Buying Used? Dealership or Private Party?

October 18th, 2018 by

Is it better to buy a used car from a dealership or a private party? Many assume they will get a better deal buying from a private party, but learn how to compare the advantages of each.used car





A dealership’s reputation is at stake on every transaction. You can check a dealer’s reviews on, Facebook, and Google+ prior to buying from them.

• Handles paperwork for ownership including title transfer, tags, and registration
• Take many forms of payment
• Save time and effort in obtaining financing. Dealers have relationships with banks and know what the banks need to get the most favorable terms.
• Offer extended service protection plans
• Vehicle is thoroughly inspected
• Vehicle is serviced prior to sale and often routine maintenance items such as oil & filter change, wiper blades, cabin and engine filter and even new tires are replaced. Minor body, paint or interior damage may be repaired.
Certified Pre-owned is an option on vehicles that meet the criteria
• CARFAX history provided
• Security of dealing with an established business
• A dealership is likely to address any issues that may arise and if they don’t you have consumer groups, government agencies, and social media to push your complaint

Private Party

• A vehicle owner may have personal reasons for needing or wanting to sell quickly which could prove to your advantage.
• The price may be lower because a private party has no overhead, but remember the price includes no services, guarantees, or warranty.
• No haggling
• May have a more detailed vehicle history (ie all service records)
• You can consummate your transaction at a place of your choosing
• No worries of “add-ons” after price is agreed upon

The benefits of purchasing at a dealer and in particular, a new car dealer, is to a large extent, you can know who you are buying from and what you are buying. When you buy from a private party, you have no idea who “they” are, and they owe you nothing and you have little recourse if anything goes wrong. In addition, you may think you are getting a better price, but just as you have done your research, so have they. They want the most they can get for their old car and often times have it priced the same as similar cars at the dealer. As always, when purchasing anything, the rule is “buyer beware”.