Car Servicing: Dealership or Garage?

Author Name – Hannah Lilley

    49 people

New research highlights that motorists believe they are required to get their car serviced at a dealership. However, under UK law, the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MVBEO)* means motorists are free to get their vehicles serviced wherever they choose. So, not only is it a valid option to get your car serviced at a local garage, but it can also be much more affordable.

For drivers whose vehicles are out of warranty, research by Halfords indicates that one in five believe they must use a dealership. So, if your car is due a service and out of warranty, keep reading to see how a service at National (a Halfords company) can save you money.

Why get my car serviced at National?

At National, we have a range of servicing options to suit all requirements at affordable prices, including interim, full, and major services.

Halfords’ ‘Dealer or No Dealer’ campaign is targeting the 6.8 million** drivers whose vehicles are out of warranty but who still use dealerships for servicing. According to their research, these motorists could save almost £400 million*** if they stopped using dealerships for servicing once their warranty has expired.

The table below highlights major, full, and interim service costs, representing the average cost at the dealers surveyed versus Halfords’ average:

Service type  Dealer  Model  Average Dealer Price   Average Halfords Price 
Major Service Ford Focus £486.76 £278.52
Major Service BMW 1 series £458.04 £283.08
Major Service Vauxhall Corsa £385.00 £278.54
Major Service BMW 330e (hybrid) £552.90 £353.06
Full Service Audi A4 £380.13 £227.70
Full Service Toyota Auris £370.00 £228.25
Full Service BMW Mini Hatch £361.41 £233.41


As you can see, the average cost of a Halfords’ service is considerably less than the average cost at a dealership. So, next time your car needs a service, choosing the likes of Halfords or National, will get you high-quality at a much more affordable price.

At National, we use quality parts from approved suppliers that are equivalent to the original manufacturer's specification and all work is covered by our extended two-year guarantee.

All our technicians are highly trained and pride themselves on conducting quality repairs and servicing on any make and model.

Book your next vehicle service at National and see how much you could save.

Browse car servicing options

*On 1 June 2023 the UK Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MVBEO) entered into force. This replaces the EU Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER), which had continued to apply in the UK post-Brexit. The law explicitly prevents manufacturers and dealerships denying consumers choice about where to get their vehicles serviced and repaired.
**No. of cars in UK parc: 35,148,045 (SMMT 2022). Proportion not under warranty: 75% (GIPA UK driver survey 2022). Hence: 26.3 million cars not under warranty. 26% of drivers whose vehicles are not under warranty say they always or usually use a dealership for servicing (Opinium: November 2023). Hence 6.83m cars not under warranty serviced at dealerships.
***Average saving across Interim, Full and Major services (Halfords versus basket of dealerships) is £57.94. 6.83 million motorists whose vehicle is not under warranty say they usually or always use a dealer for servicing.6.83m x £57.94 is £394 million.

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