Buying A Pre-owned Car - Dealer Or Private Seller

Car shoppers have been told for years that buying new isn’t always the best idea. It’s widely known in the industry that a new car depreciates the moment that it drives off the car yard. This makes choosing a pre-owned car appealing to many savvy shoppers. However, there are several common ways to purchase a pre-owned car. Is it a better idea to stick with a dealer’s offerings or can a private seller cut you a better deal?

Benefits of a Dealer

Dealers see a lot of cars drive in and out of their locations. Because this is the case, they get good at picking out pre-owned cars that are worth their time and investment. In most cases, a dealer won’t buy a “fixer-upper” or waste time on a car that has high miles or known mechanical problems. Buying a car from a dealer is a loose insurance policy, because what they carry is probably in excellent shape. Besides that, many dealers perform a basic maintenance protocol on all pre-owned cars that come onto the lot. In many cases, a certification program is offered with a short-term warranty. Some pre-owned cars have a 30-day warranty to cover any possibilities that the car was an undetected lemon; other dealers may provide a warranty term of up to one year on a pre-owned vehicle. In addition, you have the integrity of the dealer to back up your purchase.

Benefits of a Private Seller

If a car dealer is such a great route for buying a pre-owned vehicle, why doesn’t everyone use that strategy? Well, there are also distinct benefits to buying from a private seller. Private sellers don’t have the overhead and investment into a stock of vehicles that a dealer does. Because of that, they are often much more apt to negotiate and give you a bargain-basement price on the car. Many used cars offered by private sellers are very well cared for and have low miles. However, don’t ever make assumptions when dealing with a private seller. Always take the car to a mechanic you trust and have them run the full spectrum of tests. This is extremely important when dealing with private sellers; if you end up with a lemon, you could be completely out of luck. You also might want to get a used car report before passing any cash. In addition, sellers who keep a full and detailed maintenance record are more likely to provide a pristine vehicle that will run for years.

There are benefits to buying from both dealers and private sellers. Different considerations should be given attention in each situation. With proper preparation, a reliable pre-owned car can be found at both dealers and from a private seller.

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