Finding One-Owner Vehicles
The study found that franchised dealers are usually the best place to find one-owner cars, but it's always important to do a little investigating on your own.
A good place to start is with a vehicle history report from a company such as Carfax. The company's reports give a complete timeline of a vehicle's ownership, and clearly indicate whether a vehicle has had one or multiple owners. The reports also indicate whether a car has been in an accident, flood or fire, or if it has been totaled and rebuilt.
In addition to running a report on any car you consider buying, it's important to talk to the dealer about the vehicle's previous owner. Find out why the owner sold the car in the first place and ask if the dealership can guarantee that the vehicle you are considering is a one-owner vehicle. Many dealers will provide a free vehicle history report.
If you are buying from a private seller, ask questions similar to what you would ask a dealer, but also ask for the seller's address and phone number. If he or she is not willing to provide that information, you may want to consider walking away from the deal.
For more information, visit www.carfax.com.