Ferrari Duplicate Service History

I recently helped a friend with some advice during the purchase of a 360 and ended up buying a car where the service history book had been lost.  In fact the only shred of service documentation was the work done in preparing the car for sale.  In the first instance I advised to walk away as my thoughts on incomplete maintance records are well known.

However, my friend loved the car and was tempted by the discount on offer due to the missing records.  He managed to contact the dealers who had serviced the car in the past and was able to reconstruct the dates and details of the maintenance.  The car was inspected and found to be sound so a deal was done.  Then came the saga of obtaining proper copies of the records….

Every now and again blank service booklets appear on eBay and the purchase of one of these was briefly considered.  However, since this car had spent its life inside the franchised network, getting a moody service booked stamped looked like being problematic.  This left the official route which, if you’ve ever had to deal with the factory, you’ll know was never going to be easy.

I should start by saying that you’ll never going to be able to get this done without having the services of a Ferrari dealer who is willing to go the extra mile for you.  Fortunately I know such a guy.

The first thing that needs to be done is to contact Maranello and ask them to check what booklets they have on the shelf.  Each book is specific to the model and year of car, with many types sold out.  If they don’t have your particular type in stock then tough luck – they aren’t printing any more and they wont sell you a 2003 book if you have a 2002 car.

The next thing to check is if there are any pending recalls and campaigns for the car.  If there are then these need to be performed before progressing to the next stage.

Assuming the factory has a blank book for you, and your car is up to date recall wise, the next step is to submit an application.  This involves physically taking the car to the dealer so they can prepare the paperwork (chargeable, of course).  Details required for the application included:

  • Dealer Information
  • VIN Number
  • Engine Type
  • Engine Number (taken directly from the engine block)
  • Gearbox Number (taken directly from the transmission casing)
  • Assembly Number
  • Window Marking Codes
  • External Colour
  • Interior Colour
  • Carpet Colour
  • Current Mileage
  • Pending Recalls and Campaigns
  • Owner Information

As well as this data, the application needs to be accompanied by photos showing the condition of the car, the dash displaying the mileage and, bizarrely, photos showing the car on the dealers premises in order to prove they had the car in their possession!

Lastly, copies of the vehicle registration document and photo identification of the owner were taken and sent off to Italy together with the non-refundable fee (budget approx £500 plus tax).

Once the application has been processed and approved (with a typically Italian sense of urgency) the factory will dispatch a duplicate service book.  The booklet is exactly the same as the one provided when the car was new except it will have a large “DUPLICATO” stamped where the supplying dealer would normally stamp the book.  All the details will be filled in apart from the name and address of the first owner.

The service part of the book is supplied blank so the next step for my friend is to travel with his car, registration document and personal identification to the servicing dealers for them to stamp.  Fortunately, his car spent its life in a similar part of the country.

Here are some photos (note the VIN and engine number have been blanked off):

Service_book_1

Service_book_2

Service_book_3

Service_book_4

Service_book_5

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9 thoughts on “Ferrari Duplicate Service History

  1. Aldous
    I guess in the UK the stamps in the book are necessary to list it as having a FSH (full service history). Here in the US it seems that the only one that gets stamped is the PDI (pre-delivery inspection) — dealers usually don’t bother to stamp any others. Here the possession of the service receipts are usually good enough for a prospective buyer which is why most owners (me included) keep all the receipts and put them in a three ring binder. It’s a real pity that Ferrari don’t do what every other manufacturer does (well here in the US anyway) and that is to maintain a national data base of all the service and repair work. I’m not sure if they do that now. My wife’s Lexus doesn’t even have a service book. If I am looking to purchase a used vehicle I can just give the dealer the VIN and he can look up to see what work has been done.
    Alan

    1. Hi Alan,

      Of course, if the service receipts were available then there would be no need to obtain a duplicate book and get it stamped up. However, in this case the entire history file had been lost. In the UK dealers are reluctant to give out copies of service receipts, citing “data protection” rules as a reason!

      Cheers,
      Aldous.

  2. Why would you want to spend the money to do this? It really doesn’t prove anything to a potential buyer because it was put together long after the service was supposed to have been performed. For a buyer, the question is the current condition of the car. Wouldn’t a really thorough PPI be better proof of current condition than a recreated service history?

    1. Hi Bobby,

      In my mind, there are two factors one should consider when assessing a car:

      a) Current condition (PPI)
      b) Maintenance history

      Certainly in this market (UK), nobody would consider buying a Ferrari without knowing the details of the servicing. The vendor in this case didn’t go to the trouble of re-constructing the records and had to take a haircut on the price. My friend has done the hard work and as such, he will have to take only a small haircut when selling (to reflect the fact the history has been duplicated).

      I’m interested to know what market you operate in – where do people buy a Ferrari without regard to the maintenance history?

      Rgds,
      Aldous.

      1. Aldous, At time of purchase, my 360 had 11000 miles on the clock, and I knew of the oil changes and a set of new tires the car had received, but did not know whether the car had ever had a major service done to it. The cost of a major service and a transmission fix (6 speed manual) were deducted from the purchase price. When I got the car, the man who works on it went over everything, at my direction. (I had a PPI done, but this post purchase inspection was much more detailed.) A new clutch was installed, all fluids were replaced, in short, everything that even might need cleaning or replacing was cleaned or replaced. The 6 speed was disassembled and repaired. The engine was tested thoroughly, and everything checked out well. Many photos were taken of the entire process. and I have those and detailed receipts. I truly believe that this is better than having a service history, though I would like to have one. It’s a great car, and I am confident that I will sell it for a good price when the time comes. Of course, I will keep meticulous records. Maybe service histories are more important in the UK than in the US for some reason.

      2. I’m confused Bobby. In your first post you question why anyone would want to reconstruct a service history and then say you would have like to have a service history for your own car.

        I suspect we agree in many ways and that there are regional differences on the importance of fully documented maintenance record!

  3. Hi, I partially agree with Alan and Bobby. Alan is correct in that most manufacturers have/are moving away from service books to combat fraud and cost of producing written statements. Jaguar Land Rover moved to online service history last year.
    I think Bobby has a valid answer in that it really depends on whether you are buying a Ferrari to sell on, or buying a Ferrari because you want to own and care for one! Whilst service history gives some satisfaction, it can be falsified? The visual inspection and length of ownership usually tells you if a particular car justifies the price tag. I spent 2 years looking for the right car, and believe me the first inspection and details of ownership usually made the decision for me rather than thumbing through a service booklet.
    Therefore I guess it relates back to your knowledge of vehicles, if not get an expert to view the car for you. Also remember a vehicle that looks too perfect and has not been owned by one person for some time is reason for further investigation. The amount of cars I viewed that had been accident damage repaired was unbelievable, some with impressive service history???

    Regards

    1. I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. Service history is a key part of assessing if a Ferrari is worth owning or not. A PPI cannot tell you if the heat exchanger is gummed up, the gearbox has been operated for years with oil turned to sludge, the conrods have been sat bathed in contaminated oil, etc, etc. Knowing the details and dates of the maintenance goes a long way to assessing the risks of such issues.

      Simply knowing that the car is in good shape at the current time and that the previous owner has had the car for years is not enough (imho). I looked at a 360 recently that had been owned for five years and on the face of it the car looked good. However, the service records showed that the previous owner had only recently had the car serviced – ie: it had not seen a workshop for five years. My advice was to walk away.

      Deferred maintenance can be a real killer on these cars. Once a car has gotten into bad shape it can be expensive and time consuming to bring it back up to spec. These cars aren’t rare so why not wait until a car with better records comes along?

      In my friends case, the car had been serviced but the records had been lost. He is constructing an official duplicate of the history which will give future buyers a much greater degree of comfort.

  4. While I fully agree with Aldous that it is obviously better to buy a car with a FSH its one of those things that always makes me squirm a bit because of so much emphasis being placed on it. I 100% would not have bothered with re-creating the SH and spent the £500+ on doing as many jobs as possible and documenting the hell out of it from this point on….

    On the Data Protection thing, it was proven to be a total scam by the dealers who just couldn’t be bothered – Its hassle and time for them without any decent money coming back. Actually I contacted the Data Protection agency about this (for another car marque) and all you need to do is insist they blank out (black pen will do) removing personal address and name details (DE-personlizing the record) before sending faxes back to you. They cannot reasonably refuse to do this!

    A FFSH is a bit like buying a top end pension to me decades before you retire. Its a promise of some kind of benefit in the future but not necessarily anything more! Way too many people (often inexperienced buyers) place way too much faith and emphasis in Ferrari FSH when I personally do not believe they tell you that much. You really need to determine condition NOW, today. There are many things a FSH won’t tell you including…

    1. It could be faked, forged, from a different car even,.
    2. The servicing may have been done by incompetent dealers YTS kids (there are many unfortunately!) – I actually prefer the specialists to the majority of official dealers.
    3. The car could have accident damage or poor repairs done elsewhere than the main dealer.
    4. It could have just been neglected and trashed or generally not cared for.
    5. It could have been a hire car or track day experience car.

    … the list goes on and on… All of the above could have happened and still have a FSH. The car could be terrible car (or not) regardless of FSH.

    In reality its just one of the plethora of indicators of the life the car has had. When you have owned and been working on these cars for many years (I’ve notched up more than a decade now with my 360!) you really can spot the majority of poor examples without even going near the service file booklet within the first hour on the ramps.

    The first encounter with the owner is more telling than the file. Does he mash the rev’s of a cold engine? (even the best service in the land won’t tell you about bad owners). Even if the old stuff is way gone, what about his own service history since owning the vehicle, Has he done much? (gone beyond what is normally done?) What about the type of tyres fitted. Are they good brand and the same all around, good condition, etc?

    On the deferred maintenance thing. All the things described have counters with the way the car was driven too (e.g. ragged from cold vs warming up before hard driving), etc.

    The best way to determine engine health is still to insist on a compression pressure test and cylinder leak down values as part of the inspection. Also removal of some of the gearbox fluid to check for coolant will tell you if the heat exchanger has gone bad. Etc.

    In reality its always a bit of a gamble buying a used car but you can considerably move the odds in your favour by doing the best possible extensive (expert) inspection prior to purchase.

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