Shahpor

Would you buy a car with a 'strange' service history?

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Hi all,

A bit of a strange one today - went to look at a car and the service book had the first 3 stamps missing.  Even more weird is that there is no record on the Lexus system that the work was ever done.

The two stamps after it says Lexus Hatfield, but are hand written with no stamps.  At least the dealer managed to find printouts to show it was done.

The last 3 were main dealer.

So, considering the car itself looks and drive well, would you still consider buying it?

Also, would you think there could be a potential resale problem as well?

Thanks.

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For me... it would depend how old the car was, the price and condition.

Older - maybe yes.

Newer -no.

Maybe the owner lost the book, and just maintained one himself?

 

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How old is the vehicle? It sounds like the original book was lost but difficult to tell. The Lexus system isn't 100% reliable, especially 8 years back.

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Sorry, I should have mentioned the car is from 2013.  It is this one:

https://usedcars.lexus.co.uk/en/used-lexus/Lexus/GS-450h/35-Premier-r1br9rr

The owner was actually there, but I didn't get a chance to speak to him.  He handed over everything he had with the car.

It's possible that the book was lost, but the strange thing is that the log book states the first owner was Lexus UK, so if the current owner has had since then, then there should be some record?  Especially considering that it has had all its work done at the main dealer for the last few years.

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1 hour ago, Shahpor said:

Sorry, I should have mentioned the car is from 2013.  It is this one:

https://usedcars.lexus.co.uk/en/used-lexus/Lexus/GS-450h/35-Premier-r1br9rr

The owner was actually there, but I didn't get a chance to speak to him.  He handed over everything he had with the car.

It's possible that the book was lost, but the strange thing is that the log book states the first owner was Lexus UK, so if the current owner has had since then, then there should be some record?  Especially considering that it has had all its work done at the main dealer for the last few years.

Can you not speak with the previous owner Shahpor?

I would have thought that Lexus, recognising a potential sale, could have put you in touch with one another.

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The dealer would have to post the book to each of the previous dealers that serviced the vehicle, something they probably can't be bothered to do.

I'd insist they do it. For them to sell it as an approved used Lexus it must have:

Quote

All Lexus Approved Pre-Owned vehicles must have a service history that is approved by the Lexus retailer. 

 

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I'm afraid I don't have the owners details and I doubt the dealer would give it to me now.

The problem is the dealer doesn't know where the first 3 services took place, otherwise they did say they could sent it.

Strangely, according to their systems, Lexus Hatfield has been 'terminated'?  If that is the case, then they can't send the book to get stamped there.

I agree that it should have a better service history, although how do you define 'approved'?  Lexus Sidcup appear to be ok with its current condition.

Thanks.

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If it advertised on Lexus' website and is an approved pre-owned vehicle with a Lexus warranty (not just an Inchcape or other franchise/third party warranty), then it should meet the conditions here, including a full service history:

https://usedcars.lexus.co.uk/en/program-benefits?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shahpor said:

I'm afraid I don't have the owners details and I doubt the dealer would give it to me now.

The problem is the dealer doesn't know where the first 3 services took place, otherwise they did say they could sent it.

Strangely, according to their systems, Lexus Hatfield has been 'terminated'?  If that is the case, then they can't send the book to get stamped there.

I agree that it should have a better service history, although how do you define 'approved'?  Lexus Sidcup appear to be ok with its current condition.

Thanks.

Lexus Hatfield changed ownership - certainly NOT terminated.

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It is kind of similar to my car history - It was owned by Lexus as official first owner for 3 years and 20k miles and service history starts from 30k miles minor service and first 2 stamps are missing, obvious difference all services after that were properly stamped and invoices included for 10 services.

The point - it seems service history can be cloudy under Lexus ownership... 

As far as I know Lexus can issue and stamp new service book even if they don't have history of it (based on their quality assurance policy and own inspection) - that is especially true if it is "used approved car"... I am sure if you push on this point, next time you view the car service book will be fully stamped 😄 

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32 minutes ago, ColinBarber said:

If it advertised on Lexus' website and is an approved pre-owned vehicle with a Lexus warranty (not just an Inchcape or other franchise/third party warranty), then it should meet the conditions here, including a full service history:

https://usedcars.lexus.co.uk/en/program-benefits?

 

 

I fell for that once. 

If you look at the link and scroll down to  FULL SERVICE HISTORY

It then states All Lexus Approved Pre-Owned vehicles must have a service history that is approved by the Lexus retailer. 

In other words a Lexus approved service history isn't necessarily a full service history. Mine had the first two services missing, when I spoke to the owner he told me  he just never took it in .

Lexus give them the once over and stick a Lexus approved service history on them, which I think is a poor show. 

 

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That is what I was referring to - Lexus can simply approve any car if they satisfied with condition on the day.

 

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Any vehicle owned by Toyota should have service history stamps.

My IS300h was originally owned by Toyota press and traveled more than 10k miles in their year of ownership - Lexus GB serviced and stamped the service book mid-year.

My GS was originally owned by Toyota press and hadn't traveled 10k miles in their year of ownership and so didn't need a service. When press vehicles go to the auction house that Toyota/Lexus use to sell on all their vehicles to Lexus dealers, that company services them at 12 months and stamp the service book.

 

If a Lexus dealership owns a vehicle, either as demonstrator, loan, or pre-registered showroom, they would carry out services themselves and stamp the book with their stamp.

Therefore there shouldn't be a case for services missing.

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1 minute ago, ColinBarber said:

Therefore there shouldn't be a case for services missing.

My point was not hat service would be missing (it doesn't cost them much to do it anyway), it was that it might not be documented. As was the case for my car as well.. 

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2 minutes ago, doog442 said:

I fell for that once. 

If you look at the link and scroll down to  FULL SERVICE HISTORY

It then states All Lexus Approved Pre-Owned vehicles must have a service history that is approved by the Lexus retailer. 

In other words a Lexus approved service history isn't necessarily a full service history. Mine had the first two services missing, when I spoke to the owner he told me  he just never took it in .

Lexus give them the once over and stick a Lexus approved service history on them, which I think is a poor show. 

 

It states full service history, it doesn't have to be full Lexus history though.

I agree that most dealers seem to ignore this and 'approve' non-compliant vehicles, and Lexus GB never seem to check.

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1 minute ago, ColinBarber said:

It states full service history, it doesn't have to be full Lexus history though.

I agree that most dealers seem to ignore this and 'approve' non-compliant vehicles, and Lexus GB never seem to check.

But its not a full service history if services have been missed. Lexus still sell cars that have actually missed services, the get out as in my case is simply calling it a Lexus approved history. Its almost worth a complaint to the advertising standards agency. 

 

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1 minute ago, doog442 said:

But its not a full service history if services have been missed. Lexus still sell cars that have actually missed services, the get out as in my case is simply calling it a Lexus approved history. Its almost worth a complaint to the advertising standards agency. 

 

Dealers do it but I'm not sure Lexus GB condone it - worth complaining to them first.

If you are purchasing a vehicle under three years old with services missing then the manufacturers warranty would be void, and they would be selling it as if it does have a warranty so definitely a trading standards issue.

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They must get vehicles back in from PCP / lease deals that have missed services for various reasons. They have no real option but to revert to the Lexus approved option. In my case I was verbally assured it had a full service history before they told me to look at the small print. I think its slightly disingenuous. 

That said, I viewed a car yesterday and although the computer system is 'clunky' and outdated its better than it was but still doesn't read easy.  

The stamped books are of course only there to satisfy old school blokes like me who Insist a car should be serviced every year and at the very least have a dipstick. 😉

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Thanks for the info chaps, much appreciated.

@PCM hopefully that means they could still stamp the book if necessary.  Lexus Sidcup did offer to send the book to them to do that.

As for the rest, it seems that a Lexus approved service history doesn't mean much.  If there was a record of the services on the system but no stamps in the book I wouldn't mind so much.  It is this lack of any information that bothers me.  There is also no documentation/invoices for any work done before the last 3 years at Lexus Sidcup.

If this was a 10 year old car worth a couple of grand I wouldn't care, but at 5 years old and almost £19k I am not so sure.  Am I being too picky?  GS450h's aren't exactly plentiful, especially in Premier spec.

Also, there is still the issue of resell value?  Buying from a dealer is one thing, but, for example, selling it private might prove difficult.

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1 hour ago, Shahpor said:

Thanks for the info chaps, much appreciated.

@PCM hopefully that means they could still stamp the book if necessary.  Lexus Sidcup did offer to send the book to them to do that.

As for the rest, it seems that a Lexus approved service history doesn't mean much.  If there was a record of the services on the system but no stamps in the book I wouldn't mind so much.  It is this lack of any information that bothers me.  There is also no documentation/invoices for any work done before the last 3 years at Lexus Sidcup.

If this was a 10 year old car worth a couple of grand I wouldn't care, but at 5 years old and almost £19k I am not so sure.  Am I being too picky?  GS450h's aren't exactly plentiful, especially in Premier spec.

Also, there is still the issue of resell value?  Buying from a dealer is one thing, but, for example, selling it private might prove difficult.

Get Lexus Sidcup to request Lexus Hadfield to stamp the Service Book so as to warrant that the car has been fully serviced by Lexus.

Get Lexus SIDCUP TO CONFIRM IN WRITING THAT THEY ARE SELLING YOU A LEXUS APPROVED USED CAR

Get Lexus Sidcup to give the car an immediate full service and a 12 month warranty and you buy the car.

You take out a Lexus Extended Warranty for 2 years

If after 3 years ownership you wish to keep the car, then renew the Lexus Extended Warranty

If after 3 years ownership,you do not wish to keep the car, then sell the car which will have a fully stamped Lexus Service History.

Good luck Shahpour.

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Personally in the world of cars I take the term "approved" to mean "we'd like to sell you this" and nothing more.

It's pretty unlikely that the first 3 services were missed - nobody buys a car that expensive and then doesn't service it. But generally I agree with the other advice here - make them certify it fully before parting with your money.

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Thanks John :thumbs_up:

The problem is that the dealer can't find any record of it being serviced by Lexus for those first couple.

Although, now I think about it, it might be the first 2 services, even though there are 3 empty spaces in the book...Wish I had taken a photo of the book now.

From what I remember, it had 3 blank spaces in the first 3 boxes, then 2 handwritten entries with no stamps from Lexus Hatfield and finally 3 correctly stamped services from Lexus Sidcup.  However, the car has done just over 70,000 miles, so should only have had 7 services so far.  This means that ought to be 2 blank spaces at the beginning, not 3.

Either way, unless the system at Lexus Sidcup is wrong, it is going to have a couple of blank spaces in the book with no record of if it was serviced or not.

I have already spoken to the dealer about the warranty, which will include one year as standard and I will extend it a further 2 years on top.

Not much of a discount offered though! :sad:

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Fair play in spotting it but It sounds a bit messy .The chances are that it won't impact on the car itself , more so on re sale and also you will have this thing bugging you forever.

In my case (not my current car I must add) it was a car previously on PCP and there was no obligation on the owner to get it serviced, so he didn't bother.  He  just used it for three years and handed it back. I've no idea if he was penalised.

The salesman then messed up. He retro stamped the book for the so called missing services after I had picked it up, however you cant retro stamp the date so they were all the same :wallbash:. He left shortly afterwards. 

I was given compensation in the form of three years free servicing  and MOT'S, I was also offered a cash refund. 

Nail them down on the missing service issue or walk away. If there is no discount then try an get a further years warranty or a few services thrown in. 

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2 hours ago, Shahpor said:

Thanks John :thumbs_up:

The problem is that the dealer can't find any record of it being serviced by Lexus for those first couple.

Although, now I think about it, it might be the first 2 services, even though there are 3 empty spaces in the book...Wish I had taken a photo of the book now.

From what I remember, it had 3 blank spaces in the first 3 boxes, then 2 handwritten entries with no stamps from Lexus Hatfield and finally 3 correctly stamped services from Lexus Sidcup.  However, the car has done just over 70,000 miles, so should only have had 7 services so far.  This means that ought to be 2 blank spaces at the beginning, not 3.

Either way, unless the system at Lexus Sidcup is wrong, it is going to have a couple of blank spaces in the book with no record of if it was serviced or not.

I have already spoken to the dealer about the warranty, which will include one year as standard and I will extend it a further 2 years on top.

Not much of a discount offered though! :sad:

Hope it works out for you as it is a great/phenomenal car.

If Lexus sell it to you as an Authorised Lexus car and enrol it for the Extended Warranty Programme, then you have no need to worry about any missing service records.Good luck.

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Just an update to say that I had a call from the dealer this morning following up.  I told him my concerns with the service history and he said he would enquire with Lexus UK about it and see what he can find out.

I might trying ringing around as well to see what I can find.

In the meantime, a friend of mine wants to buy my car, so it looks like I might not have a part-ex either.  Although I am still not hopeful of getting any meaningful discounts out of them.

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