Servicing intervals... - Morpheus
Trying to decide whether to get a diesel or petrol, so trying to take everything into account not just the mpg...

With Diesel currently costing the same a petrol, but aprox 1/3 more mpg than a petrol... the only things I can see to differ is the purchase price and servicing.

Purchase price on the cars I am looking at seems to be about £1000 difference, so the main think I need to know about now is servicing...

When companies say 20,000 miles for service intervals, does that mean 20,000 miles OR 1 year, or just 20,000 miles?!?!

Also, is there a difference in the costs of servicing diesel over petrol?

Anything else that I need to consider?

Servicing intervals... - Armitage Shanks {p}
My PSA diesel is 12,000 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first. I have had 3 annual services to date and they have come in at (roughly) £110, £130 and £180. The £1k difference in the new price will buy you a lot of petrol over the years; equally the residual on the diesel will be higher than the petrol for several years
Servicing intervals... - Pendlebury
It is difficult to say nowadays as alot of manufacturers have variable service indicators and 20,000 would be a guide.
I have also seen 20,000 miles being quoted as the major service with a minor service/oil change in between.
Usually if a mileage is stated it is also quoted with 12 months as a time limit.
I only do about 8K a year so I am in the get it checked every 12 months camp regardless of mileage - I think that having a good mechanic looking over the car every 12 months is sensible from a safety as well as mechanical and reliability perspective.
Servicing intervals... - jase1
If a car has servicing intervals longer than a year -- ignore them. They're only there so that fleet managers can be skinflints and look good to their bosses.

A car only being inspected every 2 years = A BAD THING. As a responsible private owner you should be getting the car serviced every 12 months / 10,000 miles as a minimum, regardless of what the book says. If the book says more often, that's different.
Servicing intervals... - mikeyb
But why is it such a bad thing? My partners car is on VW long life servicing, but as she covers about 20K per year she is still having a service about every 10 or 11 months.

If the manufacturer says its Ok then why does everyone else think they know better?
Servicing intervals... - Pendlebury
There is a view mikey that the manufacturers are fixing service intervals to satisfy fleet managers and not to extend the life of a car.
As most fleets only keep their cars for 3-4 years max then it is not a problem for them.
If you do 20K a year then at least it gets checked once a year but if you do less some cars can go 2 or even 3 years without a service which cannot be good for it.
I would hesitate before buying car that was 3 years old and only had 1 service which could be possible with variable servicing.
Servicing intervals... - nortones2
I doubt that the service indicator would run to 20,000 miles if only covering 7000 pa! For light service the VAG documents suggest annual oil change using 505.01 oil rather than the extended service regime. Much ado about nothing.
Servicing intervals... - bbroomlea{P}
My Audi diesel is on longlife intervals which is roughly 20K between visits. Its just had its 6th service in 4 years and 120,000 miles. There doesnt seem to be any adverse effects to running the car in this manner, infact a manufacturer is not going to reccomend something that is going to cause undue damage to their expensively built brand. Oil technology has improved as has manufacturing techniques and cars no longer need things greasing and tightening every 6K for something not to fail or drop off!

Spoke to the local independant that has done my last service and I asked about how long I should see out of my engine etc, reply was to keep to manufacturer guidelines and they havent seen a major failure on any diesel including taxis with over 300K (that are on longlife)

Of course, most servicing is now done variably anyway. My girlfriends MINI Cooper has done 4K since the last service but the indicator has dropped by 3K because of the use - that infact went almost 20K between last two services because of the useage it got. Contrast to a friends MINI One that didnt manage 12K.
Servicing intervals... - jase1
It's not quite so bad when the car is doing >20K per year. If that's the case (and they are motorway miles) modern cars can probably live with the lack of servicing. I personally wouldn't, but that's how it is.

However, the culure of neglect that the longer service intervals is encouraging is depressing. One dealer actually tried to con me into buying an 8-year-old Primera for £2500 on the basis that it'd only done 35,000 miles.

Looking at the log-book, it had been serviced religiously at 10,000 mile intervals. Problem was, this meant that it hadn't been serviced at all for the first 3 and a half years of its life.

Needless to say, I ran away quickly. Granted, this car was not designed for extended service intervals, but this would have been a quite legitimate way of servicing some cars, and they could be advertised as having FSH without issue (as this one fraudulently was).

For the record, the car was the usual "spotless to look at, engine like a bag of spanners" pile that this kind of neglect ends up causing. Someone will be driving around in that "nice little motor" now, and I can't see it being too reliable, regardless of how bulletproof those old GA16DE engines were.
Servicing intervals... - Morpheus
Thanks for all the replies...

So by the looks of things, if I am only doing 10k miles per year then a petrol with 20,000 mile service intervals or diesel with 12,000 mile service intervals is kind of irrelevant as i'd just be better getting it done once every 12 months regardless...

Just got to find a car I like now and check out the servicing costs...

I'm really liking the C2, Punto Grande and Fiesta, but not sure whether to go for something a bit bigger (Focus, Astra, C4 Coupe)...

The majority of my travel is back and to work (40 miles return per day) on my own so small is fine but occasionally we travel on longer motorway trips so want something that won't shake the steering wheel off at 70mph....

Really can't decide....
Servicing intervals... - gmac
Anything else to consider ?

You need to consider how you intend to use the car (high mileage or town runabout) and how long you intend to keep the car for.

If you're only keeping the car for three years/duration of the manufacturers warranty follow their recommendations as you are the covered for failures by keeping the FSH.
If your intend keeping the car 'til the wheels fall off then service it annually or every 12k max with a 6k oil and filter change. Once out of warranty find a good local spannerman to keep your pride and joy ticking along without main dealer labout rates.
Change fluids regularly (Antifreeze, brake and clutch fluid every two to three years) and with the above oil changes you should get a good ten years out of any car.