Buying a Used Car: Car Dealer or Private Seller

Generally, getting a used car from a dealer takes a lot of pressure off of you, while purchasing from a private individual allows you more wiggle room for negotiations. But is that really the full story? Based on the 2016 HelloCars Australian Car Sales Index, 85% of car buyers admitted to feeling anxious when dealing with car dealers, 74.6% believe that private parties are dishonest, and 66.7% of them feel unsafe when buying through private sellers.

When, for instance, the time to go to a Holden car dealer in Auckland to buy a car comes, you don’t have to be confused which buying method is right for you. This article will help you understand the real deal between car dealers and private sellers:

The Advantages of Going Through Car Dealers


Most of the paperwork involved, from the title transfer, the bill of sale, to the registration, is handled by the dealership. It saves you a lot of hassle.


Since car dealers are businesses, most vehicles being sold would have had any cosmetic blemishes fixed up. They would have also been inspected thoroughly by a mechanic before being put up for sale. You’ll have the assurance that the car won’t break down on you five minutes after you drive out with it.

Stamp Duty

This must always be paid when buying a new or used car. Price tags from dealers already include the costs of stamp duty and registration.

Warranties and Guarantees

Statutory warranties are enforced by the state government to protect buyers of used cars from major faults for a certain time. These warranties provide peace of mind to buyers that the cars have been through an inspection process and that the dealers will provide repair for any defects the vehicle might have within the warranty time frame.

Clear Title Guarantee

Licensed car dealers are responsible for removing any encumbrances (debts) tied up in cars. They have the obligation to guarantee that there is no money owing on the car.

Easier Financing

This option is available through dealerships as they offer financing on their used vehicles. The dealers do the footwork such as contacting their bank or loan company to help you arrange for a car loan. Some dealers can even offer financing packages to buyers with poor credit history.

The Selling Points of Going Through Private Parties

Lower Prices and More Wiggle Room for Negotiations

It makes sense to get a better price on a car sold privately due to a number of reasons. One, private individuals are usually not car sales experts themselves, so they might not be aware of the car’s actual value. Second, they might just want the car gone to buy a new car for themselves. Lastly, private sellers do not need to maintain a business, so there are no overhead costs added to their selling price.

Detailed History of the Car

Car owners can typically provide a detailed history of the performance and maintenance of the car.

Purchasing used cars from both car dealers and private parties have their own pitfalls. While you may get a cheaper price by purchasing through a private seller, the peace of mind and the benefits that come with buying from car dealers might be what you’d have to pay for after the sale. On the other hand, you can also end up too much for a secondhand car after getting fleeced by a car salesman.

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