Cars play a huge part in many of our lives, and even in a recession, they are a required cost. While a lot of people still find the money to buy a brand new car, a lot of people turn to the used car dealer in order to minimise this cost. But others prefer to go to a private seller. In this article we’ll look at the differences between both car buying methods, and give some pointers as to which is the best.
One of the main advantages of the private seller over the used car dealer is that of price. Cars that you find for sale by the roadside or in the back of the local newspaper are often significantly cheaper. One of the main reasons for this is that such sellers have very low sales overheads – they do not have the extra costs associated with the used car dealer. In some cases, too, the private seller will be looking for a quick sale, which may also drive down the price tag.
On the other hand, it is very likely you will pay more for a used car dealer car. But what do you get for your money? The answer is really peace of mind. In nearly all sales made by a used car dealer, you get some kind of warranty. This warranty is given out by the dealer with the knowledge that the car has been services and any problems have been resolved. This has a two-fold effect; the buyer feels secure that if anything does go wrong, it will be remedied by the dealership, and in any case, the eventuality is unlikely.
There are other factors too, apart from price and reliability. A used car dealer may offer extras such as roadside assistance and other sweeteners as well. There is of course much more choice on the forecourt of a used car dealer, and you can view a wide range of cars in one visit, as opposed to the private seller – where you can only visit one car at a time. Seeing 5 cars could take all day, whereas in a dealership you could see dozens of cars in a relatively short period of time.
If you see a car from a private seller that you like, it is worth making extra sure it is road worthy, and ask a lot of questions. If you don’t want this hassle, you should opt for the used car dealer instead.