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Buying a car, whether new or second hand, comes with a range of responsibilities. One of the most important of these is ensuring that the car is regularly serviced and that any necessary repairs are carried out. This can be a costly business. However, it’s worth the time and resources required to carry out servicing, maintenance and repairs properly. Not only will this ensure that you’re safe on the roads but it will also help the investment you’ve made in the vehicle to hold its value.
Regular servicing means that all the key components of your car are in good condition and functioning properly. Depending on the type of servicing you opt for, this includes checking the brakes to ensure that they are fully functioning, assessing the engine and examining the tyres to make sure that they are at the right pressure and there are no issues, such as damage from the road. Other key areas for servicing are the steering, lights, suspension and windscreen wipers, as well as air and oil filters, spark plugs and fuel filters. There are a number of good reasons for committing to regular servicing, including:
The more often a car is serviced, the easier it will be to keep in good condition and the more peace of mind you’ll have when out on the roads. When you buy a new car you’ll normally receive a recommendation from the manufacturer about how often you should get the car serviced. However, if you’re planning to sell the car on in the future it’s often worth arranging a more frequent service. Remember that an older vehicle is likely to need more regular servicing – try to avoid putting this off because of concerns about condition or cost.
A full car service is usually recommended every 12 months or 12,000 miles. In between that you can take the car for an interim service. The interim service usually takes around 30 minutes to complete and is designed just to focus on the areas of the car that get the heaviest use, such as the clutch, gearbox and battery. A full service takes a lot longer – upwards of three hours – and will take into account not just the parts of the car under the most strain but other components too. The full service is intended to identify any issues the car might be undergoing due to regular driving and often results in the need to order new parts, make replacements or carry out repairs.
Servicing, repairs and maintenance are all necessary for a responsible car driver. However, you can cut the cost of these if you know how.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read about Alex Hartley
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