When a vehicle is serviced at a main dealership or a professional independent garage, a record is maintained of the work done. A car that has been properly maintained will have what is usually called a 'full service history', in the form of a book that is stamped by the servicing garage to show that maintenance has been carried out to the manufacturers' standards. It's traditional and understood by car owners. Few people would buy a car that did not have a full service history and a full set of stamps. Nobody likes a mystery in the automotive world.
Yet these books can get lost or damaged along with the accompanying garage accounts and parts invoices. The good news is that there is now a better way to maintain car servicing records thanks to the wonders of the digital age: The Digital Service Record.
The Modern DSR
Basically, a Digital Service Record is an electronic version of the service history book that came with the car. This represents advantages for both the vehicle owner and the car servicing garage. This novel method of data retention effectively replaces the old paper-based system and offers a full overview of a car's history. This is especially useful for the technician servicing the vehicle because the information is always to hand via a computer.
For example, these days there is no need to take a car to a brand main dealership for maintenance; a local professional independent garage, being perhaps a more cost-effective solution, will have access to the digital service record without recourse to prior owners. The DSR thus also makes a used car more saleable, in the same way that an old style service book and a sheaf of invoices would.
Why Is A DSR Better?
As mentioned, a record of a fully maintained history at a good garage helps achieve more value when a vehicle is sold. That alone should be enough to convince an owner to go the DSR route. In the case of new car purchase, car manufacturers now offer a digital service record as a matter of course. The beauty of this is that it can be maintained for the life of a car regardless of ownership.
There are other advantages too. For example, a DSR maintains detailed records of the vehicle in a central database and an owner or technician can easily access those records whenever needed. Further, a DSR is more secure when compared to the paper service history, which can be falsified or tampered with. An example of this might be a change of odometer to falsify a car's mileage. It can also be used by a trusted local garage to remind owners when a service is due and it helps enforce warranties, making claims easier.
So it makes sense to start a digital service record when purchasing a new car. All the information will then be available to the owner at the click of a mouse. No more searching cupboards for a book. For recent used car buyers it pays to check if a DSR exists already as any record will be in the manufacturer's database. If not, why not start one? Ask your garage about digital service records.