Honda's move comes with the introduction of the all-new Accord - due to go on sale on October 1 - but already applies to the rest of the Honda range with the exception of the manufacturer's sole diesel model. The maintenance interval has been extended to 9,000 miles or 12 months for all new Honda models, although the Civic 5-door 2.0i TD while also adopting the 9,000-mile schedule retains an oil and filter change after the first 4,500 miles.
Until now all Honda petrol and diesel models - a diesel does not appear in the new Accord line-up - have been at 6,000 miles. As a result of the move, 60,000- mile service costs on an Accord - including labour which has fallen from 12.7 hours to 10 hours over the period - have fallen from £941.47 to £700.58, saving fleets almost £250 a car.
A Honda spokesman said: 'Revisions to the schedule will considerably cut labour time over the first 60,000 miles. The net result is an important reduction in service maintenance and repair costs as well as the elimination of the 6,000 lubrication service - both of particular significance to the fleet market.'
In March Renault extended service intervals on its petrol-engined Clio, Megane, Scenic, Laguna (except 2.0 16v), Espace and Kangoo models to 12,000 miles and diesel-engined Clio, dTi Megane, dTi Scenic, Laguna, Espace and Kangoo to 10,000 miles and the Master 2.8 dTi to 12,000 miles.
Since then Peugeot has extended service intervals on petrol-engined models from 9,000 miles to 20,000 miles and diesel engined models from 6,000 miles to 10,000 miles.Citroen has made similar changes for its direct injection diesel engined models and petrol-engined models, moving from 10,000 to 12,500 miles. BMW's new 3-series to be launched in September will feature 15,000-mile service intervals up from 9,000 miles on the current 3-series.