Everything You Need To Know About Your Car’s Service Book

When your car is taken into any garage for some repair work, there are hundreds of individual components being tinkered with throughout the vehicle from front to back. Keeping track of how old each piece of gear is, the condition that they’re each in and when individual bits are replaced is crucial to successfully maintaining your car and trying to nip problems in the bud before you end up stranded at the roadside wishing you’d been more prepared. The service book was introduced for this exact reason, and here’s everything you need to know about it.

A mechanic performs a diagnostics test on a car engine

What Is a Car Service Book?

Your service book is a document that every car comes with and should have for the duration of its life. It’s what’s used nationally to officially record – with a stamp – services, including details of any and all maintenance carried out along with the date and mileage of the vehicle at the time. Not only is it important for you to have it when you’re using the car on a daily basis, but it’s also a good thing if you’ve got it to hand when you’re trying to sell the car.

Do Cars Still Have Service Books?

Depending on which make and year of car you opt to purchase, you may or may not receive a physical, paper book to get stamped when you next take your car into your local garage. Much like tax disks, done away with in 2014, service books seem to be on the way out, albeit by the decision of the manufacturer, rather than the government or DVLA. Instead, it’s going online – digital records of the work performed on your car will be held online.

Manufacturer dealerships will be able to access these records, but independent garages should also have the ability to view and update the service history of your vehicle (although it’d be best to check on an individual basis before booking any work in). If you prefer to keep a physical record (which many car owners and buyers will probably prefer) then this should be requestable, too. If you’re not sold on the idea of everything moving into the digital realm, your vehicle’s manufacturer might be able to get you a blank book and bring it up to date. 

Can I Get a Replacement Car Service Book?

This answer is a bit of a two-parter. Yes, you can indeed get a replacement service book. These can be purchased online or sometimes, a dealership will be able to provide you with one. However, don’t overlook the fact that this new service book will, of course, be blank!

Car service history is still something that’s recorded almost exclusively on paper, at least in ways that the car owner can access that is, so if you lose your book, you lose the service logs with it. It’s not the end of the world, though. If you’ve had your car serviced at the same garage year in, year out, they should have a record of the car’s history that can be transferred into the new book, as long as you can prove that you’re the rightful owner of the vehicle.

If you need to fill the book with service details from before you owned the car, there are even ways of tracking down the information you need. Believe it or not, there is a form you can fill in to then, after paying a small fee, receive the information about not only the car but also its previous owners. The V888 form will provide you with these details, even including the contact details of said owners, allowing you to speak to them and piece together the service history of the vehicle so that you can build up your book again.

Can I Sell a Car Without a Service Book?

As we’ve already covered, not having a service book and not having a service history are two very different things. Yes, you can legally sell a car without the service book, but there are some problems that arise…

Selling a car without a service history is going to be far more difficult than it would be with it. Private buyers will be wary of any issues that might be wrong with it, and if you’re trying to sell it to a resale company, like an independent dealership, be prepared for some seriously-reduced offers to come your way. In fact, it could lead to such hassle and leave your car unwanted, so much so that scrapping the vehicle may be the better option instead. Scrap Car Comparison can get your car sold, service history or not, and we’ll still get you the best quotes that the market can offer and put cash in your bank in no time.

If you’re trying to sell your car but don’t have the physical book, it’s absolutely worth finding out if the service history has been recorded online. Tracking down your car’s history can hugely increase the price you’re offered, even by us at Scrap Car Comparison!

Who Can Stamp a Car Service Book?

The car service stamp system is supposed to add an extra layer of authenticity and security to your vehicle’s service history, giving extra reassurance that the work was completed by a licensed, trained mechanic. While it is just that – a professional technician – that’s supposed to stamp the book, DIY services are performed by those with the know-how.

As an outsider looking to buy a car, there are two ways to look at this. Some may steer clear of the car because they assume work has probably been done poorly or stamped without even being completed at all. There are inevitably DIY cowboy mechanics out there that act this way, but that’s why the stamp isn’t considered definitive proof of service history. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of the stamped work, ask to see receipts. Any DIY servicer should keep receipts to prove that the work has indeed been done.

The other outlook on DIY servicing is that an independent mechanic working on their own car will put far more care and attention into their pride and joy than someone operating out of a garage that’s seeing multiple cars each day. Of course, it’s up to you to decide where to go but remember: stamps are good, receipts are better.
If you can’t shift your car because it has no service history, or if it’s so worn out that not even a full service could revitalise it, sell it instead with Scrap Car Comparison. We’ll take any vehicle, no matter the condition it’s in or whether its history is intact. We’ll even scour the market and get you the best quotes in just 30 seconds. Plus, thanks to our national network of scrap dealers, we can arrange for it to be collected free of charge, wherever you are! Use our online scrap value calculator today and find out how much your car could be worth as scrap or salvage today.

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