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Creating a Car History File – Why it Will Add Value

Creating a Car History File – Why it Will Add Value

Creating a car history file is a good idea, even more so if you plan to do plenty of modifications etc as it helps keep a record for you and future buyers.

Back in the early 90’s I bought a Ford Capri which I still have today and the history file was massive, not just service stamps but everything that had been done to the car right down to the type of oil that was used, dates, costs and more.

It was at this point that I began to do the same and with the Shogun having a lot of work done to make it into an overland vehicle not much has changed.

k90 overland
Shogun in for timing/balancing belt change at 97k

My old Ford’s history file was written in a book which I later organized into a binder, hand written has a certain authenticity about it but what I do these days is add photos and print everything out.

So why is creating a car history file a good idea? First off it shows exactly that – the car’s history, there is nothing like receipts to show what work was done, where and how much it cost.

When it comes to an overland vehicle where mods are plenty a photographic history file adds value if you ever come to sell the vehicle plus offers the potential buyer confidence that jobs were done right, when they were done and not a botched, any buyer will always be aware of a heavily modified vehicle.

creating a car history file
creating a car history file
shogun sport history record important

A car history file proves that you looked after and valued the vehicle, some may see it as over the top but I would rather have an over the top history file as oppose to a sketchy one or no history at all.

It proves mileage, a biggie on older vehicles that can be clocked.

It’s a good planner, if you ever needed to know when something was done or changed then all the details are in there.

It’s a money tracker, selling your vehicle and need to advertise how much has been spent – just tot up the numbers.

It’s enjoyable to do [for some of us anyway!] we spend thousands on our overland vehicles and fastidiously take care of them so why not extend that to what is essentially another part of the vehicle and maintain its file.

car history
how to keep car hsitory
is car history important

It’s a presentation pack, selling a vehicle with all the bla bla bla is one thing, being able to back it up with something tangible is usually a real eye opener for a buyer.

It shows you have taken care of the vehicle in every respect, why would anyone bother with a comprehensive history file and not bother with regular oil changes for example.

It’s a presentation pack, selling a vehicle with all the bla bla bla is one thing, being able to back it up with something tangible is usually a real eye opener for a buyer.

It’s something for the future, imagine having a photographic record of a family members car from years ago? OK, the hard file or binder will go with the new owner if the vehicle was sold but these days most things are saved on a hard drive and can be printed again. Imagine a photographic history file from the sixties or seventies?

That would be just too cool, today we have the opportunity to create something quickly and easily, we don’t have to go to the print shop or get images developed at the chemist…

Shogun History File:

Our own Shogun came with some service history right up to 91,000 miles but there was a gap in the middle where one owner didn’t bother to retain any receipts, with 13 service stamps though it’s still not bad for can that is twenty years old.

You can see how we are creating our own records for the vehicle here in this post with details on all of the work carried out, when and how much it all cost. Although more than competent [especially on older diesel engines] our local mechanics invoices leave much to be desired to we are expanding these into a legible format with images where we can.

How do you approach your  4×4 service history? Do you keep a file or you happy just knowing that work and been done and not bother with the paperwork? Let us know in the comments below.

You can always document on a website too >>>

1800 1197 Mac


K90overland is Mac and Gayle, they lived in Andalucia for 19 years before moving back to the UK. Overlanding since 2019 the pair have built up a 'budget rig' and now enjoy a relaxed approach to discovering Scotland and the north of England.


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