When you buy a car from an independent dealer or privately, or even through an auction, if the car is sold to you with a full service history, that should, of course mean exactly what it says. The vehicle has a full service record from a main franchised dealer or an authorised repairer for those types of car. However this may not always be the case and your recently purchased car may not have the comprehensive service history it claims.
A vehicle with full main dealer service history will be worth between 30 and 50% more than a vehicle with a, shall we say, more chequered history. For example if you were to buy a 3 year old 40,000 mile example of certain performance cars such as Porsche, BMW or Mercedes, having a full service history which ensures only genuine parts have been used and the car has been looked at by the right specialist technicians, could mean the car being worth literally thousands of pounds more than a car with either non-franchised servicing or worse still no documented history to speak of at all.
This of course is how a consumer makes his/her choice based on the criteria of budget etc, so if a customer would rather pay less and take a chance on a car that has had dubious or sporadic servicing then as long as they are made aware from the outset, then no problem. But what about cars which are sold as having a full service history with a service book stamped correctly and with all the boxes ticked and seemingly what it purports to be?
If you take this information at face value you could well come unstuck. During times of economic hardship rogue dealers will look for opportunities to cut corners and mislead and cheat in order to carry on turning a profit, and whilst there will probably be only a small percentage of dealers carrying out these sharp practices it could cost you, the customer, a lot of money if you aren’t careful.
MTI has recently been alerted to a practice which is truly quite disturbing. There are people producing, almost perfectly, any dealer stamp with the correct logos and colour formation within 48 hours, they are sold to some of these rogue traders who will then acquire a car stamp, a blank service book (or the book which belongs to the original car) and claim it to have a full service history.
If a customer saw such a service book he would assume that everything was in order, but in fact if he could have a car that is worth significantly less than he will be paying.
Our advice; if you are buying from a non-franchised dealer, whoever they may be and whatever the stamp in the book says, call the garage on the dealer stamp and ensure the service history is correct or your gleaming sports car may not only not have been serviced but the mileage may also not be correct!
Beware the car dealer who has “Billy the Stamp” on short-dial!