Should You Buy a Car from a Dealership or Private Seller?

June 13th, 2019 by

Although over 30 million Americans bought a used car last year, the science behind the purchase of a used car has always been contentious. Many people swear by used car dealerships, but many also opt for the private seller when looking for a vehicle that is new to them. The reasons for choosing each situation vary. From credit history to thoughts about big businesses, the best way to know whether you should buy a car from a dealership or a private seller is to examine the benefits of each.

Buying a car is a personal act. It’s layered, and can only be attempted with a deep dive into your own life. That being said, consider the advantages of both used car purchase options before settling on a purchase path for your next used car.

The Advantages of Buying From a Private Seller

  • Usually, private sellers are the first or second people to own the car you are looking into. Mileage can sometimes tell you this, but not always. When you can purchase a vehicle with as few previous owners as possible, you can usually avoid running into any significant repairs right off the bat.
  • If you go to the wrong car dealership, you can often run into salespeople who are just looking to make a sale and can pressure you into buying a car you might not want. While this is certainly not the case for the salespeople at AutoNow of Belton, it can be hard to run deal with pressure like that from a bad car salesperson. Usually, private sellers will not pressure people into buying a car. They don’t have a quota to meet, so they’ll wait for the right buyer.
  • You are often able to haggle a lower price from a private seller, for one reason or another. More often than not, they are just trying to take the car off of their hands. However, sometimes, this can indicate that the vehicle you are buying might not be worth your investment.
  • Private salespeople often take outstanding notes on the maintenance of their cars. While this information is usually available from buy here pay here dealerships, you can spot an excellent private seller from someone who is willing to show you their maintenance log. This indicates that they know their car well and want to make sure that the next owner of the vehicle does, too.

The Advantages of Buying From a Dealership

  • Extended car warranties are available at dealerships. Most reputable dealerships will make sure that their cars are free from any glaring mechanical issues before they put them up for sale. However, there is no guarantee that the vehicle you purchase will not break down in six months — that is unless you have an extended warranty. While most buy here pay here dealerships want to build trust with their customers and therefore put a lot of work into the cars that they offer, the dealerships that offer extended warranties are often the ones that have the best selection of vehicles for the value.
  • There are more cars to choose from at a dealership. Sure, you can get on any private seller website and get bombarded with hundreds of web pages of used cars, but this can get overwhelming, especially when the majority of those cars are destined to break down soon after purchase. A buy here pay here car dealership has a wide variety of used vehicles that are all in working order, making the choice that much easier for a potential buyer.
  • You can finance a car through a dealership. With a private seller, you either have to have the full amount saved up, or you have to seek alternative funding through a bank or other credit option. This is never the best option for those with credit issues. Anyone who needs help financing a car should consider getting a vehicle through a buy here pay here car dealership. They will help you get the funding you need.
  • If the dealership has a shop, you can sometimes get discounted rates for service if you bring the car back. For used vehicles, which have a higher chance of breaking down than a new car, this is an advantageous perk.

When Should I Buy From a Dealership Over a Private Seller?

Ultimately, the decision to buy from a dealership over a private seller will be up to your preference. In most instances, people seek out buy here pay here dealerships and other used car sales options because they will usually offer in-house financing. It is tough for people to save up the full amount of a car, but it can also be hard to get a loan for a car if you have past credit issues. If you are someone who has credit issues but also needs a car, a dealership would be your best option unless you have the full amount for a vehicle saved up.

Otherwise, a dealership is always the path of least resistance. Because they must meet federal standards, you are less likely to get a car that breaks down on you within your first year of owning that car. You’ll be able to pick out of a selection of greater quality vehicles. Finally, you won’t have to do weeks’ worth of research to find the car you need — chances are, if you are shopping at a dealership, you’ll be able to find a vehicle that is right for you fairly quickly.

Still on the fence about whether to buy a car from a private seller or a dealership? Let AutoNow of Belton, Missouri, help convince you to buy from us. We offer a wide range of used cars from all years, makes, and models. Additionally, we stand behind every vehicle on our lot and offer 24-month limited warranty on them. Our cars are our livelihood, and we know that a great vehicle can make a difference in your livelihood. Don’t take a chance on getting a lemon through a private seller. Stop by our location on East North Avenue in Belton to find a used car fit for your needs.