How to find your car’s missing service history

Last updated December 15, 2022

Given the importance of being able to present your vehicle’s service history when you decide to sell your car, you may understandably feel panicked if you’ve noticed that the service history book is missing. Attempting to sell your vehicle without this document will not only reduce your car value – it may also deter many prospective buyers.

Fortunately, there are several ways that you can potentially recover your car’s missing service history. In this guide, we will cover the various options available for retrieving your lost service history. We’ll also explain why as a prospective car buyer, you should always ask for proof of the service history – even if the original copy of the service history book is missing.

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What can I do if I’ve lost my car service book?

  • Contact the manufacturer

    You may be able to access your car’s digital service records; these are often stored within your vehicle manufacturer’s central database. Usually, these can only be obtained through your manufacturer’s official dealerships, so this is who you’ll need to contact.

    If you find that your car’s service history information hasn’t been stored online previously, it’s worth visiting the manufacturer’s nearest official dealership for your next car service to request that this is done going forward.

  • Finding your service history online

    You may be able to access some of your service history online using a service history check tool, which will scour the internet for your car’s service history records based on its registration number. Keep in mind that these tools cannot generally recover a car’s full service history; you are still better requesting this information through an official source, such as the manufacturer.

  • Contact garages and dealerships

    Contact any garages and dealerships that you have previously taken your car to for its maintenance and services. While this is not guaranteed, they may hold some valuable information regarding your vehicle’s service history that can then be presented to potential buyers.

What if a car I’m interested in buying has a missing service history book?

If you are the potential buyer of a vehicle, you should always ask the seller for any other proof they may have of a vehicle’s service history, even if they are unable to present the service history book. You can then use the information they provide to seek out the vehicle’s service history through other means, such as the manufacturer. It’s important that you do this to avoid potentially purchasing a car from someone other than its legal owner (i.e. a car that has been stolen).