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UK wastes £285 million a year on car servicing

Shopping around for a car service would save the UK £285 million a year, a What Car report has claimed.

Drivers could be overspending on garage service costs, it has been revealed. A What Car report found the UK could save £285 million a year just by spending a bit of time shopping around for a better deal.

What Car looked at the average servicing costs across nine regions. It found the cheapest was £210 in Scotland, closely followed by £217 in Wales and £218 in the North East. The most expensive average service cost was £244 in the South East closely followed by £242 in London and £235 in the North West.

What Car also looked at the 10 most searched-for cars on its website to find out model-specific servicing costs. A Range Rover service had an average price of £444, with the highest quote at £587 and the lowest at £367 ─ a difference of £220. It came out as the most expensive in the list.

Next up was the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which cost an average of £260 for a service. Next up was the BMW X1, which cost £254 on average, and the Audi A1, which cost £250.

The Toyota Yaris had the lowest price discrepancy between the highest and lowest service quotes, at just £56. The average price gap of all ten models between the top and bottom end was £126. That multiplied by the number of new cars sold in 2013 expecting a first service equals £285 million.

It’s worth noting badge snobbery comes at a price. What Car pointed out that, even though the Audi A3, Seat Leon, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf share similar components, the average service cost of an A3 was 62 per cent higher than an Octavia.

“The cost of running a car is often a strain on already stretched household bills,” What Car consumer editor Emma Butcher commented. “That’s particularly the case with servicing because it is one of those items that could be sacrificed to save pennies.”

“It pays in peace of mind to have your car serviced yearly, and it needn’t be such a bitter financial pill to swallow if you put in a little time. Just remember that nearest can also be dearest – just because your local dealer is more convenient doesn’t mean it will be most cost-effective,” she added.

While it may feel like the cheapest garage is the most cost effective option, a good garage that quickly and efficiently diagnoses an issue could work out cheaper than one that lacks the same expertise.

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