• Missing a service on a vehicle over three years old could cost drivers over £2,200 over its life
    • An annual service nips potentially expensive problems in the bud
    • A full service history helps motorists sell their vehicle more quickly for more money

    The AA is reporting fewer people servicing their cars and vans over three years old, in a bid to save money in the current recession, but insurance and warranty specialist, MB&G is warning drivers that skipping the annual service is essentially a false economy and could cost thousands over the life of the vehicle.

    With over 30 years’ experience, MB&G understands the importance of servicing cars and warns drivers that simply relying on the MOT test to highlight any vehicle problems is not enough. Unlike an MOT test, which is a legal requirement, a service will check many other things such as the wheel alignment and the vehicle’s drive shafts – items that could prove very costly if not maintained correctly.

    The winter months put added strain on vehicles. Grit and salt on the roads can cause central components to rust, while rain, ice and snow damage road surfaces, creating every driver’s nightmare, the pothole – another concerning factor for tyres, suspension and shock absorbers.

    While a full service history will increase a vehicles’ value, servicing can nip developing problems in the bud, potentially saving the driver hundreds or thousands of pounds. A service will check things such as:

    • Wheel alignment – should a vehicle’s tracking be found to be out of alignment, this can be fixed before it wears the tyres, which could otherwise result in the need for new tyres. Two new front tyres for a Mercedes E280 CDI for example could cost £600 – and that’s not including labour or VAT.
    • Driveshaft/steering rack – a service could reveal if the boots on the CV joints/steering rack are torn, in which case they could be replaced at a small cost to the driver. Neglecting torn boots could result in the entire driveshaft/steering rack being damaged and needing replacing – a typical replacement cost could top £400-600 for parts, plus labour and VAT.
    • Oil levels – a simple check can reveal the oil needs to be topped up, but if neglected can ruin the engine. A new/refurbished engine can cost a minimum of £1,000 for a modern car, and that’s conservative. This varies on the make and model of car and availability of parts. Add to that labour and VAT and you’re looking at a very costly bill. Older cars need to be checked more regularly, as they tend to use more oil.
    • Engine – a service checks the engine is running efficiently – an efficient engine could save drivers hundreds of pounds on fuel costs and emissions over a year.

    Allan Simpson, MB&G’s claims manager says, “We understand that drivers are looking to save money where they can, and although they may think they are saving by not servicing their car, they could be in for a nasty surprise a few months down the road. A service generally costs in the region of £300 and will give the driver peace of mind.

    “Additionally a full service history will help motorists sell their vehicle more quickly and for more money when looking to upgrade – a vital factor to bear in mind when looking to free up cash quickly.”