The best price you’ll find when buying a used car is to do so through private sellers and not through a dealership.
You’ve heard of “cutting out the middle man” which is essentially what you’re doing when you buy from a private seller and not a dealer. Of course, you won’t have some of the benefits that a dealership can offer when you do this. Let’s explore some of the pros, cons, and functions you’ll need to handle, when it comes to buying a car from the private owner and not at a dealership.
Meeting Up Can be a Bit Worrisome
When you tell your friends and family that you’re ready to buy a car, and you let them know you’re meeting up with someone that you don’t know, you’ll hear the stories. There have been reports of people taking advantage of others in many ways when meeting up. Whether it’s a seller that takes your money and runs or a person trying to do bodily harm to you, it’s a good idea to take some personal safety precautions when you go for a meet up.
What Are the Advantages to Buying a Used Car Privately?
You’ll Pay Less
If you’re trying to find the lowest price possible for the car you want to buy and enjoy, you’ll want to buy from an individual. Dealers have fees and expenses that go into selling cars. When a private person sells a car to you, they don’t have to pay a staff or worry about added fees that are part of a warranty program. A private seller is simply selling a vehicle, with the item changing hands from them to you, giving you the ride you want at a much better price.
An Even Score with a Private Person
When you buy a vehicle from an individual it’s pretty straightforward. You want to buy a car and they have a car for sale. You can often handle the negotiations ahead of time and bring the money you need to with you to the sale. Visiting a dealership instantly puts you at a disadvantage. The dealer has sold many cars in their time of doing business and typically they employ people that are good at talking others into things. You’ve got those friends and knew they would be great used car salespeople.
Your Time and Their Time has the Same Value
One of the most enjoyable aspects of buying a used car from a private seller is the value of time. You both have jobs that don’t involve selling cars and want to get back to your lives quickly. This means the sales process can be completed in a few minutes and then you’re off and driving a car that’s new to you. If you visit a dealership for your used car, you know that you could be there a long time. Its not unheard of for dealership sales tactics to include keeping you stewing in the lobby for a couple of hours.
Why Should You Avoid Buying from a Private Seller?
You Won’t Get a Warranty
Its not likely that a private seller is willing to sell a car that’s still under warranty. Most vehicles under warranty are still being financed, which requires the current owner to keep the vehicle until the loan is paid off. Dealerships can offer a warranty. Sometimes this is only a short warranty, but its something. If you buy a certified pre-owned vehicle, you’ll have an extended warranty as part of the package, which can be worth the extra cost associated with it.
Private Sellers Don’t Offer Financing
Most car dealers that involve two individuals also involve cash or a personal check. Sometimes you can get financing from your bank if you have good credit and a strong relationship with the bank, but most of the time you have to come up with the cash on your own. Because you can’t get financing when buying a used car from a private seller, you should visit a dealership if you want your car financed. Dealers have lots of options and will work with several financing institutions to ensure you have the financing needed for the vehicle you want to drive.
No Refund Policy
Once you sign the title and pay the money for a used vehicle, you own it. A private seller does not offer the right to cancel the sale or receive a refund. In fact, if you change your mind later, most of these individuals will not return your phone call. On the other hand, many dealers do offer a few days for you to change your mind and switch to another vehicle. You might not get all of your money back, but you will get most of it.
If You Buy a Lemon, it’s Your Lemon
The Lemon Laws associated with each state protect buyers from defective cars. Not all states extend this protection to used vehicles and none of them protect you when buying a used car privately. This means you don’t have any course of action if you find that the car you bought doesn’t work right. Whether you’re buying the car from a private seller or a dealer, you should take the used car to a trusted mechanic for an inspection. This will cost a little bit of money, but its worth that expense in the long run.
They Don’t Care if You Blast Them on Social Media
All businesses, including used car dealers, are very sensitive about their online reputation and will respond to all negative reviews quickly. The private seller doesn’t feel the same way. In fact, if you blast them on social media or give them a negative review, they won’t care. Most likely, the car you bought from them is the only one they will sell for the next few years. If you want to work with someone that’s required to ensure you’re satisfied with your purchase, you need to head to a dealership when buying a used car.
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