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Finding out more about the previous owners of your car

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Have you been curious about who owned your car before you?

It’s only natural. Imagining the kind of person who sat in the driver’s seat of your potential new ride is not only an interesting thing to ponder, it can actually be very helpful to understand the background of your car or vehicle.

Unfortunately, the amount of owners a car has had is sometimes purposely withheld during the selling process. That certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t important, in fact, you should seek out this information if it hasn’t been offered to you freely. Hesitancy on the part of the salesperson could indicate a problem with the car.

But why does the history of your new car actually matter if it will be you that is driving it in the future?

Take a look.

Key Takeaways

1. Mileage

A car that has clocked up lots and lots and lots of miles is going to be running slightly differently from one that, well, hasn’t. The more mileage means more wear and tear, and therefore a, sometimes significant, decrease in value. If your car has had lots of previous owners, it makes sense that it will have more mileage.

You can keep an eye out for untrustworthy sales by considering the car’s mileage against the supposed amount of past owners. Are the mileage and the car’s age just not adding up? It could be an indication that the car’s mileage clock has been tampered with in order to increase its apparent value.

2. How was the car treated?

We don’t mean this to sound like you’re looking to foster a puppy from a bad home, but considering the way the car was treated by any past owners can give a clearer indication of its actual value. Did the previous owner drive on country lanes more than motorways? This means more potholes, meandering turns, emergency braking and wild hazards to cope with than on the motorway.

Check the service history

It’s also important to check the car’s service history. This is a good way to tell whether or not the car was taken to regular services at reliable and reputable garages. This information should be given to you by the seller.

The fewer previous owners, the better

Ideally, we should be looking for a car with only one previous owner, as it will have had a consistent history of having been treated the same since it was first made. But this isn’t a be-all and end-all. If you like a car that has had more than one owner, don’t write it off. If previous owners have cared for the car properly, it really shouldn’t make a huge difference.

View our post – Is my car insured?


So, how do I go about finding out about previous owners?

Talk to the seller. Ask as many questions as you want to until you feel satisfied that you are making an informed choice and getting a great deal. But if you are questioning the honesty of a seller, especially if they are a private one, check the service records. If a car has been serviced in two completely different locations over the last few years, you can probably work out it has had two owners.

If you follow all of these tips and tricks, there is no reason you won’t be driving away in your brand new (used) shiny car, fully informed of its history and having bagged an amazing deal.

Did you know, you can check car history for free on our website?

If you’re on the lookout for your next motor, have you considered selling your car the easy way with BigWantsYourCar.com?

Posted By: BigWantsYourCar

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