Find out why your car’s service history is important in this article and discover ways to recover it if you’ve lost your service log book.
Paper, it’s so 1990s. When it comes to cars we’ve got almost every electronic gadget you can think of. Bluetooth, handsfree speakers, integrated sat nav, you name it. However, that little book kept hidden in your glove compartment is a wealth of information on your car’s history and could be they key to extra cash if looked after. Here’s why it’s important to keep it safe and up-to-date.
What is a ‘service history’?
Firstly, if you don’t already know, a service history is usually written in your car’s log book every time a major or minor repair or service has been carried out. Sometimes you will have longer intervals between certain tasks, such as the cam belt change, which is usually only needed every few years depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
The service history comes in two main formats:
- Paper log book, usually stamped by the garage carrying out each service / repair. This usually forms part of your car’s manual and found as a separate section at the back. Savvy owners also keep receipts to reinforce the service history authenticity.
- Online service record, which details all of the car’s service history. These are usually separate records kept by the manufacturer or garage you visit for services. Also, the gov.uk website now holds information on your car service history but doesn’t go back any further than 2005. The information is also limited.
Car value decreases without regular service history
That’s right, your car service history shows every little update, fix and regular maintenance record. For new interested owners, having a perfect service schedule listed in your log book is gold. And for the seller it can be valuable too. On average, a car without a log book or regular service history fetches 20%-25% less in the second-hand car market to those with a full service history. That can make a big difference to you getting the resell value you’re after, so avoid losing or skipping regular service schedules. Also, ensure your garage does fill in the log book by taking it with you for the service / repair.
How to recover a car’s missing service history
If you’re on the receiving end of a potential second-hand car purchase and find the log book is missing or the service history is sketchy, you’ll likely want to find out why. It’s best to first ask the seller of the vehicle and ask why it’s missing and see if they’ve kept any receipts instead. Most owners have just misplaced the log book and a good look through drawers and files usually uncovers it.
If you’re the seller and struggling to find the service history or misplaced it, all is not lost. You can fill out at any Post Office a V888 form or download a V888 form online. There is a small cost for the service (£2.50 at the time of writing this blog article) but it’s nothing compared to what you stand to earn once the buyer sees these details. Even if you’re the buyer, you can also request this information as it’s more important to you anyway. Who knows, it could help you barter a good price for the vehicle and have the peace of mind that the previous owner is telling the truth.
Don’t skip or forget to make regular services – it could cost you in future
As we’ve said in this article, the service history of a car is vital to holding it’s value longer. Therefore, always keep to your car’s regular service schedules and get your log book stamped each time. If you’re looking for a VW service specialist our team at MCM Garage in Bath are knowledgeable and friendly. Call us today on 01761 415 501 or contact us online to book your next scheduled car service.