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Service history worth average £1,430 premium on prestige cars - CAP

Full service history can be worth more than its weight in gold, according to new research from the leading used car benchmark valuation experts, CAP.

CAP's research among retail car dealers across the UK for the first time puts a financial value on the re-sale value of a car – and clearly demonstrates the contribution of maintenance documentation to residual values.

According to CAP's findings the value of service history is closely tied to the brand image of vehicles, with franchise dealers among the more prestigious marques valuing full history at an average of £1,430. Among non-franchise dealers looking to acquire a prestige car, such as BMW or Mercedes, the average figure was put at £870.

This represents a massive financial penalty on those cars for which proof of servicing and maintenance is not available on disposal.

Among the mid-brand marques – such as Volkswagen, Honda or Toyota – main agents put the paperwork value at an average £550, with non-franchise dealers citing a figure of £420.

CAP's research, among a representative sample of dealers nationwide, also revealed that the highest volume mass market cars without history were only penalised by franchise dealers an average of £220 and independents by just £160. In this sector service history was found to be less important to dealers than specification and even a popular colour.

The research was conducted for CAP Black Book, the leading benchmark guide to current used car prices. Managing Editor, Daren Wiseman, said: “There has always been plenty of received wisdom on the impact of service history – or its absence – but this research clearly reveals the financial significance of full maintenance records on disposal, particularly in the luxury sector.”

The research also revealed that in the non-franchise sector, for mass market cars service history comes behind mileage verification and refurbishment costs in the list of trade buyers' priorities. Furthermore, due to the relative ease with which service books can be fraudulently stamped, dealers reported a strong preference for service histories accompanied by payment receipts.

Wiseman added: “Our advice is to religiously stick to the maintenance regime, especially on a high to mid-range car, if you want to realise its full value on disposal.”

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