Interestingly, only 37 per cent of the 2,000 people Kwik-Fit asked said servicing by an independent garage has the same value as one from a main franchised dealer. It just goes to show the main dealers’ marble pillars still have pull.
If a car not having any history has a negative impact for the seller, it must be a positive for potential buyers. So let’s presume you’re interested in a car with a missing or incomplete history, what can you do about it.
Well, if the car has been serviced at a main dealer you can ask them for the records. Many manufacturers have now done away with the traditional service book and computerized the whole thing, with some making those records available online.
For about £20, those that don’t will provide you with an updated service book. Don’t be shy to ask: it is in their interests to forge a relationship with a potential new customer.
It’s more difficult if the car has dropped out of the dealer network. Independents frequently aren’t as diligent with their paperwork. And that’s if you can find the garage that did the work. It’s not hard to track down a previous owner – the DVLA will sell you their details for a fiver. But there’s no guarantee former owners will be interested in, or capable of, helping.