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Do I legally have to service my car?

In the UK there is no legal requirement to have your vehicle serviced. However, as an owner of a vehicle, you do have a responsibility to ensure it is road-safe. In this article, we explore the legal aspects of car servicing in the UK and why it’s essential for both your vehicle’s efficiency and your safety on the road.


What is a service?

A service is a check of your vehicle that is typically good to carry out either yearly, or between 10,000 – 20,000 miles. 


When you bring your vehicle to Cadnam Garage for a service, our fully qualified mechanics will check lots of different components on the vehicle. If you would like to see a copy of the service schedules we offer, please give us a call on 02380 812159.


Why servicing is useful to support MOT tests

An MOT test is an annual check required by UK law that checks the roadworthiness of your vehicle. It is required for all vehicles over three years old to check they meet the necessary safety and environmental standards. This is only a visual check, and nothing is dismantled for the MOT test.


Various aspects are assessed, including the condition of essential components like brakes, tyres, lights, and emissions. Failing to have a valid MOT test certificate can result in legal consequences such as fines and even vehicle seizure. 


While you might not be legally required to service your vehicle, you must ensure it is in a roadworthy condition to pass the MOT test and use it safely on the road.


Manufacturer recommendations for servicing

Vehicle manufacturers often provide service schedules in the logbook to give owners a guideline to follow. Following this schedule is good practice, not only to keep your car in optimal condition but also to maintain any warranties.


New cars often come with a manufacturer’s warranty which has a condition that you must adhere to the recommended service schedule. Neglecting these services might void your warranty, leaving you responsible for any repair costs that would have otherwise been covered. Any independent garage can carry out these services within warranty if they are using OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts / direct main dealer parts.


It also helps to have an up-to-date service history when selling your vehicle. Many buyers will look for a full and correct service book for peace of mind that the car has been looked after. This is another important reason for making sure it is serviced regularly. 


Maintaining Safety

The main reason for servicing your car is safety. Failing to service your vehicle can result in small parts not working sufficiently, deteriorating/badly worn tyres, brake wear, or bigger concerns that can lead to accidents.


While there might not be a strict legal requirement for servicing, if your poorly maintained car causes an accident due to preventable issues, you could face legal consequences and liability for any injuries or damages.


Environmental Responsibility

Regular car servicing helps ensure that your vehicle’s emissions systems are working efficiently, reducing the number of harmful pollutants in the atmosphere. The emissions are tested on an MOT test and could fail if they are not up to standard. If there is an excessive oil leak, this also may be a failure on an MOT test. Aside from this, contributing to a cleaner environment is a societal responsibility that every car owner should consider.


While the law may not require you to service your car, maintaining your vehicle is crucial to ensure its roadworthiness, safety, and compliance with MOT test requirements and the longevity of your vehicle.


Book your car in for a service at Cadnam Garage by calling 02380 812159. 


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