RAC Cars News


The Importance Of Maintaining A Full Service History

By raccars Published

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Most car owners are aware of the importance of maintaining a full service history to accompany their vehicle when the time comes to sell it, but a new survey by Kwik-Fit, suggests that a complete service record can account for nearly a quarter of your car's value on the second hand market.

According to the Kwik-Fit research, 45% of used car buyers won't consider cars without a full service history or FSH. Cars without the FSH are worth almost 20% less than cars that do have the essential record. As the average used car price in Britain is £7,706, the absence of a stamped service record could cost you £1,541.

The importance given to a complete service book differs geographically - to Londoners a FSH is worth 23%, but to those who live in the south west it's 15%. Equally, the age of the buyer is a factor, with older buyers (57%) attaching more significance to the FSH compared to those within the 18-24 age group, of whom only 33% insist upon the same.

The main purpose of a car's service record is to show it has been properly and regularly maintained. To a number of buyers, this still means servicing by a franchised dealer. Of the 2,000 car owners surveyed by Kwik-Fit, only 37% believed independent garage servicing held the same weight as a service record stamped by main dealers.

If you are selling your car and have neglected to keep your service record up to date, the situation is recoverable. Your dealer should have kept a record of your servicing and will usually happily update your service book for a small fee, about £20. Some manufacturers are even eschewing the traditional service book in favour of keeping records online, such as Mazda, with others gradually following suit. If you are the buyer of the car, the same applies - most dealers will be keen to develop a good relationship with a potential new client.

If the car has been serviced outside the main dealer network, you can try the same approach, but independent garages are not always as organised with records - that's if you even know which garage carried out the servicing. The DVLA will supply you with details of former owners of the car for a small fee but they may not be able to or even want to help you.

As a buyer, you should be aware that there are scams which supply sellers with fake service records, so ask for accompanying receipts and, if you're suspicious, check with the dealership yourself.

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