Private Sellers Vs Dealers – Learn From The Mistakes Of Other Used Car Buyers

There’s a common myth that labels it as fundamentally impossible to invest in a used car that’s 100% guaranteed to be reliable, great value for money and a long-term investment to be proud of. In reality though, this is a statement that’s 100% untrue in every way as there are hundreds of thousands of used car bargains out there right now just waiting to be picked up by their eventual proud new owner.

Despite the protests of so many, there’s really only one person to blame when a lousy new car is bought and that’s you – the buyer! It sounds mean, but taking home a crappy car means you’ve not been careful enough during the buying process and you’ve either let your frugality or naivety get the better of you.

Here are a few things to bear in mind if you’re still trying to work out whether to buy with a dealer or a private seller:


In terms of initial outlay, it’s pointless to pretend that a dealer like Atlas Automotive for example is going to be cheaper than a private seller – it won’t be. However, what seems to be a cheaper investment can sometimes work out as false economy to say the least as when you buy from a dealer, you buy a car that you know is going to stand the tests of time for quite a number of years to come…decades even. And what’s more, you aren’t as likely to need to fork out for repairs and the likes along the way too, so chances are that over the long-term you’ll end up saving a fortune with what’s initially the more expensive buy.


Call a private seller and they will come to your home with the car, while a dealership will expect you to visit them…of course. So in terms of convenience the former seems preferable, but if the seller comes to your place to do the deal, where do you take the car back to when things go wrong? Exactly – you can’t and so you won’t.


When you buy from a dealership, you have your pick of a wide range of cars and can thus find something that fits your needs right down to the ground. With private sellers on the other hand it is more a case of seeing which cars are out there and modifying your needs and expectations accordingly. Chances are you will find something you can afford and something that gets the job done with a private, but is it really the car you wanted at the price you hoped to pay? Probably not.


When a person sells his or her car, they sell it usually for no other reason than they are buying a new one. As such, it’s a bit of a dice roll as to the quality and condition it is in – 99% of them after all don’t know the first thing about cars. With dealers though, the only cars bought or accepted to sell on have to pass massive quality control tests carried out by industry veterans – quality is therefore a guarantee.


And speaking of guarantees, that’s exactly what you’ll get with a decent dealer and almost never with a private seller. In the case of the latter, once you roll away it’s your car and therefore your problem when it all goes wrong. You won’t get a penny back, a penny toward repairs or even an apology – chances are you’ll never even see the seller again. So if you’re the kind that likes at least a scrap of peace of mind where such important things are concerned, the dealer is really the only way to go.

Auto Novice

Auto Novices is a blog, that was set up in November 2011, which tries to help inform new & old automobile owners about various subjects from keeping their car in good working order right through to tips on buying a new & used motorbikes. GUEST POSTS: If you would like to produce a guest post for this blog then please contact us via the link in the navigation menu at the top of the page.