Purchasing a Used Vehicle from a Private Seller vs. a Dealer

Buying a used car can be a great way to get affordable transportation. However, you need to make sure you can verify the vehicle’s condition and that whoever sells it has the legal right to do so. Here are some of the differences between acquiring a vehicle from a dealer as opposed to buying from a private seller.

Dealers Are Generally More Transparent About a Vehicle’s Condition

Dealers typically offer a used car history report with every vehicle they sell. The report will tell you if your preferred vehicle has been in an accident, has experienced frame damage, or has a salvaged title. Furthermore, a dealer will usually inspect and recondition a car before putting it on the lot. Therefore, you can safely assume it’s in good running condition. However, it’s still a good idea to have an auto inspection performed by a professional technician.

Dealers Typically Offer More Flexible Financing Options

Another potential benefit of buying a car from a dealership is that the dealer may offer financing. A dealer may also partner with local, regional, and national banks to offer loans to customers. Obtaining a loan allows you to purchase the vehicle today and make payments over time. Even if you have the money to pay for a vehicle right now, it can be advantageous to keep your money in the bank or in an investment account. It’s important to point out that banks will make loans to those looking to buy from private sellers as well.

Private Parties Offer Greater Selection

Most dealers only offer late-model vehicles for sale. In some cases, they limit their selection to cars made by a certain manufacturer or group of manufacturers. When you choose to buy from a private party, you can look for the exact car you want regardless of how old it is or what the make is. If you only have a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to spend on a vehicle, it may be more convenient to buy from a private seller instead of a dealer.

Private Sellers May Be Willing to Negotiate

When you go to a dealer, the salesperson may have limited leeway to lower the sticker price on your preferred vehicle because the dealership has to make a sufficient profit on each car it sells. A private party may be willing to negotiate because his or her top priority is to unload the vehicle for a reasonable amount even if it’s below the asking price. Private party sellers may also be willing to pay for a pre-purchase car inspection or a vehicle history report to make you feel more confident about the transaction.

If you’re considering buying a used vehicle, whether from a dealer or a private party, contact Lemon Squad to inspect it before you make your decision. Call 1-888-231-7965 to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians.