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Who Owns Your Car’s Digital Logbook?

The car service logbook that millions of Australians rely on to sell their cars with the proof that it has been serviced and maintained could soon disappear from the glove box into the cloud as it becomes digital, according to the Australian Automobile Aftermarket Association (AAAA).

Executive Director of the AAAA, Stuart Charity, said anybody buying a car with a digital logbook should request in writing that they be given ownership of the digital logbook and have access to it via a code and password.

Mr Charity said that without access the new vehicle owner could be left with no proof of the service history of the vehicle slashing thousands of dollars off the resale value.

“No car dealer or buyer is likely to pay a good price for a car without a certified service record. The logbook is the proof that the car owner has kept up regular maintenance and provides sound information to buyers of second hand vehicles.

“Vehicle owners who wish to use independent repairers who normally complete the logbook at the end of the service now find that there is no process to complete the logbook, because only the dealers have access to fill in the digital logbook and they are refusing to give access to workshops to record regular services.”

Mr Charity said that AAAA is speaking to the Federal Government, through the Minister for Small Business, Kelly O’Dwyer, to create a National Automotive Servicing and Repair Portal, that holds information on all vehicles and is accessible by independent repairers, and this Portal should also ensure that Australian car owners have ownership of their digital logbook.

“Government policy needs to keep pace with the technology being used in modern cars, which have become ‘computers on wheels’, to ensure that Australia and its car owners are not sidelined into a costly technology black hole.” The car owner should have access to the log book and not be forced to go through the Dealership for every service. This is important for rural and remote communities that may not be located close to Dealerships and the evidence is that the vast majority of car owners use an independent repairer after the warranty period.

Mr Charity said for most car owners, the logbook in the glove box is the document they depend on, not only at the time of resale, but also to keep a check on the safety of their vehicle.

The AAAA’s view is if you buy the car you own the logbook not the Dealership. All car owners are advised to talk to the Dealership – and ask ‘Where is my Logbook?”

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