Where should you go to buy a dependable used car? Your two most obvious choices are to buy a car from a licensed car dealer or from a private seller. It is possible to get both good and bad deals from each of those choices. But where are you most protected from an unscrupulous seller?
BUYERS MAY CHOOSE A PRIVATE SELLER
Some buyers prefer dealing with a private seller. A portion of those buyers want to purchase their cars directly from the last owner. They hope that owner actually drove the car on a regular basis and didn’t buy it just to resale it. They often assume that they can get the car for less than it would cost from a dealer. In other cases, the buyers simply don’t like the atmosphere at some dealerships, including being pressured to buy.
OR THEY MAY WANT TO DO BUSINESS WITH A LICENSED CAR DEALER
Other buyers prefer the wide selection of vehicles, the protection offered by service contracts and warranties, and the ease of obtaining financing that most reputable licensed dealers offer. If the buyers are disturbed by being pressured to make a purchase, they merely go to a highly-regarded dealership that doesn’t do business that way. Plus, dealership customers are often aware that licensed dealers are bound to obey certain regulations and laws that protect the consumer. If the dealers do not obey those regulations and laws, they can lose their licenses to do business, incur heavy fines, or in extreme cases, go to jail.
REASONS NOT TO BUY A CAR FROM A PRIVATE SELLER
If you buy a car from a private seller, you might get a great car. But there’s no guarantee that will be the case. You could unknowingly buy a car that needs a host of repairs and/or one that has a history of issues. Further, the title you receive could turn out to be an old title that doesn’t show a current lien. A host of things have and can go wrong when buying from private individuals who have little or nothing to lose by cheating you. Private sellers are not regulated in the same way licensed dealers are regulated. If a private seller deceives you, you may have little or no recourse at all.
TRADING WITH A LICENSED CAR DEALER
When you buy a car from a reputable licensed dealer, that car will have been inspected by qualified personnel. All known necessary repairs will either have been made or will be disclosed to you. The car will have passed any required state inspection as well. A lien-free title will be on file and will be legally transferred to the buyer according to that state’s laws. Additionally, you can always ask the dealer to allow you to have your own mechanic inspect the car before you make your final decision. If you are already approved to buy a car and the dealer hesitates to let you have the car inspected elsewhere, find a different dealer.