One-Owner Cars and Car Ownership History

Discover why one owner cars can be a good buy and what to look out for.

When you’re purchasing a used car, don’t forget to ask how many owners it has had. Finding this out is a vital part of the buying process. Many experts say that one-owner cars are often in better condition than comparable vehicles and as result they tend to be worth a bit more.

Why are one-owner cars worth more?

Frequent advantages of one-owner cars:

  • Being relatively new
  • Having lower mileage
  • Having less wear and tear

This can mean that while a one-owner car might cost more, you can benefit by having a more reliable vehicle which is less likely to need expensive repairs.

As a result, nearly 80% of shoppers said that they would prefer to buy a car with only one previous owner over a car with multiple owners. Two thirds of people in the same survey said that they would pay more for a one-owner vehicle.

How to find one-owner vehicles

Franchised dealers are normally the best place to find one-owner vehicles, according to the same survey. It’s always worth doing your own investigating too though, to find the best deals in your area. To see one-owner cars for sale near you, visit our used car listings page, enter you location and check the one-owner car box.

You can see each car’s CARFAX report for free, including the number of previous owners, and all the cars listed on our pages qualify for the CARFAX buy back guarantee.

Tips for checking a vehicle’s ownership history

A CARFAX vehicle history report is one of the best places to start. You can see at a glance how many people previously owned the car, and with data from over 34,000 sources you can see a detailed ownership history too.

This includes whether the car was run for personal or business use, where it was registered and estimated miles driven per year. CARFAX reports can also show if it was in an accident, flood or fire, or if was rebuilt.

If you’re buying from a dealer, ask them about the car’s ownership history. Ask why the previous owner decided to sell, for proof that it is a one-owner vehicle and for a CARFAX report.

If you’re buying from an individual, ask the same questions as you would a dealer and also for the seller’s address and phone number. If they won’t give you this information, walk away from the deal.

Before you buy, order a CARFAX report yourself online.

Always get a pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic before buying.