We’ve had many conversations over the years with our members (and anyone who will listen, really) about the importance of keeping a maintenance log for your vehicle.
Most of the time whenever we bring up record-keeping, we’re met with an “Ugh, I can’t just shove my receipts into the glovebox and be done with it?”.
We’re also met with “I just don’t have time to do all that, it’s not a big deal”.
The truth is, both of those statements are wrong! It is a big deal, and when you do it right it will actually save you time, not to mention a boatload of cash in the long run.
Plus, if you have a vehicle service contract (or certain types of insurance) you may be required to keep a maintenance log if you want to be able to use your benefits.
So in our opinion, whether you like it or not, owning a vehicle means following a scheduled service interval.
The more consistently you schedule the correct services at the correct time, the longer your vehicle is going to last. Ask anyone who has driven their vehicle for 200, or even 300,000 miles and we promise you that they have been diligent about keeping their vehicle serviced.
So here are 3+1 great ways to keep a maintenance log.
1: Organize Your Paper Trail
The easiest way to keep up to date with your vehicle service schedule is to use your vehicle owner’s manual that comes with your vehicle.
In the back of each is a log with the recommended service interval, and an area for you to fill in when it was performed. You should back this record up by keeping the paper receipts filed away somewhere. We recommend getting a file folder and putting your receipts in there as you collect them.
This incredibly practical way of keeping your maintenance records is great for everyone.
This option is particularly convenient if you want to sell your car at a dealership or privately; having an easy-to-read, tangible folder of documents detailing how you’ve maintained your car can help to increase its market value.
Moreover, if you ever need to make a claim with your vehicle service contract, you’ll have everything in one place.
2: Keep It All In One Place With An App
Using an app is a great way to keep everything in one place. You’re never going to forget your phone, and keeping digital records saves a heck of a lot of space when compared to taking paper records.
There are a lot of great options to keep track of everything that has to with vehicle maintaince. Here are just a few that our team has tried (all available on iOS and Android at the time of writing)
- CARFAX Car Care – Track service intervals for up to 8 vehicles, also lets you know about any recalls as they come out.
- Drivvo – Let’s you track all costs (including service and gas) related to your vehicle.
- AUTOsist – More for fleet vehicles, but its digital record uploading is second to none.
- Simply Auto – Great for simple tracking of services, mileage, and gas.
- Open Bay – Openbay goes the extra step by offering service, mileage, and gas tracking but also offers maintenance discounts.
These are all great options because they are convienent. Keeping all your information in one place means you’re more likely to have it on hand (and even more likely to actually record the expenses/follow the schedule).
Easy wins folks. Easy wins.
3: Use Microsoft Excel & Spreadsheet Wizardry
If you’re a spreadsheet wizard, Microsoft Excel can also be a great choice for building a scheduling and maintaince log.
If you’re not a spreadsheet wizard (but still want to use Excel) we highly reccomend using this template from Vertex42.
You can plug in all your information and have it organized in one place. This will also make it easy to send your log to us (or any other vehicle service contract company, really) if you ever need to make a claim.
Just make sure you keep recipts along with the log you use. The recipts can be important for making a claim.
4: Have A Regular Repair Shop You Visit
If you do many of your services with the same repair shop, you can have them keep a log for you.
Not all shops will do this, but many reliable and reputable repair shops will keep your records for you. We personally don’t reccomend this option, because then you have less visibility over your vehicle.
But for some people this option can be great. Just make sure you pick a repair shop you trust. Even then, we still think you should use one of the above methods so you aren’t relying on someone else to do your record-keeping for you.
Already Keeping A Maintenance Log? Get A Vehicle Service Contract & Save Even More
Keeping a maintenance log will save you money on repairs because knowing when to do preventative maintenance helps you prevent breakdowns before they occur!
But what about when those sneaky breakdowns do happen? The ones that catch you by surprise, when you’re least ready to absorb the cost?
Of course if it’s something small like your air conditioning it might only be $500 dollars.
But what about if it’s your engine or transmission?
If it’s your engine or transmission, it can cost you thousands.
But, if you have a vehicle service contract from Protect My Car you won’t have to worry about those unexpected repairs. A vehicle service contract from Protect My Car pays for unexpected repair bills so you don’t have to.
That means you won’t have to sweat finding the money to repair your car. If you have a plan with us, you just give us a call and we’ll take care of the repair bill.
That’s on top of all of our other great free benfits including:
- 3 Free OEM Oil Changes Per Year (A $200+ dollar value)
- 2 Free Tire Rotations Per Year (A $100+ dollar value)
- Free 24/7 Roadside Assistance (A $100+ dollar value)
- Over $150 in rewards cash to your favorite stores and resteraunts EACH MONTH.
If this sounds like a great deal for you, just click the button below to fill out our free quote form so you can see just how easy it is to stop stressing about surprise repair bills ransacking your wallet.