Full service history


Full service history is the term used to describe the paperwork that details all the repair work and maintenance a car has had across its lifetime. It provides information about all the repairs and malfunctions a vehicle has had across the years.


What is included in a full service history?

A full service history should include the details for every piece of repair work carried out on the vehicle. This could be invoices from garages for parts and repairs carried out, as well as some details on how much damage there was to repair. There should be information on regular servicing too. If your car is from a main dealer or still under warranty, you should check the vehicle’s logbook to see if it has main agent stamps inside. These stamps are from approved garages and are a sign that the car has had a manufacturer approved service.

The service history can also include old MOT certificates, detailing the yearly checks and also the advisories that have appeared across the years.


Why is a full service history important? 

A full service history tells you how carefully a car has been looked after. A careful owner will keep track of all the repairs and services across the year, keeping a record of the documents in the car’s service history pack.

For sellers, a full service history is a great way to justify a car’s value. Being able to demonstrate you have looked after the car and dealt with any issues that arose. Even if there have been a few repairs that were needed, showing that you had them fixed is a good sign. 

For buyers, it can help alert you to anything problematic. You would then be able to spot any recurring problems in the car’s operation. And a lack of full service history can be a warning sign that the car is not as reliable or high quality as advertised.


Should I buy a car without a full service history? 

Not every owner is careful, so you can’t expect all cars available for sale to have a full service history. You’ll have to use your judgement and look at other factors. A vehicle check might reveal any problems from the past, and you can check a car’s MOT history online at the DVLA website.

A test drive can also help you work out if a car is of the quality you want. If buying online, make sure the seller has a return policy. Most reputable traders will have a 7-14 day returns policy. Remember, finance packages bought online must have this in place, so make sure you check the terms and conditions of the agreement to see exactly what the returns policy is.


What happens if I’ve lost the full service history?

If you have lost the full service history, you could try contacting the garages that provided repairs in the past. The MOT history can be found online, but other repairs will depend on where you had them done. Main agent garages will have a record, smaller companies may not.

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