Missing service history worries reader

What Car? reader buys a Mercedes-Benz B-Class from Cargiant and discovers that it doesn't have any service history. What should you do if this happens to you?

With a growing family to play chauffeur to, Stacie Pardoe wanted a car that was safe, reliable and spacious. She trawled her local car supermarkets and found a 2011 Mercedes-Benz B-Class at Cargiant in London.

It seemed in good condition, with low mileage and just one previous owner: Mercedes-Benz UK. Stacie was sold and, after commissioning a car history check to make sure the B-Class wasn’t stolen or a write-off, paid up.

It was only when she collected the B-Class that she realised there was no service history included in the paperwork. She started to panic; if the car hadn’t been serviced, would it be safe? Would the warranty be invalid? She began to have second thoughts.

When she shared her worries with the salesman he said the service history had been requested but might take a while to arrive. Unfortunately it never materialised and Stacie contacted Helpdesk to ask whether she could hand back the car.

The answer was no. She had no grounds to reject the B-Class because the fact that there was no service history had been mentioned on the sales invoice – something she hadn’t spotted.
However, because the B-Class had been owned by Mercedes-Benz, there was a good chance there was a central electronic record, so we got in touch with the manufacturer to find out.

Unfortunately, Merc couldn’t find any such thing, but did provide a written assurance that it would honour the car’s warranty so long as genuine Mercedes-Benz parts had been fitted to it.

In the meantime, sympathetic to Stacie’s concerns and in a bid to put her mind at rest, Cargiant offered to carry out an interim service on her B-Class free of charge as a goodwill gesture, which she accepted.

What if this happens to you?

  • Never assume a car has been serviced based on its history; ask to see the service book and repair invoices.
  • Be aware of the warranty implications and consider the typical 10% impact on value if a car has an incomplete service history.
  • Ensure that the car is serviced and MoT tested before delivery.
We've prepared lots of useful advice, including a full guide on warranties that could help you with either a new or used car.

If you need our help, email us at helpdesk@whatcar.com with a few details and we'll be in touch.