black car

With a cost-of-living crisis eating ever more out of household incomes and budgets across the country, people are looking for various ways in which they can save their money. Running a car has become particularly expensive, between the rising cost of petrol and other ongoing costs like insurance. For many, an emergency repair is out of the question financially – leading to the question of if you could fix your car yourself to save money. Can you, and should you?

Can You Service Your Own Car at Home?

It is a common misconception that you require a licensed mechanic to work on your vehicle in order for it to be road legal. The only major conditions for road legality relate to passing your MOT each year and having your car insured. As long as your car fits road-legal definitions, it is good to go – meaning it is entirely legal for you to conduct your own vehicle repairs in your own space, and in your own time.

Whether or not you should do so is another question entirely, though. Licensed mechanics are licensed by virtue of their extensive knowledge and experience in repairing vehicles. If you do not have equivalent knowledge and experience, you should keep your tinkering to a project car you do not use regularly. The age and service history of your car can also have a significant impact on the ease with which it can be repaired.

The Pros and Cons of DIY Car Servicing

Repairing your own vehicle is its own reward, in many ways. By carrying out your own servicing, you are enriching and consolidating your own knowledge of a complicated vocation. Being the only person to service your car can also be a meaningful thing, especially if your car is particularly old or vintage.

There are, of course, practical benefits to self-servicing beyond the honing of skill. For example, servicing and maintaining your own vehicle is significantly cheaper overall than relying on a professional garage. The trade-off is that mistakes can be much more costly, and also much more likely if you are relatively new to fixing cars.

The Pros and Cons of Professional Servicing

The chief benefit of taking your car to a professional mechanic is that you can be assured your car will be repaired to its best possible condition. This is true of cars of all models, types, and ages, as specialist garages exist to service rare or complicated car designs. Using a professional mechanic ensures that your car passes its next MOT, as they will follow best practice procedures for making sure your car is healthy, safe, and legally compliant.

Another key benefit to professional servicing is its sheer convenience of it. Conducting your own vehicle repairs can be a time-consuming endeavor, whether in waiting for specialist parts or in spending time attempting the servicing yourself. This time could be better spent elsewhere, and giving your car to a professional for repairs gives you that time back in spades. The downside, though, is that the cost of professional repair is much higher than if you were to repair your car yourself – primarily due to the labor costs involved.