Be Aware Special: Cancelling Service Lights
“With everyone not using their cars as much, we have had a few customers come to us to ask us to cancel their service light. The vehicle is due a yearly service but hasn’t done the mileage necessary. I presume that is okay?”
There is no simple answer. It is not illegal to cancel a service light. Provided the owner of the vehicle is fully advised about the need to correctly service the vehicle, including the risk of failure if a vehicle is not correctly serviced, then as with all things, you can contract on this basis.
That said, a vehicle manufacturer advises both a time period and a mileage for servicing for a reason. Oil quality and other factors deteriorate over time.
Cancelling a service light is not a trivial matter. Should you cancel the service light and the vehicle fail due to lack of service, then you would have to be able to establish to a courts satisfaction that you sufficiently advised the customer of the risk. Failure to have done so could result in a legal liability for any damages.
It should also be remembered that modern vehicles rely on an electronic service record. Cancelling a service light without servicing the vehicle is akin to stamping a vehicle logbook. By cancelling a service light, you are allowing a vehicle to be sold for more than its value.
Whilst cancelling a vehicle service light is not illegal it is exceedingly difficult to justify. Service lights are there for a reason. Cancelling a service light without servicing the vehicle can result in a liability on you and your garage should the vehicle fail and can result in vehicles being sold as having a full-service history when in fact they do not. We would advise against it unless you have serviced the vehicle to the manufacturer’s specifications. Customers who are asking for a light to be cancelled should be advised of the risks in detail. Should you choose to cancel a service light without servicing the vehicle we would strongly advise that you mark the invoice accordingly.
This advice is general in nature and will need to be tailored to any one particular situation. This is not a definitive guide to the Regulations and how they apply to your business. Neither does this deal with all the changes. Should you find yourself in the situation above, please call 01788 225 908 any stage for advice and assistance as appropriate.