Private car sales vs dealerships

September 1, 2017

Buying a car is a huge expense and you need to do your research and shop around for the car that is the right fit for you. Do your homework and compare other models and prices in the market in order to get your money’s worth. Do not rush the process of buying a car. Take your time because once the contract is signed and the ink is dry, it will be hard to go back on your decision.

More affordable

Private car sales are usually cheaper than dealerships. A dealer has to often buy their cars through auctions and wholesalers at relatively low prices and then add their own markup price in order to make a profit. Wholesalers have to search for the cars and maintain the cars. This all adds to the selling price of the car and you can end up paying a high amount for the vehicle.

Legal rights

The consumer is protected by the Consumer Protection Act. The advantage of buying from a reputable dealership is they can’t sell you a vehicle which they know is not roadworthy. If a consumer finds a mechanical fault with the vehicle immediately when they purchase the vehicle, the consumer has the right to take legal action against the dealership. But if you find the problem only a few months down the line, it might be difficult for you to prove that the problems were there all along and that you didn’t cause the fault with the car. Therefore, it’s important to inspect the car.

They need to adhere to law

The dealership is also forced by law to not sell you a car which has been stolen. Whereas when you’re buying a car from a private seller it could be stolen. If your car was stolen then when you get involved in an accident, your insurance will probably not pay out the money and your car will probably be taken away from you. Which means you don’t only lose your car but you have wasted the money buying the car in the first place. If the chassis and engine number plate don’t correspond then it could be that the car was tampered with

Protect their image

A dealership has a reputation to uphold. If they sell a consumer a car which has mechanical faults, they are likely to be sued by a consumer or have a bad reputation. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool – it can either build your business or tear it down. And reputation is everything to a business. The dealership is not likely to risk selling a car which is not roadworthy and getting backlash from the consumer. A dealership will probably go to great extents to make sure they are selling cars of good quality in order to gain consumers in the long run. Whereas a private seller has nothing to lose. When they’ve sold the car and made the profit, they’re not likely to care what happens afterwards.

Dealing with outstanding debt

If you buy from a private seller, they may have outstanding finance. This means that as the new owner of the vehicle, you are liable to a pay the outstanding fees on the car. And this may put you in a position where you’re paying for more than you bargained for. You need to do your own investigation beforehand to make sure you’re not being taken for a ride. You could inquire from the owner’s finance company directly to ensure that the car has been fully paid for or if there’s still outstanding debt on the car. The seller needs to first settle the outstanding amount with the financer, so you won’t be paying for more than the price which was advertised. If the seller has been honest with you from the onset, you can discuss the matter.

Private owners have more knowledge

A private seller is more likely to have more information about a car than a dealership. A private seller has been driving the car around and they are more likely to know the ins and outs of a car. They will be able to tell you about the car’s history.

They can hide information

A private seller can sell you a car which is not roadworthy and once the transaction is done and you’ve paid for the car, it’ll be hard to unseal the deal. When you buy your car secondhand, you’re taking a huge risk and it could cost you in the long run. Make sure you take the car for an inspection at the repair shop to make sure there’s no mechanical faults within the car.
Whether you choose to buy your car from a dealership or through private car sales, make sure you do your homework beforehand about the car so you get your money’s worth.

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