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Servicing, maintenance and MOTs when leaving the Scheme

Even if you think your car is running well, you should make sure it is regularly serviced. Looking after your car can give you peace of mind that it’s safe to drive and less likely to break down.

Don’t forget, a new car comes with a manufacturer’s warranty which should cover most mechanical faults or repairs for a few years after purchase.

Performing simple checks

Your manufacturer’s handbook will tell you how to check your car’s oil and coolant levels, as well as the condition of your tyres.

How often should you get your car serviced?

Most cars need a service approximately 12 months from new, or sooner depending on your mileage. This varies depending on the make and model, so check in your car manufacturer’s handbook.

Some cars have a symbol which appears on the dashboard when a service is needed.

After servicing your car it’s important that the dealer stamps your car’s service book. This means you can prove your car’s servicing history if you choose to sell it in the future.

Where to get your car serviced

If you bought your car from a dealership, they can usually carry out routine servicing, repairs and MOTs for you. You should also check out independent garages or centres such as Kwik Fit, which may offer competitive prices.

When choosing a garage, make sure the quote includes all parts, labour and VAT.

Getting an MOT test

Once your car is 3 years old (or 4 years old if you live in Northern Ireland) it will need an MOT test. An MOT test checks the condition of the car’s important safety related items.

The cost for an MOT test varies depending on the type of vehicle. There’s a limit to the amount a garage can charge. Find information on MOT charges.Opens in new window

During the test the garage may identify some areas which need repair in order for the car to pass. The garage should always discuss any additional work and costs with you in advance. If you’re unhappy with their quote, you can always contact another garage for a second opinion.

Once your car has passed its MOT, you should keep hold of the MOT certificate to prove your car is roadworthy. Your car must be retested once a year.

More information

Disability Rights UK have produced a useful and practical guide called Get MotoringOpens in new window . It includes information on everything a disabled motorist needs to know about finding, financing and maintaining a car. You can view this guide online or request a copy by calling 020 7250 8181.

Both RAC Opens in new window and the AA Opens in new window are useful resources for general motoring advice, information on buying a used car and insurance, as well as breakdown cover.