Home < Blog < Car Maintenance < What Is Involved With The First And Second Servicing Of A Car

What is involved with the first and second servicing of a car?

What is involved with the first and second servicing of a car?


Mechanic fixing a car


What is involved in a first and second Service

For many of us, our cars are our most treasured possessions; essential for a convenient and smooth day-to-day existence. Without cars, many people would be at a total loss; unable to travel to work, take the children to school, visit loved ones, and cram as much into 24 hours as we currently do.

Anyone that has been without a car for a day or longer will know what a hindrance it can be - so it makes sense to look after this essential lifeline and have it serviced regularly. To make sure you get the correct level of care and maintenance for your car at all stages of its life, it's a good idea to understand the basics of a typical car service; if nothing else, it will give you some peace of mind.


Servicing Used Cars

When should you get your first service on a used car?

If you're buying a used car from a dealer, it's likely it would have been given the once-over before you receive the keys; regardless, taking your used car for its first 'proper' service can admittedly cause a little anxiety. At Carbase, we put every one of our used cars and vans through a comprehensive set of vehicle inspections, so you can rely on the condition and quality you're buying. Our checks include HPI and RAC BuySure.

Your typical first service for a used car will be more involved than with a new model; naturally, an older one will have experienced more wear and tear.

What kind of service is due next? Depending on what your car had the previous year (or the previous 12,000 miles), it will either be due a minor service or a major service. You should be able to check your service book, which would have been received with the car.



Happy Customers!

"They have always been helpful and honest, big shout out to Suzanne and the team! The mechanics are also great, when I had a concern over my car, they were happy to do a quick check late on saturday morning to make sure my car was safe." - Cassandra T

Read more reviews >


Minor Service

A minor service will include checking your car's engine oil and oil filter.

More about your interim service >


Major Service

A major service includes everything that a minor service does, but is more in-depth. You can also expect replacement of your pollen filters and fuel filter, if required.

More about your major service >


Your Next Steps



Do you need to get your used car serviced by the dealership you got it from?

If your used car came complete with a warranty, the same will apply as with new cars; you are not obliged to take it to the dealer for the first service, providing the alternative garage use parts that have been approved by the manufacturer. This rule has been in place since 2003, implemented by the EU, and gives car owners the chance to shop around for a better deal.

The choice of service is always yours, though many motorists tend to go for a major service, knowing that having all routine aspects checked early on could ultimately improve performance and prolong the life of their car. Having a mechanic look over features can also help prevent the development of any long-term issues and avoid any nasty costs!

Of course, you don't have to wait until the full annual is due; it's perfectly possible to book your car in for a quick check-up if you suspect there might be a problem or simply want some reassurance. Some car owners might arrange for their brakes, air-conditioning systems and cam belts to be checked separately.  Read about the tell-tale signs that your car needs a service here .




First service: New cars

When should you get your first service on a new car?

The first service for a brand-new car is usually scheduled for 12 months or up to a specific mileage (it varies from 10,000 - 15,000 miles) - whichever comes first. This does differ between manufacturers but should be detailed in your vehicle handbook.

Do you need to get your new car serviced by the manufacturer or dealership you got it from?

You might find that the initial service is a requirement of the warranty, but you don't have to get the car serviced by the manufacturer at the original dealership.

Providing that the independent garage you choose uses parts that have been approved by the manufacturer, and the service occurs within the manufacturer's recommended schedule, there's no problem with taking the car somewhere else.

What's involved in a first service for a new car?

The first service for a brand-new car typically comprises an oil and oil filter change. As the car is relatively new, it is usually quite a basic procedure and shouldn't break the bank.



Second Service

When should you get your second service?

Like the first service, the second is generally due when 12 months have passed, or a stipulated mileage has been reached - this will be recorded in your service book. Keeping track of when a service is due, without checking your service book, shouldn't be difficult; in more modern cars an alert might flash up on the display screen or it could coincide with your MOT.

With a used car, this will either be the minor or major service, depending on what was done the previous year or at the last mile count. So, if when you bought the used car, you had an minor service carried out on it as the first service, this second service would be a major service, and vice versa. This order will then carry on throughout the services that you have carried out on your used car.

What's involved in a second service?

The same service options will usually be offered: minor or major, but the checks carried out depends on the option and garage you've chosen.

It's advisable that you have a minor service every 12 months or 12,000 miles - whichever is sooner.

A major service should be completed every 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever arrives first.



What happens if you don't get your car serviced?

Your car is a seriously complicated machine which requires respect and attention. Failing to get a regular service can mean that issues won't be flagged at an early, more easily repairable stage. Instead, they might develop into costly problems that will pose a danger to you and other motorists. What's more, you could find it difficult to sell your car in the future if you can't prove you've had it regularly maintained. A full service history is something that all used car buyers will look for.


Don't be tempted to carry out any tweaks such as oil changes yourself as this could void the warranty - leave maintenance to the qualified mechanics.
Ultimately, regular maintenance contributes significantly to the performance of your vehicle, promoting fuel-economy, efficiency and reliability. Having spent many hundreds of pounds on your car, it makes sense to look after it, don't you think?


Need to book in for a service? Whether you bought your car from Carbase or not, we'll be more than happy to help you maintain its performance at one of our Auto Centres.



Helpful Links

Overall Protection >

RAC Warranty Explained >

RAC GAP Insurance Explained >

How To Protect Your Car Inside & Out >

Is A Service Plan Worth It? >




More Useful Articles


Full price Monthly

Matches in stock: