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*Introductory offer ends 30 September 2022.

It’s easy to book a service online with the RAC. Find a local approved garage near you. Or book our NEW RAC Mobile Mechanics and we'll come to you at home or work.

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Trusted local garages

Honest pricing, quality work and exceptional customer service are guaranteed

NEW mobile mechanics

Book a service at your home or work. Available in the West Midlands – coming to your area soon!

12-month warranty

Any repairs come with a 12-month warranty, for complete peace of mind^

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What is a car service?

A car service is a routine heath check that assesses everything from your engine’s fluid levels to general wear and tear. It keeps your car running safely and efficiently. And it can save you money in the long run, by nipping in the bud any problems that could develop. 

Find out more in our handy car service checklist

Why do I need a car service?

Regular servicing helps maintain your car and keep it running smoothly. For example, having the oil and filters changed can stop dirt and dust from getting into your engine and potentially causing major problems. If you don’t service your car, you’re more likely to see its performance deteriorate over time.

Regular servicing can also save you money in the long run, by spotting minor issues before they become a bigger problem.

How often should I service my car?

Most manufacturers recommend having a full car service once a year or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. But this depends on your car and how you drive it.

You can check your logbook to see when your car was last serviced. Some cars also have a system that lets you know when a service is due. Even if this appears before 12 months or every 12,000 miles, you shouldn’t ignore it.

Service type

Service interval

Regular maintenance When your oil and filter need replacing
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 your manufacturer’s service schedule – check your manual

Is a car service the same as an MOT?

No, a car service is different to an MOT. An MOT is a mandatory test that makes sure your car meets legal requirements. A car service follows detailed guidelines from the manufacturer to keep your car in optimum condition. See below for more differences.

  • An MOT is an annual inspection that checks the safety and environmental impact of a vehicle. It’s a legal requirement for almost every vehicle on the UK’s roads. Read more in our MOT guide
  • A car service is designed to maintain the condition and performance of your car. It’s a more in-depth mechanical assessment than an MOT. But unlike an MOT, it’s not a legal requirement.


How much is a car service?

The average cost of a service depends on which garage you go to and which type of service you choose. An interim service usually costs around £75-£125. A full service usually costs around £140. These costs don’t include repairs or new parts.

What’s included in a car service?

What’s included in your car service depends on which type you choose. All services include a visual check. For example, looking at the bodywork and wheels. They’ll also check things like your brakes and gearbox are working properly. If you have an electric or hybrid car, they’ll check your charging ports, cables and connections.


Full service Interim service Oil change

77-point inspection, every 12 months or 12,000 miles

  • Engine oil change
  • Oil filter change
  • Air filter change

50-point inspection, every 6 months or 6,000 miles

  • Engine oil change
  • Oil filter change

Whenever your oil and filter need replacing

  • Oil change


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How long does a car service take?

A car service usually takes 2 to 3 hours, as long as they don’t find any major issues. This varies from model to model. For example, bigger, more complex cars take longer to service. A full service will also take longer than an interim service, as it’s more comprehensive.

Depending on the garage, they could service your car while your wait. Or they may ask you to drop off your car in the morning and collect it later.

What to bring to a car service

Alloy wheel keys or locking nuts

We need this to remove your wheels, so we can check your steering and suspension systems.

An empty boot

If you have a spare tyre, our technicians will need to check it. So make sure you remove any personal items from the boot.

Your service book

We need to see when certain things were last replaced. For example, brake fluid and spark plugs. This information is in your service book.

MOT due? Book your MOT online.


Read our guide to finding the right garage to repair your car.


Find everything you need for your car at the RAC Shop.


Choose from standard RAC Car Insurance or RAC Car Insurance Plus with a Defaqto 5 Star Rating.


Short term car insurance from 1 hour to 30 days


RAC Learner Driver Insurance offers flexible, short term cover whilst you gain experience behind the wheel. Buy comprehensive cover online 24/7


The Camping and Caravanning Club's breakdown and recovery scheme provided by RAC.


Punctures, battery problems, non-starts and cut-outs are all covered. We'll even come out if you run out of fuel.


Find out more about our offering for electric and hybrid vehicles here.

Find out more

The RAC's Car Breakdown Cover will get you back on the road and give you complete peace of mind. Get outstanding roadside assistance with the RAC.


View our top maintenance tips on how to make your car last longer


We want to make the switch to electric as easy as possible


Personal breakdown cover can give you peace of mind in whatever vehicle you’re driving or travelling in as a passenger, as this guide from the RAC explains.


Family breakdown cover provides vehicle cover for several members of your family within a joint policy.


If your vehicle cannot be fixed at the side of the road, our vehicle recovery service will transport it to either a garage or back to your home address.


Compare breakdown cover from the RAC and other providers to help you understand the differences in service, coverage, optional extras and reliability.


This guide compares the RAC, one of the UK’s major breakdown cover companies, with Green Flag, to see how it compares for level of cover, pricing and customer reviews.


If your vehicle can't be fixed in the same day after a breakdown, RAC's Onward Travel product helps you to make alternative travel plans to continue your journey.


If your vehicle breaks down miles away from home, national recovery cover from the RAC could prove invaluable – find out more here.


Many vehicle breakdowns happen at home – but with RAC At Home Cover you can get on with your day quickly again.