Buying From a Dealer Vs Buying Privately- Which one is the best?

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On your toes to buy a used car? You can procure your dream of buying a used car either from a dealer or from an individual owner. Know which one is best for you.

When it comes to buying pre owned cars, the whole process can become a heck of an experience. You need to occupy yourself in market research where you need to find the suitable model as per your requirements, along with being vigilant in evaluating the car you buy. If you are buying a used car from a dealer or an individual owner, you have to check if the car has any issues or problems along with the paperwork.

You may think of approaching a recognized car dealer or just saving some bucks by buying a car from an individual owner. While both options can help you, you need to know more about them to make a better choice as we know, “We are a product of the choices we make ”. In order to comprehend the tally behind buying a pre-owned car, this blog from Carsfast can enhance your car-buying experience.

Buying a used car from a dealer 

Buying a car is always a big financial decision and you need to be prepared beforehand. People in the scope of better and premium support may choose to buy a vehicle from a dealer. The foremost step here is choosing a dealer that can make you feel better about driving and excite your car buying process with new offers and premium products. When you are buying from a dealership, you need to take some steps to make the best deal:

  • Independent research: Before buying a used car from a dealership, come with a prepared plan, inclusive of research. You need to consider your budget and the kind of car you need along with the usage you are going to reckon from it. Including costs like registration, insurance, gas, and maintenance can help your final decision. Besides, you can research the reputation of the dealerships along with the discounts they offer.
  • Buyers guide: A dealer displays a buyer’s guide in every used car they consider for selling, which they have to offer to the buyers after they purchase. The buyer’s guide can help you in knowing the major systems and problems of the car along with the warranty info. It can also guide you to get a vehicle history report along with dealer contact information.
  • Look for add-ons: A dealer offers some optional products and services like gap insurance, vehicle identification number, etc which can account for add-ons. Dealers may try to include these add-ons in your contract, without even disclosing the whole information. But you need to be aware of these additional purchases, where you can also buy a pre owned car without the add-ons to pay your bucks.
  • Inspection: You can also carry an independent inspection to enlist all the mechanical problems which may not be included in the vehicle history report. You can pay an independent mechanic to carry on a thorough inspection where you have to pay an inspection fee for the same.
  • Payment options: You can either pay off the whole amount or choose to finance while buying a used car. If you go for financing your car, consider shopping around to compare the financing terms and negotiate the best deal where you can pay a decent down payment to lower your interest rate and loan term. Before financing, make sure you agree with the financial agreements.
  • Return policy and warranty: Confirm the dealer’s return policy before buying a car from a dealer. They may or may not give you the right to cancel the contract in which you may be offered a refund in case you return a car in a few days. Also, cover the warranty aspect in your contract.

Buying a used car from private car sellers 

In case you are trying to save some bucks and pay a rock-bottom price, then buying a car from private car sellers can be your route. Private car sellers are individuals who buy and sell cars for a profit. You can procure a better deal on your next car if you buy a used car from private car sellers. Here are some steps you need to incorporate during your car-buying process:

  • Prior research: Before buying a used car, you need to do prior research and plan accordingly. You need to consider your budget lines and research the vehicles that suit you.
  • Evaluate the marketing ads: When you come across any ad pertaining to the car, you need to scrutinize the length and quality of the vehicle description along with relevant information like make, model, mileage, etc.
  • Contact seller: Once you spot a vehicle worth buying, you can contact the seller and confirm the information you have read along with any queries.
  • Examine the vehicle: You can arrange a meeting with the seller and take a test drive to examine the condition and maintenance of the car. You can take a vehicle to the mechanic as well to find any major issues with it.
  • Make an offer: If you are set to go with the purchase after being satisfied with the working of the car, you can make an offer to purchase and transfer the ownership to you along with completing the required paperwork.

Pros and cons of buying a used car from the dealer

There are several advantages of buying a used car from a dealer which can help you in making the endearing deal. The pros of buying a used car from dealerships:

  • Reputation and trust: Buying a car from a dealership can ensure that the deal is less volatile to any fraud, as compared to private car sellers. When it comes to dealerships, they have to maintain a reputation in the community where they are more trustworthy.
  • Better quality of used vehicles: Cars purchased from the dealerships have an upper hand in terms of quality, functioning, and reliability.
  • Car financing options: You can purchase a car from dealerships due to the provision of financing. You can choose low down payments where you can access a variety of financing options. Besides, you can also improve your credit score by following successive on-time payments.
  • Better customer service: Dealers offer premium customer services to ensure long-term relationships.

Coming to the other end, there are some cons as well when you buy a car from dealers as:

  • High prices: When it comes to the price quote as compared to private car sellers, dealers sell the cars at a high price, following their interest in making profits.
  • Fair treatment: Not every dealership has a prerequisite of treating the customers fairly which can become intimidating as well.

Pros and cons of buying a used car from private sellers 

There are some pros of buying a car from private sellers:

  • Better price: The biggest thumbs up of buying a used car from private car sellers is the price motivation. You can get the best price and seal a great deal here.
  • Negotiation power: Since the private car seller can be in selling out his car due to any emergency or upgradation, you have better grounds to negotiate.
  • Time efficient: If you want to close the deal in no time, then buying a preowned car from private sellers is a better option where you can pay immediately.

In contrast to these benefits, there are also some cons adhered to the process:

  • No warranties: A private seller can’t provide you with a provision of warranty.
  • No financing: Most private car sales are devoid of car loans.
  • No refunds: While in some cases, dealers can entertain your change of heart, a private seller will never offer a refund.
  • Risky venture: Once you buy a car from a private seller, you are taking the risk of repairs along with fewer protection features as a part of the process.


The comparison between buying a car from a dealer vs a private seller can be the most overwhelming decision when you opt to buy a used car. It is better to get acknowledged with both and do some prior research before making the final call, depending on your financial state and the parameters you require.


Is it risky buying a car from a private seller?

When you are buying a car from a private seller, he may not be complying with any regulation and you can hardly get an offer on warranties as well. Besides, you cannot ascertain whether the seller is genuine or not where you can counter frauds as well, depicting its risk scale.

What mileage should you avoid on a used car?

It is better to buy a used vehicle that has not racked up high mileage so that it can help you in the long run, along with maintaining the composure of your driving experience. Therefore, it is suggested to stick around to the 12000 miles per year rule when it comes to mileage.

Is it better to buy from a local dealership?

Buying from a local dealership can correspond to several benefits like convenience and ease of following through with warranty and other services which can save you money. However, you need to be careful by doing some research and looking into the company prior to making the deal to confirm the reputation and user experience.

What are the benefits of buying from a dealer?

There are several advantages that you stack up while buying a car from a dealer as:

  • Reliability: A car dealer offers you more trust and reliability 
  • Offer on warranties: Some dealers may offer warranties as well.
  • Variety: You can choose from a large variety of vehicles that a dealership can offer
Is it better to get a loan from a bank or dealership?

It depends on your particular needs and requirements. You may consider a dealership to obtain a loan if you want to save some time with the paperwork. Coming to the features and lender possibilities, considering a bank for a loan can be a better option where you can get different loan amounts, terms, interest, etc.


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