A car service is an in-depth check up of your vehicle's main functions carried out by a garage.
Typically, if your car's booked in for a service, it'll only need to be at the garage for a day. It's best to ask the garage exactly how long your service will take but, as a rough guide, an interim service takes around 90 minutes and a full service can take up to 3 hours.
A service is designed to properly maintain the vehicle (rather than simply assess it, like an MOT test), so the technician needs time to inspect the car thoroughly.
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What kind of checks are included in a service?
The checks included in a service depend on the type of service you choose. A manufacturer service, for example, will be tailored to your vehicle's make, model, age and mileage, but an interim or full service includes the same checks for every type of vehicle.
All services involve visual checks to your car, like looking for possible damage to your car's body or wheels. They'll also include manual checks to things like your brakes and gearbox to make sure they're working safely.
The garage might also need to dismantle some parts of your car, like if your service includes draining and replacing fluid or fitting new filters.
How long will I need to leave my car at the garage for?
This will depend on the garage you choose and what kind of service you book. As already mentioned, an interim service typically takes around 90 minutes and a full service up to 3 hours.
You should be able to pick your car up on the same day you dropped it off, but this can vary depending on how busy the garage is.
What if a garage says my car needs extra work?
If any additional repairs are identified during a service, a garage may need extra time with your vehicle to complete these and they might ask you to come back at a later date.
Some garages might be able to offer you a courtesy car if you need transportation while your car is in the garage.
Learn more about your legal rights when dealing with garages.
Car servicing from AA Smart Care
The easy way to book a car service.
- Free vehicle collection and return, subject to availability.
- Servicing at AA approved garages.
- Quick and easy online booking and payment.
- Parts and labour guaranteed for 1 year or up to 12,000 miles.
- Fair, transparent pricing, no hidden extras.
We thoroughly inspect each garage to ensure it fully meets our quality, service and training standards. We then carry out annual audits, as well as spot checks.
Author: The AA