Fast BMW Service History Check
BMW makes awesome cars, right? Of course. With the company’s rich history and dedication to building the most luxurious and road-worthy cars for sale in the UK, it’s no wonder you’ve set your sights on a pre-owned 4 Series. But before you make the deal, here are a few things to know.
Is My BMW Service History Available Online?
If you own a BMW and have had it serviced at official BMW dealerships, you can obtain maintenance records by presenting the vehicle identification number. It means the dealer will be able to pull your vehicle’s service history upon request, though it may take some time. Keep in mind, your car’s service history isn’t available online.
If you don’t own the car, a dealership likely won’t provide service history – unless it’s being sold through the dealer in question. But that can be time-consuming, and the dealership may even charge a fee to provide a paper copy of the information. If you’re willing to dig a little deeper, you may be able to retrieve more service history with some effort.
How Can I Check My BMW Service History?
If you’re buying a used BMW and want to verify the service history before a sale, you may need to put in extra effort. Here are some things to try:
- Ask the seller to provide the service history.
- If the seller doesn’t seem to have the vehicle history, ask to see the BMW owner’s manual. If the car in question has been serviced at an official dealership, the mechanic or technician always updates the owner’s manual with current service information.
- If the seller doesn’t have the owner’s manual or vehicle service history, ask to go to the dealership service department together. There, the owner can provide the vehicle identification number and ask for a copy of the BMW’s service history.
If the person you’re dealing with doesn’t want to provide service history or other information besides mileage, the best advice is to politely decline further transaction. A lack of cooperation by the seller is a sign that something dodgy is going on, and you don’t need any part of a shady deal.
Should You Worry About the BMW’s Idrive Service History?
Launched in 2001 and since replaced by BMW’s ConnectedDrive, iDrive is a desirable feature to look for in an older model car you’re interested in. iDrive is an in-car entertainment and communications system, unifying an array of functions within an LCD panel in the dashboard and a centre console-mounted control knob.
If you’re looking at a second-hand BMW, you should make sure the iDrive system is working properly. It can cost a small fortune to repair or replace. To protect yourself, ask the seller about how it works and whether it’s been serviced. The best way to get this information is directly from an authorized BMW dealer.
If the seller waffles at all, look for a different used BMW and seller to work with.
Should You Buy A Vehicle Without A Service History?
Our answer to this question is an unequivocal “no.” Fraud of all types is rampant in the UK and agreeing to buy a car – an expensive BMW to a budget Fiesta – without knowing its service history and other vital information is simply asking for trouble.
It’s also worth mentioning that many sellers might not have the car’s full-service history record at their disposal. It doesn’t make them criminal, and it’s not necessarily a red flag, either. It’s reasonable to believe the BMW owner maintained the car but didn’t keep records, or they could have lost service receipts moving to a different home. Bottom line: Service records exist somewhere, most likely at an official BMW franchise.
Buying a car without a service history could be high risk. Sure, you might save you money upfront, but down the road, you could be looking at unexpected mechanical problems (a faulty iDrive, anyone?) and sudden colossal repair bills. Sometimes, one problem with the vehicle leads to another, so we always advise consumers to buy from a reputable seller.
But who’s a reputable seller? A reputable seller is the one who keeps maintenance records on hand and follows manufacturer-recommended service intervals.
But I Can Get A “Full-Service History Check,” Right?
Newsflash! There’s no such animal as a “full-service history check” in the UK. Such records are either kept by the owner or by an official BMW dealership. But don’t despair. You can obtain Ministry of Transport (MOT) data through our services. All you need to provide is your vehicle’s registration number, and we will provide results of how the car in question performed in the MOT test. If you’re not familiar, the MOT is an annual test, looking at vehicle safety, roadworthiness, and exhaust emissions. The results provide failure and advisory notes that offer valuable insight into repair history. You would also learn of the vehicle’s insurance, road tax status, and the MOT check expiry date.
Can You Save Money If You Buy A BMW Without Full-Service History?
It’s possible. Even though there isn’t a fixed formula on what you can save on a used BMW with partial service history, industry experts say you could you pay about 23 percent less on the vehicle without full-service records. Keep in mind, the final amount could be different for various cars depending on the current car supply and demand, vehicle make, and its warranty status.
Of course, if you’re interested in buying a luxury performance vehicle like a pre-owned BMW, you may have leverage to pay less if the seller doesn’t have a comprehensive service record to present at the time of sale. In some cases, you may save as much as £500 on a £10,000 car without a service history but be prepared to haggle with the seller if such a case arises. Remember, the final sale price is strongly influenced by seller and buyer motivation.
Given the state of the economy right now, we advise all consumers shopping for a luxury performance vehicle like a second-hand BMW to do their homework before agreeing to a sale. For as much as you’re willing to pay, you’re entitled to a complete vehicle maintenance history, MOT test results, and anything else that will inform your decision. If you hesitate for even a moment, it’s a good idea to simply shop elsewhere.