Keeping a full service history (FSH) for your car helps to get a better price when selling. As much as 25% of the vehicle’s value lies in having a full service history. Thus, to answer the question, the full service history is very important. 

45% won’t buy without FSH

A survey, conducted by KwikFit, found that a staggering 45% of car buyers wouldn’t even consider buying a car without its full service history.  The same survey found that, on average, about 20% can be knocked off the price you get for your car if you try to sell it without that FSH.

It’s a fact worth bearing in mind if you’re buying, too. If you’re with the majority of car buyers and there’s no complete service history, you’ll have more negotiating power. The average used car costs just under £13,000, meaning sellers could lose around £3,000 without it. Ouch.

Location matters

Unsurprisingly, the 20% discount does not apply across the board in the UK.  In London, the price the capital’s car buyers put on an FSH is around  23%.

Comparatively, in the South-West things are a bit more relaxed. A buyer will only attach a value of about 15% to an FSH.  As you might expect, older buyers attach the most importance to an FSH, where 35% of 18 to 24-year-olds were happy to buy without the FSH.

You don’t need to Panic,
even if you don’t have an FSH.

The aim of the game

The full service history reassures buyers that the car has been adequately looked after.  That said, even if you have been diligent in taking your car to the local garage for a service and MOT every year, that still might not be enough for some buyers.

There are still some people for whom a service history maintained by a main dealer is the holy grail of full service histories with only around 40% thinking that the service done in an independent garage did not carry the same weight as one from a main dealership.

What if you don’t have a FSH?

No need to panic, if you’re selling and do not have an FSH.  If the work and maintenance been done, you can recover the missing service history. Consult your selected garage. Though main dealers tend to be more fastidious as record-keeping than some of the independent garages, they should have a copy in their records.

These days, many dealerships and garages are digitising their records and some car manufacturers have created companion apps.

Instant access to your service history on your smart device, coupled with the gov.uk to check when your tax and MOT are due, is an effective way of minimising paperwork. 

A service history maintained by a dealer
is the holy grail of full service histories .

Beware of Scams

Since few people want to take that £3,000 hit when selling, there are unscrupulous ways to botch the full service history. Things aren’t always be what they seem in the world of car documentation. If you have any doubts about the FSH, politely ask for the receipts.  If the seller is unable to oblige or not forthcoming, check with whichever garage or dealership is detailed on the service history.

Whether you are buying or selling, the importance of the full service history shouldn’t be undervalued.

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