RAC Cars News


How Much Is A Full Service History Really Worth?

By raccars Published

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The acronym 'FSH' is golden in the used car market and supposed to signify to a buyer that the previous owner has taken particular care and attention with the vehicle. Given that depreciation is the single most expensive cost of car ownership - more than insurance, fuel or VED - the money you can recoup at resale time helps to defray that cost. A full service history is one of those selling points - like a new bathroom or kitchen when selling a house - that can prove a worthwhile investment by making back more than its original cost. Service your car regularly according to the manufacturer's service schedule, make sure your service record is stamped and keep all the associated paperwork, and you could find this little package is worth up to 10% of your car's value at resale time.

Used car buyers are interested in a service history because it can show not only that the vehicle has been well maintained, but can also prove mileage claims and show any repairs which have been carried out. A lack of service history paperwork doesn't mean that the car hasn't been serviced or well cared for, but it can be an indication of a conscientious attitude to car ownership. The theory also goes that the car owner who maintains a complete service record will have looked after the car better than someone who hasn't bothered to maintain the history.

A main dealer service history is arguably even more valuable, demonstrating that the owner has not skimped on car care and has been happy to pay more for an immaculately maintained vehicle. It's a guarantee that all parts used are manufacturer approved and that software updates have been carried out.

Used car prices are largely determined by how much dealers can sell for, with the private market following their lead. Motor trade guidelines suggest that a service history can count for 5-10% of the car's value on the used market. If your car is worth £10,000, the FSH could be up to £1,000 of that. If you suppose that three years of services could cost about £500, when it comes to resale value, you could then make £500 profit on what you've spent.

Looking at it from the other side, if you try to save £500 by not servicing your car, it could cost you £1,000 when you come to sell it, not to mention how much unidentified mechanical faults could cost you in the meantime.

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