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What does a full car service include?

A full car service is a manufacturer’s recommended health check of the car, used to test everything from your engine’s fluid levels to general wear and tear. It is designed to make sure your car can always run safely and efficiently. It’s also designed to save money in the long run as it will detect problems early on and help you nip them in the bud.

A full car service will often include a thorough check consisting of 60-70 components, system checks and adjustments of your vehicle. A full service will include all of the checks from an interim service, plus more. Some of the elements of a full service include:

  • General checks including external lights
  • Checking over your tyres, lights, exhaust, brakes and steering
  • Testing the car battery health
  • Fluid checks and top ups, including coolant, brake fluid and power steering fluid
  • Wheel alignment
  • Checking your timing belt
  • Checking engine performance
  • Cooling system checks, including radiators and water pumps
  • Checking the condition of your suspension, including shock absorbers and coil springs
  • Checking your tyre tread and condition
  • Brake pad and brake disc wear inspection

A full service is recommended to be carried out at least once a year, or every 12,000 miles – whichever comes first. It will include everything that is done in an interim service, but more in-depth checks and some extra tests.

Get your car fully serviced near you

The best place to get full car service is at a fully licenced and qualified garage, where experts will be on hand to carry out the routine with a full suite of equipment. Because a car service is a common practice for mechanics, it doesn’t usually require a specialist. However, if you have an electric car, you might need to check that the garage has experienced mechanics on hand who are able to carry out electric car services and repairs.

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Compare full service average costs

The cost of a full car service can vary due to differences in labour time and parts needed, as well as the type of car make, but on average a full service booked through WhoCanFixMyCar costs around £179.05. Find below the average quote on WhoCanFixMyCar for some of the top car makes.

Car Make Average Price
Audi £181.56
BMW £185.40
Citroen £174.31
Ford £175.48
Mercedes £188.52
MINI £177.78
Nissan £177.29
Peugeot £175.05
Renault £174.08
Toyota £174.63
Vauxhall £175.21
Volkswagen £177.71
Volvo £185.20


  • Full service

    The average cost of a full service booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £179.05.

    A full service involves up to 67 different checks of the efficiency and performance of your car and its components, followed by a recommendation of any repairs. It usually takes between 3-5 hours and should be carried out once per year. A full service will include checks and top-ups of the different oils and fluids your car needs including engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, engine coolant, and power steering fluid.

    Can include
    • Vehicle inspection
    • Component and system testing
    • Oil and fluid top-ups
    • Repair recommendations
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  • Full service & MOT

    The average cost of a full service & MOT check booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £199.

    A full service & MOT includes all the checks you would get in a full service, along with an MOT (which is a yearly legal requirement for cars over the age of 3 years old). By getting both done together, you can often reduce your overall cost and improve your chance of passing the MOT.

    Can include
    • 60+ checks
    • MOT test
    • Battery level check
    • New engine oil and oil filter
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  • Interim service

    The average cost of an interim service booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £113.

    An interim service is recommended for cars that are driven a lot. It generally takes place 6 months after your full service or after every 6,000 miles – whichever comes first. An interim service consists of around 30+ different checks on your vehicle’s condition.

    Can include
    • 30+ checks
    • Fluid top-ups
    • New engine oil and filter
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Car servicing – which service do you need?

A car service is when you take your car to a garage for a check-up. A garage technician will take a look at the condition of your car and check the car parts for wear and tear, including checking brakes, filters, oil and engine. There are three types of services:

  • Full car service
  • Interim car service
  • Major car service

It is not uncommon for the technician to replace the oil filter and engine oil as part of the service. They might also recommend what parts need repairing or replacing.

Servicing your car every year will help you spot any problems that your car will face before a major breakdown. It also helps to prolong the life of your car and can help with the resale value, if you have a full-service history which proves you took care of your car.


How do you know if you need a full car service?

The recommended time frame for a full car service is every 12 months or 12,000 miles. However, if you notice any problems with your vehicle, it could be worth getting yourself booked in earlier for an interim car service.

During a service, your technician will be able to check if some problems with your car making it unsafe to drive.

  • Any trouble or difficulty steering
  • Problems with your brakes
  • Worn shock absorbers and a car that hit bumps hard
  • Tyres that are losing pressure or start to look worn
  • Trouble starting your car
  • Lights that begin to look a bit dim
  • Issues with dashboard warning lights


What are the top 10 cheapest cars to service?
WhoCanFixMyCar reveals the Top 10 cheapest cars to service in the UK.

Read our guide


Are full car services necessary?

Although a full service isn’t a legal requirement, it is recommended for cars to get services every 12,000 miles or every year.  It’s the best way to keep your car in good condition and manage natural wear and tear. Although it’s not a legal requirement, many insurance companies dictate that your car needs a full service every year to remain covered by the policy.

Not only is a full service necessary to maintain the overall health of your car, but getting your yearly full service also counts towards getting a full service history for your car. A full service history means that your car has been regularly serviced, and serviced in line with the manufacturers service guide. This is particularly important if you are trying to sell your car, because a car with a full service history is more valuable than a car without one.

What are the benefits for a car owner?

The benefits of regular servicing include maintaining your vehicle’s condition and making sure it performs at its peak. It gives you an up to date understanding of any wear and tear to your car and helps you get necessary repairs, component replacements, and fluid top-ups before they cause further issues to your vehicle.

Although it’s recommended that most cars get serviced once a year, cars that regularly cover a lot of miles can benefit from an interim service on top of their annual full service. This is because it allows a mechanic to spot any issues that develop between full services, and to fix them before they get worse.

What impacts the cost of a full service?

Generally, a larger vehicle will cost more to service. However, the main factor that will impact your full service cost is the condition of your vehicle. If your service uncovers issues with your car, the cost of these repairs will be added to the total price you pay.

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How often should I book a full service for my car?

Car servicing is recommended yearly or every 12,000 miles to maintain the condition and roadworthiness of your vehicle. Most newer cars will have a service indicator to remind you when your service is due. This often takes into consider the time and mileage since your last service.

What is included in a full service?

A full service is a visual inspection that includes around 60-70 checks, and will include some of the following:

Checks over your:

  • Battery condition
  • Tyre tread and pressure
  • Steering and wheel alignment
  • Wheel bearings
  • Brake pads and discs
  • Plus many more!

Top ups and replacements on your:

  • Anti freeze coolant
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Windscreen wash
  • Engine oil and filters
  • Plus many more!

Other comprehensively checked components are your:

  • Windscreen wipers
  • Door locks
  • External lights
  • Brake fluid condition

Does a full service fall under warranty?

No. After the initial 3 years of owning the car, the full service will not fall under your car’s warranty, unless you have purchased a separate servicing package from your manufacturer.

Does a full service get covered under insurance?

The full service will not fall under your insurance policy and it is a cost that you must cover yourself. Your insurance policy document will include all the details of what is covered.

What’s the difference between a full service and an interim service?

The key differences between a full service and an interim service are:

  • An interim service is less comprehensive than a full service, and is advised to be carried out every six months, or every 6,000 miles
  • Interim services focus on items that require the most regular renewal and maintenance, and in turn can help to address any problems early on to prevent the issue becoming worse later down the line
  • A full service on the other hand covers all of the elements of an interim service, plus more.
  • A full service is advised to be carried out every 12 months, or every 12,000 miles.

How long does it take to complete a full service on my car?

A car’s full service can take around three hours to complete, if there are no significant issues encountered as they will of course lengthen the job time. You will ordinarily get your car back the same day but perhaps set a day aside for the service.

If you decide to book a major service, this can take slightly longer between three to four hours, as it essentially includes all of the checks included in with a full service, plus some extras.

How much does a full car service cost?

The average cost of a full car service booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £175.95, but the exact price varies depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

What are the benefits of getting a full service?

Though getting your annual full service is not a legal requirement, there are a number of safety and financial benefits to getting one. Just a few of these benefits include:

  • Decreases the chance of your car breaking down
  • Helps to improve fuel economy
  • Getting your annual full service helps towards getting a full service history, increasing the value of your car when reselling
  • Reduction of overall wear on your engine, brake pads and tyres through regular maintenance checks

Where can I book a full service near me?

Full services are a fairly standardized procedure, and as such, many garages will offer a full service alongside the many services that they provide. At WhoCanFixMyCar, we work with a network of over 15,000 highly rated local garages for you to choose from.

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