French Cars Specialists

What Is a Car Service History?

If you’re looking to buy a new car, or if you’re planning to sell on your current car, a full car service history is definitely something desirable to have. In fact, without a full service history you can expect a secondhand car to lose 10-20% of its value. This is no small cost, and so here we’ll explain what exactly a full service history is and its importance to sellers and buyers alike.

car servicing

What is a full service history?

A car’s full service history (or ‘FSH’) is a comprehensive written record of all the work that has ever been done to a vehicle. This will include servicing along with any repairs and maintenance tasks that were necessary. The FSH will also detail when and where this work was carried out. With the FSH you can therefore get a good judgement of the condition and reliability of the vehicle.

The full service history generally comes as a stand alone booklet or as part of your vehicle’s manufacturer’s handbook. Out of convenience, it is commonly stored in the car’s glovebox. However, these days some garages and manufacturers will store the information online as well to make the information easier to track.

What are the benefits of a full service history?

The value of a full service history is in knowing the car has been well-maintained. A car service history can tell you things about a vehicle that a seller may be reluctant to share.

For example, repeated repairs of a single part could indicate a fault with the car; extensive bodywork likely suggests that the car has been involved in an accident which could cause future problems.

This knowledge is very useful to a potential buyer. As previously stated, without the FSH, the value of the vehicle notably decreases.

What to look out for

If you are looking to buy a car that doesn’t have a FSH, this may get you a cheaper price but you could also run into many unexpected problems shortly down the line. A FSH can give you peace of mind and prepare you for the realities of the chosen car. If you are taken with a car without a FSH, you can try to track down the history yourself by contacting the DVLA (for a fee of £5) to get hold of previous owners’ contact details. You can then contact these individuals directly to try and get servicing details.

Due to the desirability of a FSH, some unscrupulous sellers will try to fake the booklet to get a better price. To suss out whether the FSH is real or not, check to see if there are receipts, invoices or dealership stamps along with the servicing logs – these add substance to the records. Alternatively, you could contact the garage(s) listed in the booklet to see if their records match what’s written in the FSH.

Citroen Peugeot Specialists offer high quality servicing, MOTs and repair work for all vehicles to customers across North London. Our team of experts carry out all jobs with the same care and attention to detail, ensuring your car is safe and roadworthy. We provide a reliable and helpful service at competitive prices. For more information, advice, or to book in your vehicle, contact us today.

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