+ Add a new car
+ Add a new car
+ Add a new car
Compare cars
Home/News/How to Perform a Car Service History Check

How to Perform a Car Service History Check


Picture this: you’re about to buy a used car, and everything seems perfect - the price is right, the exterior looks great, and the test drive goes smoothly. But what about the car’s “medical record”, its car service history check? In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the crucial process of checking a car’s service history, helping you understand its past maintenance and repairs, and ultimately make a more informed decision when buying or selling a vehicle.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding a car’s service history is essential when buying or selling used cars.
  • Various methods can be used to access a car’s service history, and it is important to verify authenticity of records for fair transactions.
  • An incomplete service history may significantly reduce the value of the vehicle, while having full documentation can potentially increase its sale price.

Understanding Car Service History

When it comes to buying or selling a car, understanding its service history is essential. It’s like having the vehicle’s medical record. One can access major repairs or maintenance details including routine check-ups done in the past. A complete service history of a used car must be documented properly to ensure that any decisions made prior to purchase are based on correct information provided on the overall condition of the car. This information is typically written down in something called a “Car Service Book”, which contains records such as type/date of services completed, mileage at the time & a stamp from the servicing garage, among other things.

The importance of these documents for any potential buyer when purchasing pre-owned vehicles cannot be overlooked either: A well-maintained service history often indicates a well-cared-for vehicle, potentially reducing the risk of unexpected repairs and costs. It also helps in verifying the car's mileage and ensures that critical maintenance, like oil changes and timing belt replacements, has been performed on time, contributing to the car's longevity and preserving its resale value.

Additionally, a complete service history can reveal recurring issues or potential problems, allowing for a more informed purchasing decision. It increases buyer confidence by providing transparency about the vehicle's past, which can be crucial in identifying whether the car has been subjected to any major repairs or accidents. Ultimately, having this history helps in negotiating a fair price, as it substantiates the vehicle's condition and can distinguish it from other used cars with unknown or patchy maintenance records.

Types of Car Service Histories

When it comes to a car’s service history, there are three main types: Full Service History (FSH), Partial Service History (PSH) and Dealer Service History (DSH). When buyers see “DSH” in an advertisement for a used car, they know that the dealer serviced it using manufacturer-approved parts and staff.

A PSH records some services and repairs but not all of them. This can be due to several factors such as being serviced at multiple garages or losing part of its documentation. As expected, FSH offers more assurance than PSH when evaluated by prospective purchasers since both influence greatly on the vehicle’s value from their perspective. Ultimately understanding these different options is beneficial for any buyer or seller who participates in a used car transaction.


The Importance of Car Service History

Maintaining a comprehensive service history for your car is vital for several reasons. Firstly, it preserves the value of the vehicle, as a well-documented maintenance record is highly attractive to potential buyers and often allows you to command a higher resale price. Secondly, it aids in regular vehicle maintenance, ensuring that all necessary services and inspections are performed on schedule, which is crucial for the car's longevity and performance. Moreover, in the event of a warranty claim, a complete service history can be instrumental in proving that the vehicle has been properly cared for, thereby validating the warranty. Regular documentation of servicing also helps in diagnosing future problems more efficiently, saving time and money in the long run.

When buying from a private seller, knowledge of the cars servicing background should be sought after, so one knows what condition they are acquiring the car in.

Locating the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique serial code that automotive industry uses to distinguish individual automobiles. For authentication of service records and accessing the car’s maintenance history, it’s essential to locate this VIN - commonly seen near the windshield on driver-side dashboard, door jamb or engine block of any pre-owned automobile registration document. Once you find out your VIN then contact either an auto manufacturer for inspecting odometer readings as well as getting a history of past repairs.

For verifying all associated services done with vehicles, multiple methods are available; an authorised dealership may have up to date details about servicing, but also third parties can be contacted who offer similar products including reliable tracking records which enable anyone using these resources to know where exactly their cars were serviced before purchasing them efficiently.


Methods to Check Car Service History

In Australia, in order to check the service history of a car and its written-off status, there are several methods such as contacting relevant service centres and using online vehicle history checking platforms. They provide locations where tests have been done plus issues that came up during these tests - and it is important to note any mention of minor problems or failed inspections. When purchasing vehicles, it is important to also comply with Australian consumer law regulations too, so keep them in mind when making your decision on buying one here.

For cars serviced by independent garages, contact should first be made before attempting access records concerning servicing activity surrounding said vehicle - if the model is old it’s likely digital documents don’t exist, in which case providing past owner’s receipts along with Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) may need to be provided. Should the automobile only receive attention from franchise dealers/authorised repair centres, then approaching the manufacturer or dealer directly can result in getting desired information regarding service history available.

Verifying Authenticity of Service Records

For a seamless and transparent transaction, both buyers and sellers can benefit from making sure the car’s service history is trustworthy. To verify these records, examining the service book should be done first, checking for stamps of serviced garages as well as miles driven or dates when it was last checked up. If there are any suspicious details found in this document, then contacting directly with the servicing centres may provide additional security measures to guarantee peace of mind throughout negotiations. Investing time authenticating vehicle information now can also prevent potential issues down the line. Hence we will point out all red flags and warning signs that appear during evaluating a car’s past services next.


Red Flags and Warning Signs

When considering a car’s service history, several red flags can give insight into any potential problems with the vehicle. If there is no documentation present or evidence of forgery in records, this could signal that it hasn’t been correctly maintained and its value may be affected negatively. Inconsistent mileage readings also indicate possible issues which need to be taken seriously when assessing the automobile’s worth. Prior to purchasing a used car, these warning signs should all be considered before making any decisions on price negotiations moving forward.

The Impact of Incomplete Service History on Car Value

When considering the purchase of a pre-owned car with an incomplete service history, it is highly suggested that buyers should negotiate for reduced pricing. It can be up to 10%-20% off the asking price due to the potential issues and unknowns from past owners when acquiring a used vehicle without complete records. On contrast, if one purchases such a car possessing full documentation, they could see increased value which results in higher sale prices.

Customers must cautiously decide weighing risks versus rewards while looking at previous owner’s details as well as future costs associated with repairs potentially needed. Moving forward, we will discuss steps involved in preparing your next scheduled service along with highlighting how regular maintenance plays its significant role on overall efficiency of automobiles.


Preparing for Your Next Car Service

It is important to keep up with regular car maintenance for the best performance of your vehicle. Most manufacturers will suggest a full service after either 1 year or 10,000 kilometres have passed, whichever comes first. When selecting an auto service provider, it’s critical to research their qualifications and experience before making any decisions in order to ensure you get quality services while saving money at the same time. Our discussion today centers on contrasting traditional paper records against digital ones when it pertains to keeping accurate track of your vehicles servicing history and progress over its life-span.

Digital Service Records vs. Traditional Service Books

For car owners and potential buyers, it is important to understand the differences between digital service records and traditional service books in order to evaluate a vehicle’s maintenance history. Digital services are stored electronically on manufacturers’ computer databases instead of being documented on paper like conventional service books. This makes them more accessible since they can be reached from anywhere with an internet connection. Their accuracy depends on how accurately information has been entered into the manufacturer’s database whereas physical documents provide a hardcopy version for checking later on if needed. Not all cars will have access to digital records, which means older vehicles may need manual service book recordkeeping instead.

We should remember these pros and cons when considering using either method. While convenience lies within technology-based storage systems, there could still remain issues around reliability compared to those presented by traditional methods.



Understanding the service history of cars is essential when buying or selling used ones. An extensive maintenance record can extend the life-span, cut down costs, and offer evidence for each party involved in transactions relating to automobiles. Knowledge regarding different kinds of service histories, correctly locating Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), and careful monitoring for suspicious signs present on vehicles, makes decisions based on your car’s upkeep more reliable and valuable in terms of both security and future investments. Ensuring that a vehicle is appropriately maintained should always be a priority!

If you're in Perth, Western Australia, and need help with your car service and repair needs, look no further than Westside Auto Service. We have a team of experienced professionals who can handle everything from routine maintenance to complex repairs. We understand the importance of a comprehensive service history and we're committed to helping you maintain your vehicle in top condition. Contact us today to schedule your next service appointment. We look forward to serving you!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check a car's history in Australia?

Check the online PPSR register to find out if a second-hand car you’re buying in Australia has any money owing on it.

How do I check my new car service history?

To check the service history of a car, one should go through its logbook to ensure that it has been serviced regularly at 10,000-15,000 km intervals or every six to twelve months. Alternatively, you can pay for an agency to do a full inspection on the vehicle’s past maintenance records. Through these methods, you will be able to confirm if your car was adequately serviced throughout its life cycle and what servicing took place.

How do I check my car history in WA?

If you wish to check the registration status of your car, you can do so with ease by going to the Department of Transport website and inputting your vehicle’s licence plate number. Doing this will enable free and easy access to current registration data. This process is simple, quick, and efficient - providing all details that may be necessary for a thorough investigation into one’s automobile background information!

What is a car service history?

A car service history is a record that outlines the maintenance and repairs of a vehicle, giving an overall summary of how it has been looked after. It can be thought of like having your car’s own medical file, keeping track of its life cycle as well as all necessary services provided to keep it running smoothly.

What are the different types of car service histories?

When it comes to car services, there are three types of records available: Full Service History (FSH), Part Service History (PSH) and Full Dealer Service History (FDSH). FSH covers all maintenance done on a vehicle while PSH lists only certain jobs that have been completed. Finally, the most comprehensive record is an excellent record.

Articles you might like


Checking and Servicing Brake Pads: A Guide

In this guide you will find out all that you need to know about properly checking on and servicing them. It covers from knowing why they are important for avoiding wear-outs up until how their lifespan can be extended with proper maintenance techniques.

Regular Oil Changes: Why There Important For Your Car

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the ins and outs of engine oil, oil change schedules, and the benefits of both DIY and professional oil change services—all while keeping environmental responsibility in mind

Changing a Flat Tyre: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this guide, we'll equip you with the knowledge to confidently and efficiently change a punctured tyre, even when you're far from a service station. Being prepared for such emergencies makes them much easier to handle, ensuring you're never left stranded. Follow our instructions to master this crucial aspect of driving readiness.