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High number of owners?

neil1003

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Joined
30 Dec 2003
Messages
40
I know that people say "don't buy on mileage, buy on condition" etc, and I guess the same thing would apply to owners, but I can't help but think a high number of owners can't be a good thing.

Currently looking at a late 97 C4 with about 45k on the clock, but it's had 5 owners already, and I'd be the 6th. ie. I'd be the 6th owner in less than 7 years. Am I being paranoid about nothing, and these cars do often change hands quite a lot, or should I be concerned that it may be a lemon?


Migration info. Legacy thread was 17202
 
According to a Porsche dealer sales guy, the average owner keeps his Porsche for 18 months. See how long each of the owners had the car and look for a fast sale. Bear in mind that a big service bill can put off the wife of the owner who might want a new kitchen! So a fast sell off can occur after a clutch replacement for example.
You have to think how long you will keep it too. If you keep it for 5 years or more thats going to be more important in the future - along with a good service history.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 17203
 
also a porsche is fairly likely to have a personalised plate.... i.e. plate changes can show up as owner changes in the history although the same owner may have just put & taken off a private plate

Migration info. Legacy thread was 17204
 
There can also be other reasons for the high number of previous owners - the 2002 car I recently bought has had 5 owners, which aroused my attention. Turned out that it had had personalised number plates and also had been switched between original owner and his wife (and back, for some sort of weird tax reason relating to the company they owned).

The car was in mint condition, had full OPC service history and still had 11 months' OPC extended warranty left by the time the previous owner sold to the garage I bought it from (which was non-transferable because it was a private sale), so I was more than happy to buy in the end (I still got the car PPI'd by JZ Machtech though, and, simply echoing the advice I received from other forum members, would strongly recommend that you do the same).


Migration info. Legacy thread was 17210
 
Previous poster said:
Quote: Originally posted by Deeps on 02 August 2004

Turned out that it had had personalised number plates and also had been switched between original owner and his wife (and back, for some sort of weird tax reason relating to the company they owned).
Fair point - how can you find out past owners though? The V5 only has the one previous owner doesn't it?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 17211
 
You're right - I should have mentioned that I was comforted by the fact that there was (photocopied) paperwork with the car, backing up what Paragon was telling me about the car's history.

I also did a little bit of research of my own one afternoon with the assistance of Directory Enquiries and the Internet (worth it, given the amount I was thinking of spending and did spend) - I got the idea from the Top Gear Website:
http://www.topgear.com/content/used_cars/features/buying_a_used_advice/modules/06_Documentation/03/

Thinking about it, I suppose I could have tried to get all of what I was being told in writing from Paragon (as some sort of back up), but that seemed a little like overkill and since (1) I was buying from a garage with an excellent reputation (2) the PPI report came up with absolutely nothing to report and (3) the car came with a 12-month/12k warranty, which I extended, I felt pretty confident at the end of the day. I totally appreciate that not every buyer finds themselves in the same position though.

Hope that helps a little.


Migration info. Legacy thread was 17212
 
Just spoke to the DVLA. They categorically said that a plate change DOES NOT and has NEVER constituted an additional entry in the number of owners.

Of course, if it's switched between husband and wife, or company name to company director, it would be different, but NOT just if it was a normal plate transfer.


Migration info. Legacy thread was 17231
 
That's interesting to know neil1003 - obviously, the DVLA are going to know the bottom line on this sort of thing. With my car there were copies of both the previous V5s and another "type" of form (can't recall what it is called, but it's on cream paper I think with a box at the top) dealing with plate transfers (there was also one original version of this form - the car had just been re-registered with an "02" registration because the previous owner wanted to keep his personalised number plate). You've got me curious now and I'm going to have to dig out all the paperwork when I get home!


Migration info. Legacy thread was 17233
 
I can confirm what neil1003 says. I have just bought a P reg 993 and I am the 4th owner. Two of the previous owners had private plates as evidenced by copies of all MOTs and service bills etc. The V5 states "No of former keepers 3", which would make sense as using a private plate should not constitute a change of keeper.

PS - This is my first Porsche, I have wanted one since my 20s and now wish I had been able to buy one earlier - it is a unique driving experience! :) :)


Migration info. Legacy thread was 17234
 
I spoke to the DVLA to other day because I believe that the number of owners shown on the V5 was incorrect because of number plate transfers. They were able to look at their systems and see that there where double entrys against the same named owner when a new plate was registered. They told me to write to them stating my concern with a photocopy of the V5 and they would sort it.

So if you have similar issue make sure you follow it up


Migration info. Legacy thread was 17235
 
A Hpi report will also show all previous owners and plate changes.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 17236
 
Just realised I had all my car paperwork here at work and had a quick look at it. Without going into the boring details, looks like the husband and wife were swapping different personalised number plates between the times they were swapping the car's registration between themselves and their company (which they did like it was going out of fashion, given that they only had the blooming thing for less than two years). You learn something every day on this forum ...

Migration info. Legacy thread was 17237
 
ps I'll post Chapter 2 of my new book, "Some Really Very Interesting V5 Tales" tomorrow morning, for those of you that are waiting with baited breath.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 17238
 
Previous poster said:
Quote: Originally posted by Simonft on 02 August 2004

I spoke to the DVLA to other day because I believe that the number of owners shown on the V5 was incorrect because of number plate transfers. They were able to look at their systems and see that there where double entrys against the same named owner when a new plate was registered. They told me to write to them stating my concern with a photocopy of the V5 and they would sort it.

So if you have similar issue make sure you follow it up
Interesting - who did you phone? which number? They wouldn't tell me anything over the phone.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 17239
 
Previous poster said:
Quote: Originally posted by stuart1997 on 02 August 2004

A Hpi report will also show all previous owners and plate changes.
Nope, it won't, did one tonight. It will show the NUMBER of previous owners, and all the details of the plate changes, but it won't show the NAMES of the previous owners or the DATE that ownership changed.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 17240
 

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