So like many people, I bought my used car at a stealership. The good thing about dealers are that the process of buying can be easier, and you most likely get some sort of warranty. One of the bad things is that you (usually) have no clue about the previous owner. After over three years of ownership, I was able to gather a decent amount of information about the previous owner...perhaps too much information.
It’s a 2007 Volvo S60R with a manual transmission in Electric Silver over Nordkap (navy) leather. I got it with 45,000 miles from a random dealership in Fairfax, Virginia. All I could tell you before yesterday was that it was a 1-Owner out of Bethesda, Maryland. It was bought at Don Beyer Volvo originally and has religiously serviced there.
However, not too long ago the mysterious hole in the driver’s side carpet in front of the clutch pedal made sense - it was from a stiletto. So at this point, I know my car was owned by a woman.
The Detective Work:
Long story short, I googled my VIN. Some website called thatsthem.com gave me probably way more information than I needed and/or wanted. Just through Googling my VIN, I got the previous owner’s name, address, email, landline, education, related family members, workplace, work field, religion, estimated net worth, estimated annual income, and other vehicles owned by them.
I’m not going to give you guys her info because that’s creepy and inappropriate. However, I will tell you she’s a DC Lawyer that’s married with a few kids - both young and old(er) and a husband who she married a few years back. A lot of that was gathered through Facebook. I did a lot of Google Map searches to maybe see a picture of my car before it met me. Seems like a nice lady, but definitely not a car enthusiast. That was made pretty obvious based off of what she traded my/her old R in for.
Yup...she traded in her 300hp manual transmission Volvo for a 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. I get it...she wanted extra space for kids and whatnot. However, she could of at least got something perhaps a little more lively.
While that was sort of disheartening...a car associated to her husband told somewhat of a different story.
Not all hope is lost - he drives a 2013 BMW 135i/IS - hopefully the IS.
The internet is a powerful tool. It took me three years (almost to the day of purchase) to google my VIN, and I was able to find out more about my caR’s previous owner than I did through driving nearly 45,000 miles. Despite her lame replacement, she took damn good care of the car.