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Discussion Starter #1
My mum’s got a new Polo. While looking through the bumpf that came with it, she noticed it didn’t have a service book. Quick call to VW revealed they don’t supply them any more, as all the servicing is logged on ‘puter, and you get a detailed invoice.

Hmm. I bet VW will save a small fortune in translation and print costs on this one, but can anyone else see a few problems with this, esp after the car is no longer serviced at a main dealer?

is anyone else not supplying service books anymore?
 

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For those that don't keep a comprehensive file of invoices, receipts, previous MOT certificates et al as I do, they'll potentially have problems when it comes to selling time.
I wouldn't touch a car without paperwork to back-up someone just saying it's got full history. The itemised invoices are worth so much more than just a stamp in a book that just gives the date and mileage, so no big deal not having a service book provided there's a history file.
 

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I think there’s quite a few that don’t use service books anymore. Jag don’t, and I think BMW keep the service history on the car’s computer too. Less wasteful I suppose but I’m not sure the cars computer will have a breakdown of parts and work completed.


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It's the same with my Merc - which means all servicing has to be done either at a main dealer, or at an independent who has bought an insanely expensive computer system from Mercedes.

Now, any guesses for why they've chosen to do away with the service book?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
All good points, chaps.

a further thing. It’s probable that after three years the Polo will be serviced at indi garages. It may not always be the same one, and there’s a chance an invoice may get lost. If you can’t remember which garage did the 50 or 60k service, how’s the person interested in buying your car going to know if that service had been done?

is this a small ploy to knock confidence in used cars more than three years old and to drive customers to new cars on a PCP scheme, instead?

I know used cars are bought on condition more than service history alone, but it does provide some reassurance and insight into the vehicle’s past.
 

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Hasn’t data protection removed some paperwork from what you get for a used car anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Could be.
 

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Basically, the law was changed so that main dealers cannot require that you use main dealers for servicing to maintain warranty. And then shortly afterwards this change occurred which meant that you really needed to use main dealers for servicing.
Coincidence?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They’re all flippin’ at it! This won’t end well for the used car buyer over time.
 

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and there’s a chance an invoice may get lost.
Do what I do. Keep a lever arch file and stick the invoice in it (in one of those plastic sleeve thingys for protection) as soon as you get home. That way the full history is altogether. The file also has the original purchase paperwork and manufacturer's brochure as well as the renewals for the Road Fund Licence.;):geek:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Do what I do. Keep a lever arch file and stick the invoice in it (in one of those plastic sleeve thingys for protection) as soon as you get home. That way the full history is altogether. The file also has the original purchase paperwork and manufacturer's brochure as well as the renewals for the Road Fund Licence.;):geek:
I’m ok with my stuff, Tony; some folks aren’t as careful with their car related docs, or fail to appreciate the worth of those documents. That’s the issue I think.
 

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If the dealers cannot prove the service history then it might lead to an increase in private sales. I certainly would be prepared to show the invoices to a potential buyer. I am sure if someone wants a car with FSH rather than the dealer's sayso they might well go private.
 

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I’m ok with my stuff, Tony; some folks aren’t as careful with their car related docs, or fail to appreciate the worth of those documents. That’s the issue I think.
Then they must expect to have to down grade their expectations of the sale/tradein. In most peoples working lives they are forever being told how important the paper trail is for proving the quality of work. Why should our personal lives work any differently
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tony, my concern is that if the private seller has lost some of the invoices, and can’t remember which garage has serviced the car (they could go to several over the ownership period, esp once the car is over three years old and out of the dealer network), then how will the potential customer know what’s been done and who has serviced it?
 

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I agree that is the problem. Hence my comment about lowering expectations. If you want the best deal then you must get organised from day 1.
The real concern is for the third or fourth purchaser if the paper trail cannot be passed on.
Of course, to return to your original point, it has been said that the service book proves very little without the invoices to back it up.
 

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A stamped up service book can be bought, without invoices, from eBay. The invoices can be said to be lost by a second owner who buys from a dealer who destroyed them for data protection reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Agree; the service book needs to be validated by the relevant invoices. But if both are missing... :)
 

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A stamped up service book can be bought, without invoices, from eBay. The invoices can be said to be lost by a second owner who buys from a dealer who destroyed them for data protection reasons.
everything’s a con. :)

I wouldn’t even trust myself to sell my own car back to me :)
 

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I think dealers have to throw the documents out due to GDPR anyway.
No idea what they're supposed to do, but:

1. When I sold my 156 back in 2008, it had a full set of invoices which were binned by the dealer who sold it to the next owner.
2. When I bought a Giulietta from Arnold Clark in March 2019, it came with no invoices, but a stamped service book. I found no trace on the internet of the person or persons unknown who had stamped the book.
3. When I bought another Giulietta from West London Motor Group in November 2019, it came with a book stamped by them, and every invoice including the previous owner's name and address, plus sundry papers she'd accidentally included in the bundle.

As a car owner, the service book is worth the square root of not a lot, but the invoices are useful information.

For what it's worth, my understanding of GDPR is that name and address constitutes personal data, but a business can store it if they can show it's necessary for administration. I have no idea whether passing on named documents to confirm the service history would stand up in court. I bet the courts don't know either until there's a test case.
 
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