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5 owners in 6 years? - revok
Just been to look at a 2003 fiat stilo for sale privately.

Everything seemed ok, the car was in good condition for its age, only has 38k miles, the owner had receipts for work that had recently been carried out (new exhaust, coils etc.), the owner also seemed genuine (he explained that it needed a service but he didn't want to spend any more money on it after the recent bills). The price also seemed good at £2000.

The problem is that the current owner has had it for two years, but before that it had 4 previous owners. So that's 4 owners in 4 years. On top of that the document with the previous keepers details was missing.

This is the only problem with the car really but it's enough to put me off. Would anyone else be concerned?

5 owners in 6 years? - TheOilBurner
It's just possible that it was pre-registered by the dealer when new, and then had 1 owner who maybe rejected the car for long since fixed faults? That would leave a couple of owners who've had the car 2 years at a time. There's plenty of people who keep cars only 1-2 years, myself included.

A little unlikely for all recent owners perhaps, but possible.

If the condition is OK and everything checks out, then maybe it's fine?
5 owners in 6 years? - ForumNeedsModerating
Unless there are (other) compelling reasons to buy it - why saddle yourself with the nagging little doubt about buying a potential lemon? The current owner has already intmnated that (s)he doesn't want to spend anymore money on it - read between the lines & walk on by.
5 owners in 6 years? - stunorthants26
Walk away and sleep easy, theres plenty more cars out there.
5 owners in 6 years? - perro
I personally wouldn't buy that particular car (1) because its a Fiat, and (2) because its had too many owners in a short time for my liking - and you would be the 6th :-(
5 owners in 6 years? - Altea Ego
See the car bt car breakdown at the top of this page

> A failed car. No reason to buy it rather than the better competition. Disastrous quality

> The best thing about this car is that FIAT stopped making it

> What to Watch Out For:
Reader feedback tells me this is a disaster zone of a car with too many problems to list. Best stayed well away from.

Now you know why its had so many owners, the current one admits he is unable to keep up with the bills to keep it running.

you think you are safe?
5 owners in 6 years? - bimmer-driver
Simple reason. They're crap cars, and each previous owner has realised it within 12 months and shifted it along. Shame, because I like the looks of them.
5 owners in 6 years? - revok
Yeah, fair enough, hadn't checked their position in the surveys before. Any suggestions on something similar - a bit sporty looking but with a budget of 2 - 4k?
5 owners in 6 years? - perro
These are quite good comrade ~ tinyurl.com/lwwezw
5 owners in 6 years? - Stevieboy
My friend had one as a company car from new.

His one spent a considerable amout of it's time in his ownership in for repairs.

Make your own choice ...
5 owners in 6 years? - perro
>>> His one spent a considerable amout of it's time in his ownership in for repairs. <<<

That's surprising - for a Mazda!
5 owners in 6 years? - Avant
Stevieboy may well have meant a Fiat rather than a Mazda.

"Any suggestions on something similar - a bit sporty looking but with a budget of 2 - 4k?"

A difficult one: a 323 could well be a good bet. Do you need 4-5 doors? One of the Japanese coupes might be possible, or a Hyundai Coupe. If you do, a Skoda Fabia vRS may not look very sporty but goes very well. So would a sportier version of the Focus or Astra.
5 owners in 6 years? - Rattle
I have learnt one lesson the hard way, justified or not, if it has a lot of previous owners then just walk away. My car is ten years old and has two previous owners, I am the third. It still looks like a new car inside and out. My previous car had a lot less milleage but had 11 previous owners it was a complete shed.

I was amazed it failed the MOT on two sheets as I knew a lot more fualts!!

One of my friends had a Stilo from new and had nothing but trouble with it. They are very cheap cars for a reason. I like FIATs but if you buy one go for the Panda/Punto the bigger ones seem to be money pits.
5 owners in 6 years? - The Gingerous One
I also learnt my lesson in a similar fashion, though with about £350 at stake after I bought a 10 year old Metro once that had 11 previous recorded owners, plus the guy I bought it off.
I was blinded by the fresh MoT it had.

Never again. I couldn't fix it fast enough and in the end just ditched it at a scrapyard, I wouldn't have wished it on anyone.
It had 1 careful owner, and 10+ who couldn't give a pink fluffy dice

so I'd never buy a car that's had so many owners in so few years.
and 5 owners in 6 years is too many in my book as well.


Edited by Dynamic Dave on 07/08/2009 at 13:47

5 owners in 6 years? - OldSock
It would appear that the Stilo was indeed endowed with one or two foibles :-(

However, it's not that difficult to rack up what appear to be many 'owners' in a shortish timescale:

1st : Dealer pre-reg
2nd: Private punter #1
3rd: Private punter #2 (me)
4th: One-man Limited Company (me again)
5th: Private punter #2 (me again, due to IR35 regs!)
6th: The guy i sold it to when five years old......

The purchaser was quite happy once I'd shown him the car's 'provenance'.

The docs show the number of previous registered keepers, not legal owners.
5 owners in 6 years? - oldnotbold
"Any suggestions on something similar - a bit sporty looking but with a budget of 2 - 4k?"

Plenty of Focuses out there with good history - common, but for a good reason, they are very good cars, and way ahead of VW, Fiat and Peugeot of the same size, age and mileage.
5 owners in 6 years? - pd
Sometimes cars with a few owners are actually better. If it has been passed through the trade a few times it means it might have been prepped for sale a few times and new owners tend to fix little niggles and things on cars where as once somebody has had a car for a while they tend to live with them or loose interest in the car.

Some people are car change aholics and change every 6-8 months.
5 owners in 6 years? - bell boy
A car thats been through a few dealers hands in 6 years should be putting the warning light and large buzzer on to run away as its obviously either a lemon or a sticker
5 owners in 6 years? - hillman1 {p}

My previous car had 4 owners in a very short space of time.

1st Owner- Dealer demo
2nd Owner- A relative of mine
3rd Owner- Wife of said relative after he died put in her name as part of the probate
4th owner- me.

I had it when it was about 8 months old with less than 5k on the clock.

So there can sometimes be genuine reasons as to a high amount owners, although granted my situation was fairly rare I guess.


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