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The Importance of a Service History

Post Date: 19th September 2016


If you’re looking to buy a second-hand car, you’ll be no stranger to people giving you advice about the importance of a full service history.

But just how important is a service history? We’ve put together a list of reasons why you should always request to see the full service history of a car you’re looking to buy.

You’ll get a better idea of the previous owner / seller

If you buy a car that comes with a full service history, you’ll have a better idea of the previous owner. This is especially useful if it’s the previous owner that you’re buying the car from.

If a car has a full service history, you’ll be able to see if the owner has been willing to spend money on the vehicle, and is organised enough to keep track of the documents for when the time comes to sell.

If the car’s previous owner cared enough to have regular check ups and repairs done to the vehicle, you can bet that they have taken care of the car from the tyres up, and a car that’s been taken care of is a car that will last.

You’ll be in the know about previous services

High up on the priority list of potential car buyers is being able to see what services and repairs the vehicle has had in the past. This is not only because they want to see if there are any parts of the car that need repairing more often than usual, for example if the brakes have failed more than once, but it also gives a good idea of when work will next need doing.

But don’t forget to ask for receipts

It’s important to remember that there are lot of fake service records out there. If you think there’s a chance that the service record of the car could be fake, ask to see receipts of the work that has been done.

Many car owners and dealerships keep a record of receipts from garages over the years, so this isn’t an unusual request.

You’ll have a much lower chance of buying a ‘clocked’ car

A clocked car is a vehicle that has been tampered with to make it appear to have driven less miles than it actually has.

If the car comes with a full service history, the mileage will have been recorded at each service. Usually a service takes place every 12,000 miles or so, so checking this will give you a good indication of how far the car has travelled.

You may struggle to sell the car at a later date

If you buy a car without a full service history, you may struggle to sell the car for a good price at a later date. According to Mr Clutch Autocentres, buyers will generally expect to get a 20% discount for any vehicle that is sold without a service history.

But don’t completely disregard a car without a service history

After reading this blog, you’d be forgiven for completely disregarding the ‘perfect’ car if it doesn’t have a full service history to go with it. However, it is worth keeping in mind that most car dealers or people selling their second hand cars are not shady characters.

If you find a car that seems right for you, but it doesn’t have a service history, get a trusted mechanic to check it over.

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