However, if you drive less than this, then we would advise getting a full service one year and a major service the next. This way everything is checked thoroughly once a year with the extra parts that are checked in a major service looked at every 24 months as suggested.

The different services you can have are:

  • Interim service
  • Full service
  • Major service

But what is the difference between the 3? And what does a car service include?

Don’t forget there are also things you can do at home to maintain your car, including checking it’s oil, making sure to avoid silly MOT failures and checking tyre pressure regularly. 

You don’t need to get an interim service every 6 months, unless you’re driving more than 20,000 miles a year. Then it is advised as you are driving some considerable miles every year. However, if you drive less than this, then we would advise getting a full service one year and a major service the next. This way everything is checked thoroughly once a year with the extra parts that are checked in a major service looked at every 24 months as suggested.

The different services you can have are:

  • Interim service
  • Full service
  • Major service

But what is the difference between the 3? And what does a car service include?

Don’t forget there are also things you can do at home to maintain your car, including checking it’s oil, making sure to avoid silly MOT failures and checking tyre pressure regularly. 

What is an interim service?

An interim service is the lightest touch of the 3, offering 40 maintenance checks, and is recommended either every 6 months or 6,000 miles, whichever comes first. This sort of service is only recommended to those that travel over 20,000 miles a year in their vehicle and isn’t often necessary for those that travel less if you’re having an annual full service.

An interim service checks levels of fluids such as brake fluid, as well as the condition of the engine, the batteries, lights and tyres.

What is an interim service?

An interim service is the lightest touch of the 3, offering 40 maintenance checks, and is recommended either every 6 months or 6,000 miles, whichever comes first. This sort of service is only recommended to those that travel over 20,000 miles a year in their vehicle and isn’t often necessary for those that travel less if you’re having an annual full service.

An interim service checks levels of fluids such as brake fluid, as well as the condition of the engine, the batteries, lights and tyres.

What is checked on an interim service:

  • Bodywork & mirrors
  • Timing belt interval
  • Antilock braking system (ABS)
  • Warning lights
  • Seatbelts
  • Interior and exterior lights
  • Front and rear windscreen wipers, mirror and washers
  • Fuel cap
  • Air conditioning
  • Power steering
  • Auxiliary and fan belts
  • Air filter
  • Battery
  • Clutch
  • Handbrake function
  • Top ups to gearbox and axel oil
  • Fluid levels topped up
  • Check for corrosion
  • Engine oil and filter replaced
  • Exhaust and suspension
  • Tyres and brake pads
  • Exhaust emissions
Man taking wheel off car

What is checked on an interim service:

  • Bodywork & mirrors
  • Timing belt interval
  • Antilock braking system (ABS)
  • Warning lights
  • Seatbelts
  • Interior and exterior lights
  • Front and rear windscreen wipers, mirror and washers
  • Fuel cap
  • Air conditioning
  • Power steering
  • Auxiliary and fan belts
  • Air filter
  • Battery
  • Clutch
  • Handbrake function
  • Top ups to gearbox and axel oil
  • Fluid levels topped up
  • Check for corrosion
  • Engine oil and filter replaced
  • Exhaust and suspension
  • Tyres and brake pads
  • Exhaust emissions
Man taking wheel off car

According to Fixter, a website where you can get accurate costs of services in your area, an interim service can cost between £80 to £200. On average it costs £119.

According to Fixter, a website where you can get accurate costs of services in your area, an interim service can cost between £80 to £200. On average it costs £119.

What is a full car service?

What is a full car service? Well, it’s more comprehensive than an interim service, offering 69 maintenance checks in total. This sort of service is recommended every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. A full service will check everything mentioned above in the interim service, plus the following:

What is a full car service?

What is a full car service? Well, it’s more comprehensive than an interim service, offering 69 maintenance checks in total. This sort of service is recommended every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. A full service will check everything mentioned above in the interim service, plus the following:

What does a full service include?

  • Check the coolant system for leaks
  • Engine cooling fan
  • Throttle function
  • Distributor cap
  • Check the engine and gearbox mounts for wear and tear
  • Starter motor and security tests
  • Check the radiator
  • Wheel bearings and check for squeaks
  • Check all brakes
 

A major service would cost you around £133 – £300 according to Fixter, a website where you can get accurate costs of services in your area. On average it costs around £151.

Full service

What does a full service include?

  • Check the coolant system for leaks
  • Engine cooling fan
  • Throttle function
  • Distributor cap
  • Check the engine and gearbox mounts for wear and tear
  • Starter motor and security tests
  • Check the radiator
  • Wheel bearings and check for squeaks
  • Check all brakes
 

A major service would cost you around £133 – £300 according to Fixter, a website where you can get accurate costs of services in your area. On average it costs around £151.

Full service

What does a major service include?

Firstly, you might want to know what is a major service? It’s the most comprehensive service your vehicle can get and offers 71 maintenance checks. It’s recommended every 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. It’s essentially a complete overall check of your vehicle and is extremely thorough.

A major service includes: 

  • Check the coolant system for leaks
  • Engine cooling fan
  • Throttle function
  • Distributor cap
  • Check the engine and gearbox mounts for wear and tear
  • Starter motor and security tests
  • Check the radiator
  • Wheel bearings and check for squeaks
  • Check all brakes

A major service includes everything a full service does, but a mechanic will cover more in-depth checks, as well as making sure the spark plugs, brake fluid, suspension and fuel filters are checked and/or changed.

According to Fixter, a website where you can get accurate costs for mechanic services in your area, a major service would cost you around £250 – £400, which is on average around £284.

What does a major service include?

Firstly, you might want to know what is a major service? It’s the most comprehensive service your vehicle can get and offers 71 maintenance checks. It’s recommended every 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. It’s essentially a complete overall check of your vehicle and is extremely thorough.

A major service includes: 

  • Check the coolant system for leaks
  • Engine cooling fan
  • Throttle function
  • Distributor cap
  • Check the engine and gearbox mounts for wear and tear
  • Starter motor and security tests
  • Check the radiator
  • Wheel bearings and check for squeaks
  • Check all brakes

A major service includes everything a full service does, but a mechanic will cover more in-depth checks, as well as making sure the spark plugs, brake fluid, suspension and fuel filters are checked and/or changed.

According to Fixter, a website where you can get accurate costs for mechanic services in your area, a major service would cost you around £250 – £400, which is on average around £284.

How much does a car service cost?

Prices depend on the garage and the vehicle you have, as different vehicle makes and models will use different types of oils depending on the manufacturer and engine they have.

Service type Average cost*
Interim £119
Full £151
Major £284

*Prices sourced from Fixter.com, and are correct as of 05/08/22

We would suggest using a website such as Who Can Fix My Car, which will compare prices for a car, van or motorbike service using your registration number, the service you are wanting and your postcode.

Services are important, and a lot cheaper and less stressful than breaking down on the side of the road. So keep an eye on your miles and get one booked in when the time is right.

How much does a car service cost?

Prices depend on the garage and the vehicle you have, as different vehicle makes and models will use different types of oils depending on the manufacturer and engine they have.

Service type Average cost*
Interim £119
Full £151
Major £284

*Prices sourced from Fixter.com, and are correct as of 05/08/22

We would suggest using a website such as Who Can Fix My Car, which will compare prices for a car, van or motorbike service using your registration number, the service you are wanting and your postcode.

Services are important, and a lot cheaper and less stressful than breaking down on the side of the road. So keep an eye on your miles and get one booked in when the time is right.

How long does a car service take?

An interim service can take around 1.5 hours to complete, whereas a full service can take around 3-3.5 hours. A major service can take around 4-4.5 hours. These times are estimates and each garage and job will vary slightly depending on how much work needs to be done.

Whoever you decide to book your service with, ask how long they need to have the vehicle for to complete the job. They may suggest you leave your vehicle with them for the full day and they’ll give you a call when it’s ready, or they may ask if you want to sit at their garage whilst they do the job. Either way they should be able to give you a clear idea of how long you will be without your vehicle.

How long does a car service take?

An interim service can take around 1.5 hours to complete, whereas a full service can take around 3-3.5 hours. A major service can take around 4-4.5 hours. These times are estimates and each garage and job will vary slightly depending on how much work needs to be done.

Whoever you decide to book your service with, ask how long they need to have the vehicle for to complete the job. They may suggest you leave your vehicle with them for the full day and they’ll give you a call when it’s ready, or they may ask if you want to sit at their garage whilst they do the job. Either way they should be able to give you a clear idea of how long you will be without your vehicle.

Frequently asked car service questions

A vehicle service log book will come with many, if not most, used cars. This is a log book that will show records of the cars previous services, and it will allow you to keep records of any new services you have on the car. 

If you don’t have a vehicle service log book, then your car may have its service history recorded online. This depends on the manufacturer though, but your local garage will be able to tell you where your cars service history should be recorded.

We would also suggest keeping any invoices of any mechanical work which includes services. If you ever come to sell your car, this will show that it has been looked after and possibly allow you to ask for a higher price.

A minor service is also known as an interim service.

An interim service is the lightest touch of the 3 types of services mentioned above and offers 40 maintenance checks. It’s recommended to get these either every 6 months or 6,000 miles, whichever comes first, but are only recommended to drivers who travel over 20,000 miles a year.

Read above in this article to learn exactly what is included in an interim or minor car service. 

Frequently asked car service questions

A vehicle service log book will come with many, if not most, used cars. This is a log book that will show records of the cars previous services, and it will allow you to keep records of any new services you have on the car. 

If you don’t have a vehicle service log book, then your car may have its service history recorded online. This depends on the manufacturer though, but your local garage will be able to tell you where your cars service history should be recorded.

We would also suggest keeping any invoices of any mechanical work which includes services. If you ever come to sell your car, this will show that it has been looked after and possibly allow you to ask for a higher price.

A minor service is also known as an interim service.

An interim service is the lightest touch of the 3 types of services mentioned above and offers 40 maintenance checks. It’s recommended to get these either every 6 months or 6,000 miles, whichever comes first, but are only recommended to drivers who travel over 20,000 miles a year.

Read above in this article to learn exactly what is included in an interim or minor car service. 

Paul Green, National Remarketing Manager
Bringing you expert advice on how to maintain and service your vehicle, so you can enjoy a stress-free life on the road.
Share