What Does An Interim Service Include?

Chloe Murphy 3 minutes Published: 26/08/2021

We all know there’s a lot of benefits to regularly servicing your car. An annual full service means your garage can thoroughly check your vehicle, getting ahead of any issues that appear.

But if you travel for work, have a particularly long commute, or just enjoy the regular road road trip, you could benefit from having your car serviced more often. With greater miles, comes greater responsibility (for your car), as you’re likely to be placing strain on parts that you can’t even see! 

With an interim service you get a slightly less comprehensive check than a full service, but as it’s carried out every 6 months, any issues will be spotted sooner rather than later. 

You can check out our general overview of what a car service includes, but here we’ll cover all the ins and outs of an interim service, and whether it’s right for your vehicle. 

We’ve done posts on the other types of car service too, including what is included in a full service and what is included in a major service.

What gets checked during an interim service?

Interim services are one of the most popular services among drivers, and are especially suited for anyone doing over 2000 miles a month.

It's more extensive than what is checked in an MOT, but doesn’t cover as much as the other service types. During the service, the mechanics will look at:

  • Vehicle Exterior -  Checking for any damage to the car body, and testing the exterior lights.
  • Wheels - Looking at wheel alignment and wheel bearings.
  • Brakes - Inspecting brake pads, brake fluid level, and handbrake.
  • Suspension 
  • Fluid levels - Refilling engine oil, antifreeze, coolant and clutch fluid.
  • Oil filter - Replacing as needed.
  • Gearbox and clutch operation 
  • Exhaust system
  • Windscreen wiper condition
  • Shock absorbers - carrying out a bounce test.
  • Spark plugs - checking they are correct for the mileage done.
  • Fuel filter - replacement interval.

Though it doesn’t go into the same detail as a full service, an interim service is still fairly in depth, so you know your car is operating safely. 

How long your car service takes will depend on the type you go for, but with an interim service, you’ll only be waiting around an hour and a half

How much should an interim service cost?

Since interim services aren’t quite as lengthy or comprehensive as full and major services, they work out a little cheaper at £75 upwards. For the price of other options, you can check how much a car service costs

Do I need an interim service for my lease car?

Servicing your lease car is a must. To avoid costly lease car return charges, you need to keep your car in good nick and abide by the manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule, so you should add interim service to your car maintenance checklist.

If you choose to take out a car lease maintenance package when you set up your deal, it is often included in the price. We’ve looked at whether car lease maintenance is worth it, or whether you sort these things out separately as and when you need them.

Does my car need a full or interim service?

Generally speaking, how often should you service your car depends on different factors like how often and how far you drive. 

If you do a higher number of miles than average, it’s recommended that you get an interim service. Your mechanic will be able to check up on any potential excess wear to your vehicle, and get to any issues before they’ve developed into costly repairs! 

If you’re still feeling unsure, we’ve covered everything a full service and a major service includes, or take a look at the difference between an interim and a full service. Alternatively, our guide to the types of car service can help you work out which one you need.