Why servicing your vehicle is important

Having your vehicle serviced is important to ensure the safety of you and other drivers, so we’ve put together this guide to remind you of the reasons why you should service your vehicle and what could happen if you don’t.

How often should you service your vehicle?

It is recommended that you service your vehicle every 12 months or every 12,000 miles. In some cars, there will be a self-diagnostic system which will advise you when a service is due. If you receive this warning before the 12 months or 12,000 miles has been reached, you should get your vehicle checked as soon as possible.

under a car bonnet

Do I have to have my vehicle serviced?

Having your vehicle serviced is not a legal requirement, however regular servicing is recommended to keep your vehicle safe and in good working order.

Jumping a car with jump leads

What’s the difference between an MOT and service?

An MOT is a legal requirement that ensures your vehicle is safe and roadworthy and a service is a recommended annual health check that is designed to keep your vehicle in good working condition.

Checking tyre pressure

An MOT will provide an in depth and technical safety inspection of the vehicle to determine whether it meets the minimum road safety requirements as set out by the DVSA.

A vehicle service follows detailed guidelines set out by the manufacturer, assessing the condition of your vehicle.

What does a vehicle service include?

There 50 or more checks and adjustments that can be ran during a full service including:

  • Engine oil change and/or filter replacement
  • Light checks
  • Checking for any outstanding recalls
  • Parking brake, clutch and brake operation and the condition of brake discs, pads and calipers
  • Seatbelts and mountings
  • Instruments and warning lamps
  • Horn
  • Interior lighting
  • All wiper blades and wash systems
  • Exterior lighting including indicators, head beams, brake lights and levelling systems
  • Body work and paint
  • Oil, lubricant and other fluid leaks
  • Steering and suspension
  • Tyre condition including pressure and monitoring system
  • Battery condition and terminals
  • Air conditioning

What happens if I don’t get my vehicle serviced?

Failure to carry out regular service checks on your vehicle may make you unaware of any potential problems that could lead to your vehicle being unroadworthy.

If you don’t service your vehicle, you may notice the performance of the car starting to deteriorate as your engine and fuel efficiency reduce, decreasing the average life span of your vehicle. 

Having a service can also save you money in the long run, as mechanics can pick up on any damage that requires small repair work, helping you to avoid paying out for a full replacement part when it’s too late.

Brake fluid reservoir

The result of having your vehicle properly serviced

  • Improved Safety –Regular servicing can highlight any problems and provides you with the knowledge that your vehicle is roadworthy.
  • Maintain Value – If you plan to sell your vehicle privately, having evidence of regular servicing or a full service history is likely to attract more potential buyers and a higher selling price.
  • Increase Vehicle Lifespan – Looking after your vehicle, having regular services and keeping it in a good condition can prolong its lifespan. If you plan to keep your vehicle for a long time, regular servicing helps.
  • Reduced breakdowns – Regularly servicing your vehicle keeps it working at its optimal level and it means you’re more likely to find any problems before they get worse, fixing any potential issues will help reduce the number of breakdowns.
  • Warranty Validity – Some new vehicles have a recommended service schedule that should be followed. If a part fails and the manufacturer can see that you haven’t followed the schedule or looked after the vehicle according to their guidelines, they could refuse to cover the parts under warranty.
  • Fuel efficiency – Regular oil changes and new air filters help the engine to run smoothly, making your vehicle more fuel efficient and saving you money on fuel.

There are many reasons as to why you should service your car, but ultimately the main goal is to keep you and other drivers safe. If you want to learn more about vehicle safety checks and the different types of checks you can do to ensure your vehicle is safe, read our important vehicle safety checks guide.