Dealership vs Private seller

June 1, 2017

Dealership vs private seller

Whether you’re looking for a family vehicle or a snazzy sports car, searching for the car of your dreams can be an emotional roller-coaster. Your emotions could swing from anticipation to anxiety while searching for the perfect set of wheels. Buyers these days are faced with many options when they want to buy a car. And you could be wondering what route to take in terms of where you should buy your car. Should you buy from a dealership or a private seller?

Here are a few things you may encounter when dealing with a dealership or a private seller.

Wide selection

Buying from a private seller limits your options. However, when you buy a car from a dealership you get a variety of cars to look through. Dealerships have a wide selection of cars. You’ll have different models and colours to pick from. You’ll be spoilt for choice.

Extended services

Dealers also offer their customers extra options which could help you in the long run. For example, when your manufacturer warranty expires and you still want an extended warranty to cover your car, a dealership can provide it for you.


Dealerships offer financing options for your car which will make it easier for you to make those monthly instalments for your car. A private dealer won’t help you with financing your car.

Expert advice

You’ll have specialists assisting you with the purchase of your car. They’ll know information about the different models and will give you expert advice on which car will be the right fit for you and your budget.

Service for your car

Most dealerships offer after-sale service. Your car will be taken in for maintenance, where the oil, air, fuel and cabin filters are replaced, the engine is tuned and the condition of the tyres is checked. Servicing of your car will help your car run smoothly. The added benefit is sometimes dealerships offer discounts and promotions to customers who have purchased their cars from them. When you buy from a private seller, you won’t get the added benefit of after-sale service and you have to find a professional who’ll be willing to work on your car.


Buying from a private seller can be a huge risk because they may hide critical information from you. The car could have been involved in an accident. For example, the engine could have water damage because the car could have skidded into a lake and you may not be able to detect it on sight. The seller could have hidden this information from their insurance company, which could leave you with mechanical problems. Check all the paperwork from the seller to make sure they are providing you with the correct information.

Dealerships are required by law to disclose any malfunctions to you before selling you the car.

Documentation is handled

When you take your car to a dealership, they will take care of the paperwork and documentation regarding the purchasing of your car. They’ll help you get the registration of your car and your number plates done. This will save you the time and trouble of having to do all that yourself. When you buy a vehicle from a private seller, you are responsible for all the paperwork, although the local department can give you assistance with all the information and forms you’ll need.


The private seller could be selling you a stolen car. In order to protect yourself, make sure you ask the seller for proof of payment and check the history of all previous owners of the car. And you can ask the seller for a test drive in order to do an inspection of the car yourself.


The advantage of buying from a private seller is you can negotiate the price. If you feel the price is too high, you can try to persuade the seller to lower it down. Usually, the price at a dealership is set in stone and the dealer won’t be open to changing their price. Just make sure you use a car value book calculator to make sure the car you’re buying is in the actual market price range. Private sellers can take chances and take advantage of the buyer by charging exorbitant fees. This is why it’s essential for you to do your homework on the car you want to purchase.

When you buy your car, all you can think of is all the road trips you’ll go on and the memories you’ll make in your car. But once the excitement wears off, you need to make sure you choose the safest option. Buying a car that will give you problems at a later stage will cost you in the long run. Whether you’re looking for a powerful used Audi vehicle or a pimped black Escalade, it’s important to inspect the car thoroughly.   



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