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Does your car need an annual service?

by Hugh Wilson | 12 Nov 2015

Do you skip or delay your annual car service? If so, you’re not alone. Recent research revealed that 20% of car owners have skipped their car’s service or other maintenance and repairs over the last twelve months.

That chimes with other research which found that many of us continue to drive despite the presence of a dashboard warning light, potentially leaving it months (and more) until we have the problem investigated.

The Kwik Fit research revealed that motorists fail to service their cars for a variety of reasons. Chief among them was cost, followed by driving fewer miles, preparing to sell the car and believing that manufacturers overstated how frequently cars needed to be serviced.

But nearly half of respondents admitted that not servicing their car regularly would most likely lead to additional costs, which the study totalled at a whopping £153.9 million. Maria McCullough, network manager for AutoCare and Approved Garages, says that regular servicing is an essential part of sensible car maintenance.

“Servicing isn’t a legal requirement but regular servicing helps to maintain your car’s value – cars sold with a full service record tend to demand a higher price than those without, because buyers know the car has been well maintained,” says Maria.

“Regular servicing can also help to pick up faults while they’re still cheap to fix, and keep a car running efficiently, saving money. Of course, catching faults early also means there’s less chance of you breaking down.”

Maria also reminded motorists that they aren’t obliged to have their vehicle serviced at a franchised main dealer, where costs can be prohibitive, and believes that drivers worried about cost should shop around for a better deal.

“You don’t have to go to a franchise dealer to get your car serviced – an independent garage can do the job just as well and usually for less money,” she adds. “But make sure you choose a garage which only uses original equipment or matched quality parts so your car’s warranty isn’t affected. Another way to ensure peace of mind is to only use a garage that is Motor Codes certified (the government backed, Trading Standards approved code for garages). All AutoCare and Approved Garages adhere to these standards and have access to the best and most up-to-date technical training from accredited courses.”

An annual service is sufficient for most drivers, experts say. Those who cover high miles might also benefit from a cheaper and less extensive interim service between main services. Refer to manufacturer’s service schedules to ensure your car is serviced correctly.

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