Ser­vice book

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

Q In my house­hold we run two ve­hi­cles. My wife’s car is ser­viced and main­tained by our lo­cal garage, which fills in the de­tails and stamps the ser­vice book. My car is al­ways ser­viced by me. I keep a list of what I’ve done and when, but I have never recorded any­thing in the ser­vice book. I have al­ways as­sumed that it was a sa­cred doc­u­ment that only pro­fes­sional me­chan­ics were al­lowed to use!

I’m cur­rently try­ing to sell my old car but keep get­ting asked “Why you haven’t had it ser­viced since 2012?”. I al­ways re­ply that it has been ser­viced by me – usu­ally be­yond the re­quire­ments and at shorter in­ter­vals – and show them the re­ceipts and my home­made log.

Am I legally al­lowed to fill in the ser­vice book my­self and sign it, or is it only to be filled in by a pro­fes­sional me­chanic? I’m not sug­gest­ing I would back-date any ser­vic­ing, but I did change the oils and fil­ters a fort­night ago in prep for its sale and would like to record this in the book. Mag­nus Thorne

A You are fully en­ti­tled to fill in the ser­vice book as you per­form the re­quired jobs on your ve­hi­cle. While the in­cor­rect ad­di­tion of ser­vic­ing de­tails in the book would be con­sid­ered fraud­u­lent and would be a crime, not­ing ser­vic­ing that has been car­ried out is per­fectly le­gal.

I would also keep any re­ceipts for parts used, new oil and fil­ters, etc, as th­ese will back up the ser­vice de­tails. Un­for­tu­nately, be­cause there are some un­scrupu­lous folk out there, a ser­vice book with­out the stamp from a Va­treg­is­tered garage may not hold as much weight, but the pres­ence of re­ceipts for ser­vice com­po­nents should give am­ple proof of a reg­u­larly ser­viced ve­hi­cle.

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