The Ultimate Guide to Car Service Duration

When it comes to maintaining the health of your car, routine vehicle servicing is as essential as refuelling. But, amidst our busy schedules, a common question often pops up: “How long does a car service take?” In this guide, Elite Garages explores this topic and will give you a comprehensive look at what goes into a car service.

Factors Impacting The Duration of a Car Service

The length of a car service often depends on several factors. These include the type of service, i.e. interim (Bronze), premium (Silver), or full/major service (Gold), the make and model of the vehicle, and the condition of the car. As a general rule of thumb, a Bronze service usually lasts about 1.5 hours, a Silver service about 3 hours, and a Gold service can go beyond 4 hours.

At Elite Garages, we offer three different car services which we’ve listed below. You can find out what’s included in each on our services page:

  • Bronze – Lubricant service + health check
  • Silver – 12,000 miles / 12 months
  • Gold – 24,000 miles / 24 months + Diagnostics Check

Why is Regular Car Servicing Essential?

Regular car servicing, regardless of how time-consuming, plays an integral role in extending the lifespan of your vehicle. Here’s why:

  • Early Problem Detection: Servicing helps uncover potential issues before they turn into costly repairs.
  • Enhanced Safety: Regular checks ensure all safety components, including brakes and tyres, are in optimal condition.
  • Maintains Vehicle Value: A well-maintained car with complete service records will have a higher resale value.
  • Improved Efficiency: Regular servicing can enhance fuel efficiency and overall vehicle performance.

Service Intervals and the Consequences of Neglect

Most manufacturers recommend a car service every 12,000 miles or 12 months – whichever comes first. However, these service intervals can change depending on the age and model of your vehicle.

Neglecting these intervals can lead to problems such as reduced fuel efficiency, increased wear and tear, and the potential for severe and expensive mechanical failures. Additionally, not keeping up with regular maintenance can significantly devalue your car when it’s time to sell.

The Most Popular Car Service

Often, a premium car service (Silver Service) is the most popular choice among drivers as it includes a comprehensive range of checks and adjustments that offer a good balance between cost and peace of mind.

A Silver service usually entails a thorough check of the vehicle’s key systems but often does not include a gearbox oil change, which is usually part of the Gold service while a brake fluid change is mostly included. Here’s a brief look at what goes into a car service.

Bronze Service

A Bronze car service is ideal for high-mileage drivers who may need more frequent checks. These are some of the checks included:

  • Oil and Filter Change: Perhaps the most essential part of any car service, involves replacing the old oil and oil filter with new ones to maintain engine performance.
  • Fluid Top-Ups: This includes topping up brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windscreen washer fluid.
  • Basic Checks: These checks cover the most important components of the car, like the exhaust, tyres, lights, and brakes, to ensure safety.
  • Check / advise coolant level and antifreeze strength
  • Check steering / suspension components for wear and corrosion

Silver Service

A silver car service is more comprehensive, and as we noted before, is a popular choice among motorists. In addition to the elements of a Bronze or interim service, a Silver service includes the following

  • Air Filter Replacement: Replacing the air filter is essential for ensuring that clean air enters the engine, improving its efficiency and longevity.
  • Detailed Checks: More detailed checks are carried out in full service. This includes checks of the cooling system, air conditioning, wheel bearings, shock absorbers, and clutch operation among others.
  • Brake Fluid Change: Included in a full service, a brake fluid change helps ensure your brakes remain in optimal working order.

Gold Service

For those wanting the most comprehensive service available, a Gold service (Major car service) is the answer. It includes all elements of a Bronze and Silver service, plus:

  • Spark Plug and Fuel Filter Replacement: In petrol cars, the spark plugs and fuel filters are replaced to improve the engine’s performance. In diesel cars, the fuel filter is replaced.
  • Gearbox Oil Change: Unlike in a full service, a gearbox oil change is included in a major service. This helps keep your vehicle’s transmission running smoothly.

For more information about what’s included in car servicing at Elite Garages, contact your nearest branch now or visit our services page. Remember, we service ALL major makes and models including VW, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Kia, Land Rover and Vauxhall among many others. If you have an electric vehicle, our certified technicians can also provide EV services. Read why it is important to have an Electric Vehicle Service.

The Role of Service Records

Garages do maintain service records, which play a vital role in preserving your car’s value. These records provide a clear and honest representation of your vehicle’s history, showing potential buyers that the vehicle has been well cared for.

A full service history should include all records of regular services, any repair work, and the replacement of significant components like the cambelt. It should also contain any relevant MOT certificates.

Also Read: Does A Full Service History Really Add Value?


So, “How long does a car service take?” Although it varies, investing this time in your vehicle’s upkeep can save you from future headaches and unexpected costs. Whether you’re due for a routine check, or need a more significant repair, our team is here to help.

Our service packages are tailor-made and include all the necessary checks you’d expect from a dealership, with the added benefit of exceptional customer care and competitive rates. If your car service is due, book online today at Elite Garages, one of the most trusted car service centres across the south and southeast of England.


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A silver vehicle service (full service) generally includes an oil and filter change, a comprehensive inspection of fluid levels and components, a check for wheel alignment, a thorough brake inspection, and an assessment of the air filter and other filters. This ensures optimal word choice, structure, readability, and eloquence while preserving the original meaning.

The most popular car service is typically the Silver Car Service (Premium Service). It offers a comprehensive check of the vehicle, ensuring all its key systems are working optimally. This type of service generally strikes a balance between thoroughness and cost, making it a favourite among many drivers.

Yes, most garages typically keep service records which holds details of all the maintenance work and inspections during each service. Keeping these records is important as they provide a comprehensive history of the vehicle’s upkeep, which can be valuable for both the current owner and any potential future buyers.

The duration of a car service can vary based on a few factors such as the type of service, the make and model of the vehicle, and the condition of the car. As a general guide, an interim service might take around 1.5 hours, a full service could take about 3 hours, and a major service could extend beyond 4 hours. It’s always best to confirm with your service centre, as some cars may require more time, especially if additional issues are found during the service.

Yes, a brake fluid change is usually included in a full service. Regular replacement of brake fluid is crucial as it absorbs moisture over time, which can affect braking efficiency and potentially lead to system corrosion. Always ensure to confirm what’s included in your service with your provider.