Do you buy a car through a car dealer or a private seller?

Car dealer in sydney
Car dealer in sydney

Pros and Cons of buying your car privately or through a dealer

Once you’ve decided to buy a used car, you have two options for going about the purchase. You can either go to a used car dealer or buy from a private seller. Which one is better? In this blog, we have tried to easy to answer this question for you. We have considered the following parameters while doing so. 

  • Costs 

An important factor to consider is the cost of buying a car. We discussed the costs of buying a used car from both dealerships and individual sellers. You can avail of significant financial advantages if you do your homework. Availing finance easily does make your life easier.

  • Quality and Reliability

Buying second-hand cars require more than just saving money. You also need to know that the car you’re buying is in good condition, and if it isn’t, the seller should let you know about any potential issues before you buy the car.

  • Convenience and Safety

Let’s face it: purchasing a car is a stressful experience. For most of us, it will be a significant financial transaction. Other than a house, there are a few things you buy that will cost more. Like any financial investment, there are numerous hazards for the unwary or inexperienced, and chances are some of us might be both, especially when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. We look at the ease and safety of doing business with dealers and private sellers.

Why go through a dealer?

Buying from a dealer is easier and less stressful because they have professional staff who buy and sell cars regularly. They will be familiar with what needs to be done and will handle the paperwork, including title and registration transfers for you. Purchasing a car from a dealership might cost you more than buying one from a private seller in the short term. This is because dealerships typically have cost margins to cover; therefore, they factor this into the price of cars they sell to compensate. However, the convenience and peace of mind provided by a dealership, on the other hand, will make it worthwhile to buy from them. Let’s look at some of the benefits we can gain when buying from a dealer.

Licensed vehicle dealerships ensure that:

  • Cars have been thoroughly inspected and fixed 
  • Guaranteed clear title and no outstanding debts on any vehicles 
  • State governments enforce statutory warranties and cooling-off periods to safeguard second-hand automobile buyers from being sold cars with serious defects.
  • Stamp duty and registration are included in the drive-away price.

While the dealership price may be higher, you can drive off with the car assured that it will not explode five minutes after you get on the road. Dealerships are responsible for removing any encumbrances from vehicles before the sale, so you won’t have to worry about your car being seized due to an overdue bill from the previous owner. Also, you will get a car with a good title. Plus, If you have researched and checked up on the car and the prices elsewhere, you can get a reasonable price from the dealer. Cars purchased from a registered dealer repairs tend to be covered by a statutory warranty that covers repairs for the afflicted parts for a specified amount of time. You will have peace of mind.

Another benefit is that you can trade in. Dealerships will take your current car as a trade-in, which avoids the hassle of selling your old car. Trade-ins can also be used as a negotiating tool to get a better deal on the used vehicle you are looking to buy. Dealers serve as a one-stop-shop in this way. You can purchase accessories and even get your car financed by them. Imagine you drive in with your current car and drive out with the car of your dreams with all the accessories you want.

Buying a car from a Private Seller

One of the reasons you will be looking to buy from a private seller is that you may get a better price. You can probably get a lower price on a used automobile sold privately because the seller is less likely to be a car specialist and thus may not be completely aware of the car’s value. But you have to ensure that you are not sold a lemon. A private seller does not have most of the obligations a dealer has to ensure a customer is sold a good car. 

When buying a car from a private seller, be sure the vehicle is free of encumbrances, such as debts. You should avoid purchasing an encumbered vehicle because if the borrower defaults on the obligation, the lender has the right to confiscate the vehicle from you, even if the debt is not yours! You need to ensure that you do a proper inspection of the car before buying it. Never buy a used car sight unseen.

Pay attention to the following features of the vehicle:

  • Paintwork, tyre and panel damage, oil leaks, and damaged windows on the outside
  • Inside, there are working seat belts, lights, accessories, and wear and tear on the seats and carpets.
  • Under the hood, look for evidence of corrosion or damage on the compliance plate (to establish the build date), radiator cap, battery, and cooling fans.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you should hire a mechanic or inspector to do it for you. You should additionally request the following from the owner:

  • An accident and previous owner information
  • A history of car maintenance
  • Information about insurance claims and records of written-off vehicles
  • Registration information
  • Documents demonstrating the accuracy of the odometer reading

Things to be aware of when buying privately

  • Fewer legal safeguards: If your automobile blows up as soon as you leave the seller’s neighbourhood, you won’t be able to return it and get a refund.
  • More running around: You and the seller must arrange for a roadworthy certificate, a bill of sale, transfer duty paperwork, personalised plate removal or transfer if applicable, and more – all of this can be a pain that is better avoided by going to a dealership.
  • It may be more challenging to obtain a reasonable secured car loan if the vehicle is more than a few years old.

Finally, while buying a second-hand car, a private seller might be selling the car for a lesser price than a dealer but it comes with a lot of additional work. Even though you pay more when buying from a dealer, it is usually worth it because it is a lot less stress for you. The dealer takes care of the paperwork, ensures the car is running properly and offers you a minimum warranty that ensures that you do not get stuck with a lemon. They even provide easy finance for you that ensures that you do not have to run around getting a loan. Dealerships are usually one-stop-shops when you are looking at buying a second-hand car. It is always better to go to a reputed dealer when looking to buy a good used car. Visit to get the car of your dreams today!