CARFAX Europe Glossary - Number of Previous Owners

Enter a VIN to find reports.

Number of Owners

Knowing the number and type of previous owners can be as important as knowing the number of miles the used car was driven.  Many experts indicate that vehicles with fewer owners, who only used the vehicle for private, use are the best to buy. They believe these vehicles are generally better maintained, have less mileage and may require fewer costly repairs in the long run. Keeping this in mind, it conversely leads to the conclusion that cars with multiple ownerships, and those that were used commercially, are less desirable than vehicles which have had fewer owners and were used for personal purposes. Of course, these are generalizations which are not meant to be taken as concrete fact for all situations. There are always exceptions to the norm, but either way, it can still be helpful to know what is most commonly found by experts.

Generally, as a used car shopper, this information may seem very difficult to learn. One can, of course, simply ask the seller. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the whole story. Unless the seller was the first and only owner, many don’t know how many previous owners there were before them. Additionally, because of the reasons given above, it isn’t in a seller’s best interest to disclose a vehicle with multiple owners. Thus, one shouldn’t automatically trust the information you receive from a seller. With CARFAX’s help, this information is easy to learn and can be used to help make a better purchase decision.

CARFAX calculates the number of owners by reviewing the number of registered owners who actually used the vehicle. This includes both personal/private use as well as commercial usage, but typically excludes dealers that purchased the vehicle for resale and did not use the car. Check the full ownership history of a vehicle, including the number of owners, with a CARFAX Vehicle History Report.