How Much Does A Car Service Cost?

Chloe Murphy 6 minutes Published: 11/04/2022

If we had a pound for everytime someone asked us, “How much should it cost to have my car serviced?”, we’d probably be off sunning ourselves in the Caribbean! 

Unfortunately, we just can’t give an exact answer, because there isn’t one. We hear you - isn’t this meant to be an article on car servicing costs? If you want to get right to some example costs, scroll on down to the last section.

But, as you’ll see in a minute, it's difficult for garages to charge one set cost for a service because what a service is varies so much.

To kick, let’s quickly recap what a service is.

What is a car service?

Like most things, cars need a little TLC in the form of regular car maintenance to keep them operating at their best. We've written a whole post on what is included in a car service so we'll be brief here.

Services are designed to replace or refresh car components and consumables that have a limited lifespan. This will vary with the types of car service, but typically includes things like engine oil, air filters, spark plugs, brake pads, coolant, oil filters, hoses, cables and gaskets. During a service, mechanics will also check other components for damage and wear.

Precisely what is included will depend on the age and model of your car as well as the quality of the service the garage offers. If you're into DIY car maintenance, you can do a lot of the work yourself but often manufacturer warranties and finance deals will insist on services being carried out by accredited garages.

So, how much will a service cost?

Ideally, you’d take your car to a number of garages and get the exact same quote for the same service. But realistically, this just isn’t the case. The average price of a car service usually falls around £125, but this won’t include the cost of any repairs or parts.

The cost of a service firstly depends on how long a car service takes, which depends on the types of car service you get.

The cost of a major service is higher, with Checkatrade calculating the average cost at £210. Luckily if it’s just an interim service, you’re only looking at around £100

To give you a real world feel for servicing costs, we got a few local garages to give us quotes for a trusty Vauxhall Corsa

Here’s what they said:

  • Garage #1: A full service cost £161.33 and included a free health check.
  • Garage #2: A full service cost £96.00.
  • Garage #3: A full service cost £173.64 and included a free health check.

As you can see, there’s a fairly wide range of costs. Unlike an MOT, there’s no max cost, so it’s best to shop around. Services can seem like a costly check, but avoid the temptation to skip out on it. 

If you skip your service, the cost to fix damaged parts later is likely to be far greater. Having your car well maintained and following its service plan means you’ll catch any issues when they’re in their early stages, and still relatively simple and cheap to fix!

What can affect the price?

As a car service isn't one precisely defined industry-standard product, there's a lot of variables at play that can affect the pricing. 

Here are some of the bigger factors in determining the price of a service:

  • Size of the car - Bigger cars have larger engines with larger components that take more time and more consumables to service. For example, a Land Rover Discovery will need more engine oil than a Ford Ka+ (learn how much it costs to change oil on its own).
  • Complexity of the car - Some cars like the Dacia Sandero are super basic bits of machinery, and with simplicity comes cheaper costs. Others, like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, are the polar opposite, and will be that bit more expensive. Generally speaking, the more complicated a car is, the more it will cost to service. Electric car services simpler since they have fewer moving parts.
  • Level of service - Services come in varying levels or tiers — interim service, full service and major service — that check, replace and refresh progressively more points on your car. There is a lot of variation within each tier so be sure to ask for a full list of what the garage does before proceeding.
  • Quality of service - Not all garages are created equal. If you buy a full service off a daily deals site for a tenner, don’t be surprised when they do a poor job and don’t check half the stuff they were supposed to.
  • Postcode - The area you live in or intend to have your car serviced in will affect the price, just like the cost of just about everything else!

Do I need to pay for servicing on my lease car?

Servicing your lease car is a requirement for pretty much every leasing company you’ll come across. You need to cover the costs yourself for the duration of your contract, and you need to do it as per the manufacturer schedule or you’ll face some hefty lease car return charges as penalty.

If you take out a car lease maintenance package with your leasing company, this often includes servicing costs. We go over whether car lease maintenance is worth it or whether you should pay for these things as and when you need them.

How do you find a good garage?

It’s pretty clear from the above that you shouldn’t just head to the first garage you see. Dealerships and big brands like Halfords and Kwik Fit may have more experience dealing with your specific make and model, but they will often be a more expensive choice. 

With so much information online, it’s super easy to find local garages near you and compare prices and reviews. You can then narrow this list down using recommendations from family and friends.

Once you’ve got a shortlist, get written quotes from all the garages with a full explanation of all the top ups and filter changes they’re going to do, and how much it’s going to cost.

You should specify whether you need an interim, major or full car service, and ask for their hourly rate, as this will kick in if the service uncovers any additional work needing immediate attention. Keep in mind that prices offered as an estimation do not guarantee the cost, so it could work out being much more.

If you’ve got the time, visiting independent garages is a great idea, as it allows you to check the working conditions and atmosphere. While at the garage, there are a few questions you should consider asking to judge the quality of their service:

  • Do you use approved parts?
  • Do you offer a courtesy car or delivery service?
  • Do you have any accreditations?
  • Do you offer a warranty on your work?

These can help give you a good idea of whether it’s a garage you may want to give a miss.


Though there’s no set price to rely on for getting your service, there are so many tips you can follow to make sure you save money and get the best service at a fair cost.

If you’ve recently purchased a second hand vehicle, you can check your vehicle registration or V5C log book for its service history, and see when it was last serviced. 

Your car owner’s manual should also indicate the service schedule, and may give time frames for the replacement of specific car parts. This can help you prepare for any expensive costs, and avoid unnecessary repairs. 

If you’ve leased a new car and want to simplify (and potentially save on) the costs of services, you can take out a car lease maintenance package. For an additional cost to your existing monthly lease payments, these can save you hassle as any issues that crop will be taken care of. 

To save on the additional costs of repairs, we recommend downloading one of these car maintenance apps and following our car maintenance checklist to keep your car in good working order! We've consulted some experts for their best car maintenance tips too!