Why do car services vary in cost?

Bradley Jando | Friday 18th December 2020 2:45pm

Car Dashboard Showing Service Light

You may be struggling to find an exact quote for your upcoming car service. Garages tend to keep saying “it’ll be about £X, £Y, or £Z”. But why? You’d think that a set of the same services would result in about the same prices.

Unfortunately, a car service isn’t the same set of services for each car. There are checks that are indeed conducted on every vehicle, but certain checks are specific to certain vehicles.

This makes sense when you consider the huge variety of vehicles on the roads today. For example, an MOT on a thirty-year old motorhome isn’t going to need to account for potential problems in automatic headlight switches.

Service checks vary

While individual cars vary in complexity, there are certain things that are present in all vehicles - like engine oil, brake fluid, shock absorbers, exhausts, and so on.

Any good Full Service will cover these, check their condition, and do things such as replace engine oil filters and engine oil. This means your engine can continue to run smoothly without getting clogged up by sediment in the fuel.

More modern cars, however, will have many more bells and whistles that will need checking. Usually, this means complex electrical systems such as automatic headlights, start-stop features, and fully-electronic dashboards. These provide significant added comfort and ease compared to cars from even ten years ago, but it also means that checking these added systems takes significantly longer.

The difference in price is largely affected by the length of time a service takes.

Different engines require different amounts and types of oil

Engine oil helps to keep everything in your engine well-lubricated. This reduces friction, which reduces wear on the engine, and means it can sing along beautifully for longer.

Each model of car, however, has a different sized engine, which requires different types and amounts of oil. While most garages stock a variety of oils, the differences in required oil volume, type, and disposal can all add up.

Different parts cost different amounts of money

A fuel filter, for example, performs the same role in each case, but has to be differently sized for engines requiring more fuel, or between petrol and diesel cars. For more modern cars, there will likely be a specific fuel filter to fit into a specific area within a car’s design.

These need to be ordered individually rather than in bulk, and this makes the overall cost higher. This logic also applies for many other parts.

We’re able to order parts and have them delivered with really short notice (often same-day), but being unable to order many parts in bulk means that it’s difficult to provide a single, static price for a service.

The variations in complexity, parts, and condition of vehicles means that the final cost for a service is bespoke to you and your car - but that doesn’t mean that you have to go into it blind. Give your local Kwik Fit centre a call, and the team will be able to advise you on how much a service for your specific model should cost.

If your car’s in need of a service, leave it with people you can trust. Contact your local Kwik Fit centre today.

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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