Second Hand Cars for Sale at Local Dealerships or Private Sellers

by Kyle Ralph
The time has come to purchase something to replace your current vehicle. What to do? If you're looking for a second hand car - also known as a used vehicle - Do you go to a private seller or a local dealership?

The Private Seller

Private sellers are individuals who are looking to sell their vehicle. When you contact them, they should know exactly what car you are calling about (helpful tip: when you call, don't mention the make or model of the vehicle - make them tell you). If they don't, you are possibly dealing with what is known as a "curbside dealer". Once you've weeded these fellows out, you're ready to move forward on this option.

The advantages of buying from a private seller: You may find a really good deal on a car. Vehicle prices tend to be lower since there is no dealer overhead and you are more likely purchasing an older model year vehicle. Also, they are motivated to sell.

Disadvantages: No warranties unless there are remaining factory warranties. Furthermore, the burden is on you to investigate whether or not the vehicle is a good purchase. You are likely going to be paying for a vehicle inspection, as you would when purchasing a home. Which could end up costing you a pretty penny. It is possible though that the seller can provide you with all of the past inspections if you do not wish to pay for a current one, but that obviously comes with some risks.

You may still need financing for that privately owned vehicle.

If you do not have the funds readily available, financing may come into play when dealing with a private seller, just as it would if you were buying from your local dealership.

Local Dealerships

Dealerships are a business, where you have many brand name autos to choose from. You are not dealing with an individual entity but a company. The advantages of buying from a dealership: Reputation and peace of mind. Most dealerships that sell second hand cars have them certified by seasoned and trusted professionals. In addition to that, you have multiple cars to choose from, including new models, last year's models and used vehicles. Also, the advantage of buying a used vehicle is that you are actually getting more value out of a used car than you would out of a brand new one. When you buy a new car, it depreciates in value the moment you drive it off the lot. If you go about two years earlier in the model, you can probably get it for half the price - or less - of that new one. Yes, there is still depreciation to be concerned with, but it happens at a much slower rate than with the new vehicle.

Disadvantages: There is lots of paperwork, and a credit check (if you do not apply with us) - an even bigger hassle if your credit is bad. This is the only real drawback of a dealership. If your credit is less than good, you may receive higher interest rates but we can help you to keep those down.

Either option can work out well for you

If you find a great deal from a private seller on a second hand car and are able to purchase it, by all means - go for it. However, make sure everything checks out. If you choose to go with a local dealership instead you will have more vehicles to choose from, but you might have to get more funds through a cheap car loan to make a purchase. Either way, you can still find a great deal.