What Is a Car Service History?

If you’re going about buying a new car, one thing you should keep an eye out for above others is a full car service history. A car without a full service history can have up to a quarter of its value knocked off, but if you’re shopping around for a good deal you shouldn’t see this as a bargain; it will likely cost you extra down the line when something goes awry with your new vehicle.

This month, we’ll be looking at what exactly is a car service history and why it’s important that your car has one.

car service history

What is a Car Service History?

A car service history is a record of all the services your car has ever had, detailing when it had the services and specifically what work was carried out on it.

Where Do I Find My Car Service History?

It can often be found as part of the manufacturer’s handbook, but may be a separate booklet. Most owners keep theirs in the glovebox of their car, though this may not necessarily be the case. However, if you can’t find your car service history around the vehicle, most garages now store the information electronically as well. If you service your car at the same garage continuously, they will likely have a record of your car’s servicing history that you could request.

If you don’t know where the car was serviced, finding out its service history can be decisively more difficult. Some manufacturers store their vehicle’s service histories centrally, such as Mazda and Renault, and you can find out your vehicle’s service history by going to a dealership if this is the case.

If your car doesn’t have a service history at all that you can find in these ways, you will have to contact the DVLA by letter to request the details of the car’s previous owners. They will charge you £5 for their services, and with the details they provide you can ask the previous owners if they have the service history of your vehicle, or at least remember where they serviced it.

What’s the Value of a Full Car Service History?

As stated above, a full service history can be worth up to a quarter of the car’s value, depending on where you’re located. In London, it can be worth 23% of your car’s value, whereas in the South West of England it can be 15%. If you’re hoping to sell your car, a full service history would mean that you could get more for the vehicle, less if not. Potential buyers may try to bag a deal and get a car without a full service history, but further down the line this move could end up costing them dearly in unforeseen repair costs or having to sell the car on again for less than it’s worth.

How Do I Know It’s Genuine?

With so much value attached to a full car service history, the possibility of a fake being lauded as the real deal can be a regular occurrence and one to watch out for. You could check that the service history is genuine through a number of methods, including:

  • Phoning a couple of the garages in the booklet up and quoting the registration number of the vehicle to see if it has been serviced as stated. You must check that the mileage and the date in the service history matches that of the garage’s records.
  • If the history claims the car was serviced at a main dealership, check the stamp in the booklet to check that it is the real deal. Forging such stamps can be difficult work.
  • Comb through the invoices and receipts in the service history booklet; sometimes the service may not have been recorded via stamps in the booklet, but the invoices may reveal that the car was indeed serviced.

A car’s service history is an important document, but so is having your car serviced at a professional, efficient and attentive garage. That’s where Auto Exhausts and Tyres can help.

Auto Exhausts & Tyres offer the highest standards at the greatest prices when it comes to servicing your car. Be it a full car service or a shorter interim one, our fully trained and experienced mechanics will ensure your car is in the best shape and up to scratch with industry regulations. For more information, or to book a car service at our garage in Lincoln, contact our friendly team today.