Vehicles need to be serviced to keep them in good working condition and to keep your obligations in terms of the manufacturer's warranty. Without regular servicing in line with the manufacturer's service intervals will result in reduced performance, safety and economy. Over a long enough period of time, the vehicle may simply stop functioning at all and perhaps result in big repair bills to get it back on the road.
Personal leased and business leased vehicles need to be serviced just like any other new car and this guide will help you better understand your responsibilities and how service packages can make your life easier and save you money.
What does a service do?
Every manufacturer may have a different service procedure to one another, but these are what are common in any service
- Engine oil change and filter replacement
- Check all lights, tyres, exhausts, brakes and steering are in working order
- Checking and topping up gearbox, brake and coolant fluid
- Steering alignment and fix if incorrect
- Testing the battery's capacity
- Check the timing belt
- Recharge air conditioning
To try and make service more attractive, some garages may offer extras to help the customer get the best out of their car and may label their service as an point vehicle check
It's important to note that a service is not an MOT. An MOT only makes sure the vehicle meets the legal requirements as per Government guidelines and in most cases, new vehicles do not need an MOT for the first three years.
Do I need to service a lease vehicle?
Yes. A leased vehicle needs to adhere to the manufacturer's service schedule in order to fulfil your obligations in keeping the car in good condition upon its return. Not servicing a vehicle will not only reduce the performance but it will lead to charges at the end to compensate for the incomplete service record.
Upon the vehicle's return, the finance company aims to sell the vehicle on and its value will decrease without a complete service manual.
Not adhering to the service schedule may also invalidate the warranty which can leave you liable for anything that goes wrong.
How much does it cost to service a car?
The cost of servicing depends on the vehicle itself, the garage's own charges as well as which kind of service it is. Sometimes, a vehicle may have different levels of servicing depending on the age of the vehicle and they are simply called a first service, second service and so on. These different levels of services can sometimes differ in price.
At the very least you should expect to pay £125 for a service as reported by the Money Advice Service. However, it should be noted that this cost is likely to be with a non-franchised independent dealer and many leasing contracts require the vehicle to be serviced by the manufacturer directly which can be more expensive than small independently owned garages.
We would, therefore, estimate the entry-level cost of leased car service to be upwards of £175.
Who pays for the service?
The servicing and maintenance cost of the vehicle is the responsibility of the contract holder for the duration of the contract. The total cost can be reduced by taking out a maintenance package (detailed below) otherwise the customer could face a large bill once a year for the duration of the term and any excess costs that may arise such as replacement tyres and other consumables.
How do I service my leased car?
Your vehicle will come with a handbook which details the exact servicing requirements and schedule. Generally, the leased vehicle will need to be taken to a garage which are VAT registered and which uses genuine parts belonging to the manufacturer which is usually a branded garage, your finance company can provide you with a list of approved dealers who can service the vehicle.
Some finance companies may insist on the vehicle being serviced by an authorised dealer.
Lastly, if you opt for a maintenance package, the list of approved dealers will be given to you.
Can I get a service pack with a lease vehicle?
A service pack is optional on all contracts and will be explained and offered before any contracts are signed. It can not be added at a later date.
All Car Leasing and all of our funders highly recommend taking out a maintenance pack which rolls in the cost of all service and maintenance on top of your monthly lease cost as well as breakdown cover and the cost of consumables such as replacement lights, tyres and wipers. A maintenance pack includes all servicing and consumable for the duration of the contract and helps make it cheaper by spreading the cost at a discount over the term.