Checking the previous owners of a used car

Car ownership checks

Who owns a car registered with DVLA?

What owner checks should I make before buying a used car?

Running a car owner check could save you time, money and difficulties down the road. The results of your ownership check (before you purchase) may sway your decision to buy, or not.


A CarVeto report provides the nearest online data relating to car owner information.

Included in each report:

  • Complete periods of ownership for all keepers since new
  • Number of previous keepers
  • Current keeper acquisition date
  • Current keeper ownership period
  • The previous keeper sold date
  • The previous keeper acquired date
  • Last V5C issue date
  • Registration data
  • DVLA record of registration city or postcode AREA
    (Full name/address NOT provided due to data protection)


Additional checks:

CarVeto searches over 50 data points to provide a vast report on any UK vehicle:

  • Mileage
  • Theft
  • Write off
  • Colour changes
  • MOT history
  • Scrapped
  • History of plate changes and dates of transfers

Car owner data checks

find registered keeper of a car

You are best off getting an instant CarVeto car history check for all the information about a used car.

What are the myths about car ownership?

Note, the registered keeper is not necessarily the individual who owns the car. From a legal stance, the owner is the person who paid for the vehicle. DVLA logbook (registration document) holds personal details about the motorist who is responsible for safety and the legal roadworthiness.

When looking at a V5 logbook and checking the number of previous owners (see image below) notice the car has one, two, three, four or more previous owners.

how to check previous car ownership for UK vehicles


Car ownership

Remember, this number is based on previous owners and does not account for who owns the car right now.

You notice that the car you want to buy is four previous owners from new. You need to include the existing owner in that tally. If you buy the car you are the sixth owner, not the fifth. When you come to sell the car the new owner will be the seventh.

CarVeto car reg check searches and returns information about previous ownership.


Do dealers advertise the wrong number of owners of a car?

Ever notice that a car is advertised online as one owner from new, only to find it is one previous owner? We now know that if you were to buy the car, you’d be the third owner.

Wow, it makes quite a difference, doesn’t it?

If you come across this mistake, apply some leverage and get a few more pounds from the screen price.


What is best-practice when it comes to previous owners?

Great car buying involves more than simply buying a genuine car with good value for money. It’s also good to think about the car value when you want to sell and any potential difficulties you might face should you want to sell quickly for anything like true market value.

The number of previous car owners is one of those elements that car buyers look to. From our best car history check tests and experience, a car with more than 4 previous owners seems to be a difficult sell.

4 Owners or more = a hard sell

The car owner check parameter we recommend is 2 previous owners or fewer. Of course, there are various factors such as age, mileage, condition, service history, and if the vehicle has changed ownership within the same family. But, a good general benchmark is the maximum of the fourth owner.

Whoever owns the car next, five owners is a hard sell, as the buyer never wants to be the sixth owner. They’ll be selling a seven-owner car which makes the process pretty difficult.

Makes sense?


Get a free previous owners check

How can I run a car owner check investigation?

If you want to search the history of previous car ownership, there are a number of things you can do.

  1. Look at the previous and existing owners names and addresses as printed on the V5C logbook. Write to the old owners and ask questions.
  2. Look through the service records and see if there are any old receipts or invoices for maintenance work. Check the names and addresses on those invoices. You can write to the old owners and ask your questions (when was the cam belt last changed/was the car reliable? Etc)
  3. Complete a V888 form via the DVLA to request information about a vehicle. DVLA reserve the right to decline your request, but it is worth a try.
  4. CarVeto car checker. We search and return all available data pertaining to used cars in the UK, including a car owner check. We might hold some information otherwise unavailable to you. Our platinum check is just £12.50 and turns out to be a great asset for any used car.


The team, CarVeto