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Car Service

Car up on a ramp

Regular servicing can help to keep your car running smoothly and identify potential problems early on, reducing the risk of more serious and costly problems in the future, and also reducing the risk of breakdown.

Book your Service with a garage you can trust – find an RAC Approved Garage near you.

Use our quick guide below to find out more information about car servicing, how often you should service your car and the types of car service available.

How often should I service my car?

Manufacturers recommend that a car should be serviced every 12,000 miles or every 12months, whichever comes first. Some cars feature a self-diagnostic system, which will advise when a car service is due. Drivers are advised not to ignore these warning signs even if they occur before 12 months or 12,000 miles has been reached.

What type of service should I choose?

Service Type Service Interval
Regular maintenance When oil and filter need replacement
Interim Service Every 6 months or 6,000 miles (whichever comes first)
Full Service Every 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first)
Manufacturer Service As per manufacturer service schedule, check your car manual for information.

What’s the difference between an MOT and a Service?

Some people think that a service is just an MOT but they both perform very different functions.

An MOT will provide a technical safety inspection of the vehicle whereas a Service checks wear and tear on the vehicle and will replace parts and fluids where appropriate.

Why should I service my car?

  • Regular maintenance - A service will carry out essential checks to the core components of a vehicle to ensure they’re running properly and to identify any need for replacement parts or fluid. Typical checks include the braking system and suspension to make sure that these vital parts don't let you down when you need them most.

Deterioration of parts is often gradual meaning regular servicing is even more important on high mileage vehicles. Services can help spot problems before they happen, which will give you time to think about how best to approach and finance the issue.

  • Maintain value – If you’re selling your car privately the second hand market can be competitive, with buyers expecting more for their money. A car with evidence of regular servicing – or even better a full service history - is likely to attract more potential buyers and a higher selling price.

If you’re curious to find out how much your car is worth RAC Cars offers a free online valuation service. Check the value of your vehicle.

  • Save cost - Regular servicing can save money on fuel. Refreshed oil and regularly changed air filters allow the engine to run smoothly and are more fuel efficient.

Not servicing your car increases your chances of suffering a breakdown - which could be costly and inconvenient if you subsequently become reliant on hire cars or public transport whilst your vehicle is fixed.

Where should I Service my car?

If you’ve bought your car from a main dealer you’re not obliged to return there to get the car serviced, as long as the service meets the manufacturer’s recommendations and uses manufacturer approved parts.

Always make sure you keep your service schedule up to date so that you can show proof of regular maintenance when selling on the vehicle, or for warranty purposes.

Many franchised dealerships offer competitive service packages so it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal, but more importantly find a garage that you can trust.

Our network of Approved Garages was set up to help motorists find good quality and reliable Garages. With over 700 Approved Garages across the country you’ll always be in safe hands.

RAC Approved Garages work to our Customer Charter and are independently inspected so that you can be sure of honest pricing, quality work and exceptional customer service that’s jargon free. Find your nearest RAC Approved Garage and book your Car Service today.