How to cut your car service costs: cheaper servicing, MoTs and repairs

Look after your car and you'll help reduce your everyday costs, but you can also save money on servicing

Regular servicing ensures your car is roadworthy, and will also maximise its value when the time comes to sell. A consistent service history is something most buyers look for and figures show cars without one sell for 10 per cent less.

The other benefit is that your car will be in tip-top shape for the coming months, meaning it'll be working efficiently and ensuring that it won't be costing more than it should in fuel and other costs.

• Most reliable cars to buy now

But servicing is a pricey business, so it’s worth considering a service package. Most manufacturers offer plans for new cars – for example, Honda provides a five-year inflation-proof package for £695. It’s a hefty initial outlay, but it can save you £500 over the five years. You can get similar deals on used cars, too, with makers offering two to five-year service plans.

RMIF Member Garage

An alternative option to manufacturer-approved service schemes is to use an independent garage. Block Exemption rules mean manufacturers can no longer void your warranty if you choose to have your vehicle maintained in this way. 

However, Bill Fennell from The Motor Ombudsman advises motorists against always going for the cheapest solution. He says: “With independent garages, you have to account for the varying labour rates across the country.” Our Driver Power survey found workshop hourly rate vary between £36 and £240 across Britain rates. Fennell adds: “You must also make sure the garage uses all of the manufacturer-approved parts and oils so that your warranty stays intact. It’s always best to shop around and compare the offers.” 

MoTs are also a necessary expense, but you can save money here, too. Some dealers incentivise customer loyalty by offering free MoTs for life, as long as the car is serviced at the dealer it was bought from. But another route you can go down is to get your car inspected by a council-run test centre. Council-run MoT centres do not carry out any repairs, which means the mechanics doing the inspection have less incentive to fail your car in order to make some extra money, so you can guarantee that an MoT failure is a genuine one. 

Doing your own pre-MoT check can also help you save, as the latest figures reveal more than a quarter of MoT failures come from faulty light bulbs and low-pressure tyres. Both are a cheap fix and mean you won’t have to pay for a retest, which can cost up to half the full £54.85 MoT rate.

How much can you save on car servicing?

 

Auto Express tips

Savings

Service package£100
Pre-MoT check£27
Total annual savings£127

• How to cut your car running costs• How to cut your car insurance costs• How to cut your fuel costs

Get a free MOT with a full service from Motoreasy with the code: AUTOEXPRESSMOT

What are your top tips for saving on car service costs? Let us know in the comments section below...

Recommended

Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained
Joe Finnerty in Hyper G sled
Consumer news

Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained

Thatcham studies crashes, rates alarms and sets insurance groups to help cut drivers’ costs. We find out how
11 May 2021
Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know
Executive saloons make popular company cars
Consumer news

Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know

Company car tax is bound up in a complex net of emissions, salaries and a car's value; we explain how the system looks for the 2021/22 Financial Year
27 Apr 2021
No new smart motorways to open without stopped vehicle detection
smart motorway
News

No new smart motorways to open without stopped vehicle detection

Implementation of SVD technology to be accelerated, with existing smart motorways getting the system six months earlier than planned
21 Apr 2021
Breakdowns following pothole strikes surge by highest rate ever seen
Potholes
Consumer news

Breakdowns following pothole strikes surge by highest rate ever seen

Report shows 37 per cent increase over the last quarter, as breakdown firm warns roads “are like the surface of the moon”
20 Apr 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
New Vauxhall Astra prototype review
Vauxhall Astra prototype - front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra prototype review

A new Vauxhall Astra is on the way and we've driven a prototype ahead of its official arrival
14 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review
Porsche Macan prototype - front
Porsche Macan

New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a prototype version of the facelifted Porsche Macan SUV
13 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland
Nissan Qashqai - front static
News

New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland

Nissan will offer every school child in the North East of England a place on the Nissan Skills Foundation course to mark 35 years of manufacturing in …
14 Jun 2021
Illegal car modification hotspots revealed
Volkswagen Polo exhaust
News

Illegal car modification hotspots revealed

Gloucestershire has the highest proportion of illegal car modifications, with altered number plates the most common breach
14 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender

New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development

The Land Rover Defender FCEV prototype will be assessed for off-road and long-range zero-emission motoring
14 Jun 2021