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The difference between a full service and an interim service

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 5 months ago

5 min read

  • Advice
  • Maintenance
  • Service
Oil Change

WhoCanFixMyCar discusses the ins and outs of car servicing

The cost of servicing can soon add up, making it tempting to skip your next appointment and save the cash instead - we’ve all been there. 

However, understanding exactly what you’re getting for your money can help to put into perspective the expense and the benefits of having a service done.  

In this guide, we’re going to explain the difference between a full service and an interim service, as well as discussing why both are important to the long term health of your car.


Key differences

Full service

Interim service

Is car servicing a legal requirement?

How much money could you save by using WhoCanFixMyCar?

Key differences

  • A full service should be carried out roughly once a year or every 12,000 miles, whereas an interim service is typically carried out every six months.

  • An interim service usually consists of around 50 detailed checks, whereas a full service could include 60 or more. 

  • An interim service will include basic fluid checks with top ups as necessary and a vehicle safety inspection, whereas a full service often includes more comprehensive checks of components like the suspension, battery, cooling system, spark plugs and brakes.

Full service

Typically, a full service will take around three hours to complete, but it could be longer if any problems are encountered. 

It’s important to be aware that your MOT is not the same as a service; the former checks whether your vehicle meets safety and environmental standards, while the latter is designed to keep your car in the best possible condition. As such, many people opt to book both at the same time. 

Full service checks typically include:

Oil Change

Interim service

An interim service is less comprehensive than a full service and, as a result, takes roughly half the time - usually about an hour and a half. 

Interim service checks usually include:

There’s no legal requirement to get your car serviced, but doing so could save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run by preventing future breakdowns and extending the life of your car’s components. 

That being said, most warranties for new cars do require regular servicing, the intervals of which will be specified in the terms of the agreement.

How much money could you save on servicing by using WhoCanFixMyCar?

In 2021, drivers who booked a full service through WhoCanFixMyCar saved an average of £71, while those who booked an interim service saved an average of £43.