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 and any repairs that have been done. It also records the vehicle's mileage at the time of each service.
But the service book can go missing, often when the vehicle is sold on. Here is our advice on how to discover its history.
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I've lost my 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 paper copies.
You'll need to prove that you're the car's owner to get this information, and the garage might also want to see your vehicle's log book (V5C form).
How to find a missing service history
If youve just bought a car and find gaps in the service history, you might be able to get the missing information from the car's previous owner.
Or you can check the MOT history online, as people often get their MOT and servicing done at the same garage. Enter the vehicle's number plate, then enter the 11-digit V5C number from the vehicle log book. This should bring up the location details for each MOT test.
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 has 17 characters and can usually be found on the door frame.
Why your vehicle's service history is important
It's important to get your service book stamped by a mechanic or garage after every service.
Some manufacturers now offer a Digital Service Booklet instead of a hard copy. This prevents you losing any servicing information.
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 vehicle, potential buyers will be keen to see the its full service history to confirm there aren't issues which could cause problems later on.
While regular car servicing isn't a legal requirement, it can prevent breakdowns and prolong the life of your vehicle.
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Author: The AA