Car service history

How can you check a car's service history?

The easiest way to check a vehicle’s service history is to look at its service book. This is a log of all the services the vehicle has had and any work that was done. It also records the vehicle’s mileage at the time of the service.

It’s important to keep your service book up-to-date and get it stamped by a mechanic or garage after every service.

Some manufacturers now offer a Digital Service Booklet instead of a hard copy. This makes it easier to keep track of services and prevents you losing any servicing information.

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What to do if you’ve lost your service book

If you’ve misplaced your service book, contact the garage that usually services your car. Most garages keep records of vehicle service histories – either online or using paper copies.

You’ll usually need to prove that you’re the car’s owner to get this information and the garage might also request to see your vehicle’s log book (V5C).

If you get your car serviced by a franchised dealer, they should be able to track down service history easily online.

How to find missing service history information

If you’re buying or selling a car and find gaps in the service history, you might be able to track down the missing information.

A good place to start is to find where the vehicle usually gets its MOT, as many people choose to get their MOT and servicing done at the same garage.

Enter the vehicle’s number plate into the government’s online MOT checker, then enter the 11-digit V5C number from the vehicle log book. This should bring up the location details for each MOT test.

If this doesn’t work, try contacting the car’s previous owners. If you don’t have their details, complete a V888 form online. This is a chargeable service, but will give you the names and contact numbers of all previous owners.

If you’re still struggling, contact the vehicle manufacturer. Ask if they can confirm which dealer the car was originally sold through, using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This can usually be found on the door frame.

Why is it important to know your vehicle’s service history?

A car’s service history can have a significant impact on its value as it’s a good indicator of how well the vehicle has been maintained. If you're planning on selling your car in the future, potential buyers will be keen to see the car's full service history to confirm there aren't issues with the vehicle which could cause problems later down the line.

While regular car servicing isn’t a legal requirement, it’s a great way to save you money, prevent breakdowns and prolong the life of your vehicle.

Learn more about how a car service improves performance.

Why choose the AA for car servicing?

When you book a car service with Smart Care, you'll get:

  • Free vehicle collection and return.
  • AA-assured garages.
  • Quick and easy online booking and payment.
  • 12-month guarantee on all parts and labour.
  • Fair, transparent pricing.

Every local garage in our network is independent and trustworthy. We thoroughly inspect each one before it can join the AA, to ensure it fully meets our quality, service and training standards. We then carry out full audits annually, as well as ad-hoc spot checks.

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