20 March 2023 · Our Blog - Read The Latest Articles

Why Is Service History Important When Buying A Used Car?

Why Is Service History Important When Buying A Used Car?

Buying a used car can be a great way to save money while finding a reliable vehicle that fits your needs and budget. However, unlike when buying a new car that has never had a previous owner, each used vehicle has a unique history of owners, mileage, and repairs. While many used car buyers are able to find a reliable used car in good working condition that will stand the test of time, there is always the risk of purchasing a lemon with hidden damage and unexpected costs that may arise after purchase. One of the most reliable ways to reduce the risk of buying a used car is to ensure that the vehicle comes with a complete service history. This will provide you with all of the information you need about the vehicle’s servicing and repairs to help you make a more informed decision.

Is Service History Important When Buying A Used Car?

When it comes to buying a used car, the service history is a critical indicator of how well the vehicle has been maintained. This is important when assessing the condition of a used car for purchase, as regular servicing is essential to the overall health and performance of a vehicle and can help to prevent costly repairs.  Not only will a first service history provide proof that the car has been regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic, but it can also provide key information such as when the last oil change was, when the tyres were last rotated, and when the battery and brakes were last checked. This will help you to accurately estimate the future maintenance costs of the vehicle.  Additionally, a full service history will outline any repairs that have been carried out on the vehicle to help you make an informed purchasing decision. 

How To Check The Service History Of A Used Car

A car’s service history should be provided in a booklet or logbook that comes with the vehicle. Records will include when and where the car has received its routine services as well as any repairs that have been carried out.  When checking the service history of a used car, ensure that each entry in the logbook has been stamped and dated, as this is an indication that the work has been carried out by a professional mechanic. Any repair work should be listed alongside the car's odometer reading at the time of repair.  Depending on the type of car, some repairs can be critical to the condition of the vehicle, so it’s important to do your research on the vehicle you’re looking at before you check its service history. For example, many cars require regular changing of the timing belt based on the car’s mileage. Failure to replace the timing belt when needed can result in the timing belt snapping and causing serious damage to the engine that will require major repairs. Without a record of when the timing belt was last changed, there is no way to know when or if it has been replaced, which could result in thousands of dollars of repairs in the future. 

What Are The Benefits Of Having Access To The Service History Of A Used Car?

There are three main benefits to purchasing a used vehicle with a service history. Most importantly, the car's service history will provide a record of all maintenance and repairs carried out on the vehicle to help you make a more informed decision. While there is no guarantee of the condition of a used car, even with a full service history, it is a good way to reduce the risk of buying a pre-owned vehicle. This will also help to inform you of when the car is due for its next service to ensure that the vehicle stays in peak working condition once you have purchased it.  Another benefit of buying a used car with a service history is that it indicates a reputable seller. Unlike when buying a new vehicle, used vehicle purchases come with the risk of having to deal with a private seller who may just tell you whatever you want to hear to make the sale. However, a full service history shows that the owner has taken care of the car, spending money to keep it in good working condition and retaining all relevant documents for future use.  Finally, a full service history can increase the value of the car, as the risks when buying a used car with a service history are significantly less than buying a car with no service history. This also means that if you choose to sell the vehicle in the future, you will be able to fetch a better price and are likely to find a buyer more easily than a vehicle with no service history.  

What If A Used Car Doesn't Have A Service History?

While a service history can provide peace of mind about the condition of the vehicle to potential buyers, it is not an essential requirement when buying a used car. In fact, some used vehicles may be in great working condition with no service history, whether it be because the car has been serviced without keeping a record or because the logbook has been misplaced.  However, there is certainly added risk when buying a used car without a service history, which should be reflected in the buying price. Additionally, it is highly recommended to have a qualified mechanic check over the vehicle before purchasing it to reduce the risk of unexpected costs in the future. 

Take The Risk Out Of Buying A Used Car with Downtown Toyota

If you’re looking to buy a reliable used car in Brisbane, look no further than Downtown Toyota. Our gold-level used car department is dedicated to helping each customer find their ideal used car based on their specific needs, preferences, and budget.  Talk to one of our friendly sales specialists today on 07 3896 0100 or click here to browse our available used cars online.