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  • Just the Ticket team

Do I really need to service my car?

Service indicator light on

For many, 2020 has forced us to review our finances and make savings wherever we can. According to research by the RAC, nearly half of UK motorists have put off servicing their cars or carrying out essential maintenance during 2020.

The car is taxed, insured and has an MOT. So, does it really need a service too? Let’s have a quick look at the difference between an MOT and a service to help you make up your mind.

Surely any problems would be picked up by the MOT?

Not necessarily. An MOT is a legal requirement to make sure that your vehicle meets minimum road safety requirements. The options are to pass or fail on the individual measures. Although there is scope for advisories – notes about issues that have been spotted but are not significant enough to cause the vehicle to fail.

But there are two main issues with relying on the MOT for the health of your vehicle – the first is that it’s really a snapshot of your vehicle’s roadworthiness at the time it’s done. The average MOT takes between 45 and 60 minutes and ensures that the car is safe to drive for another 12 months. But it does not mean that it’s running as well as it could.

Simon Kempson, Front of House Manager at Just the Ticket, explains: “Let’s take brake pads as an example. These wear over time, but a vehicle will only fail the MOT if they do not meet the minimum acceptable level of 1.5mm. If they are 1.6mm at MOT, then the tester will provide an advisory note. But those pads could drop below the minimum limit within days. And the problem is that customers can assume that the advisory notes are things that will likely need addressing at the next MOT. Rather than issues that need to be picked up before they escalate.”

And you also need to consider the things that an MOT doesn’t check. A service is a much more in-depth examination of your vehicle based on requirement set by your manufacturer rather than the DVSA. The Service Technician will spend a minimum of 1.5 hours with your car and the aim is to leave it in the best shape possible to prolong its life.

So how often does my car need to be serviced?

Most manufacturers recommend servicing every 12 months or 12000 miles, whichever comes first. And there are different levels of service. But if you contact us at Just the Ticket we can tell you what’s required for your specific vehicle.

It sounds like additional expense…

There’s a cost to servicing of course. And the exact price will be dependent on which service you have and the type of vehicle you own. But when it comes to selling your car, prospective buyers often want to see a full service history. Some people view it as an indicator that the car has been well cared for. So, not being able to provide evidence that the car has been regularly serviced might negatively impact its resale value.

Plus, having your vehicle serviced regularly can actually save money over the longer term as it’s possible that problems can be picked up before they become issues. We had a perfect example of this at the garage this week.

Simon Kempson says: “A customer brought in their car for a full service and we found a broken front coil spring that they didn’t know about at all.

It was great that the car came in when it did. When these springs break there is a risk that they can dislodge, come into contact with the tyre, and potentially cause a blow-out.”

Why should I use Just the Ticket?

We are a large privately owned MOT and service station and we also have a workshop for car body repairs and classic car restoration.

We’ve been established since 2002 and we carry out services on most makes of car. We have a team of four fully qualified and experienced service technicians. And two senior technicians to oversee the work and provide guidance for more complex jobs.

If your car is due a service – or perhaps you’ve put it off during the chaos that’s been 2020 – then please do get in touch or call on 020 8336 1111 – and we can get you booked in.

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