We always hear that you will get better deals on the private market when buying a used car. But is that necessarily true? Isn’t it riskier? What are the differences?
So what are the advantages of buying a used car from a dealer as opposed to a private seller? In this used car buying guide of sorts, let’s delve into the pros and cons of buying from either a dealer or private seller.
Pros of Buying from a Dealer
Making the process easier
For many of us, buying a car, even a used one, will be the second biggest financial decision we make (after a house) of our lives. This can lead to a stressful situation, especially for the unwary or inexperienced.
Buying from a dealer can take some of this pressure off because selling cars is what they do for a living. They know the ins and outs of the process, including all the paperwork involved and forms and declarations that need to be filled and submitted.
Warranty and Legal Protection
One of the more factors which are sometimes overlooked or underappreciated is the fact that when you buy from a dealer, you have the peace of mind that they are bound by Australian Consumer Laws and also statutory warranty issued under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act.
The statutory warranty applies to vehicles sold with a price of more than $4000, is not more than 12 years old, and travelled less than 180,000 km. The length of the warranty will either be 1 month or 3 months, depending on the age of the vehicle as well as the number of kilometres travelled at the time of the sale.
Used cars sold by dealers are usually given a thorough inspection and, if necessary, repairs. Having said that, it is still a good idea to consider getting a further independent inspection done for greater peace of mind.
If you’re running a tight budget and need some finance to get you over the line, dealers are best placed to help you with this. Getting finance on your own can be difficult and time-consuming, especially for used cars.
More cars in one place
Dealers usually have many different used cars for sale, so you can check out many cars in the same place. Perth City Peugeot has a wide range of used cars on sale at any one time and from many different manufacturers, not just pre-loved Peugeots. Who knows, you may even find something suitable that you weren’t considering before.
Cons of Buying from a Dealer
It is more expensive in general when buying from a dealer, as they are running a business and have to make a profit while also covering their margins. Because of that too, they may have less room for negotiation. But don’t let that discourage you from considering dealers in your search for a used car, as you may find that the difference may not be as big as you think.
If you’re upgrading and your current vehicle is still in good condition, you may consider trading it in with the dealer. Though you may possibly get a higher price if you sold it privately, trading it in with a dealer is a MUCH lower hassle way of lowering the drive away price of the car you want, and takes a lot of the guesswork and uncertainty out of the whole process.
Ah, the dread of the pushy salesman. As they often rely on sales commissions, some salespeople can be a little eager. The best and most successful ones are those that are trained to listen to what you want and help you make decisions that are in your best interests. If you do get someone that is a bit too overbearing, talk to the sales manager, or simply take your business somewhere else.
Pros of Buying from a Private Seller
More room for a better price
The strongest argument for buying from a private seller is, by no surprise, the price. You will find that there is more room to negotiate with a private seller, and there is a greater difference between the asking price and final selling price of the car. Other factors such as if the seller needs to sell fast for some reason, will you give you more opportunity to haggle.
Get a more authentic low-down
You are usually able to get more information from talking to the seller, especially if they are the only owner. Things such as more detailed service history, as well as any niggles or problems. Of course, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to do a PPSR check and/or get a pre-purchase inspection done.
Not as pushy
Sure, the seller wants to get rid of their car, but they don’t have a quota or a boss to make them happy, so likely no high-pressure sales tactics to deal with here.
Cons of Buying from a Private Seller
Private sellers are not required to offer any kind of warranty. Cars listed privately are generally sold “as-is”, meaning that once you’ve paid, anything that happens is your own responsibility. So it’s more important when buying from a private seller to do all the required checks and inspections before buying.
More work for you
It is up to you and the private seller to do all the required paperwork. If you are unsure of anything you will have to figure it out between the two of you.
As well as the headache of paperwork, there’s the possibility of more time and effort involved in the search for your used car, from waiting for the right listing to appear, organising inspection times, and travelling across all over the city to see prospective cars.
Going over the list of pros and cons above might make you feel as if buying a used car from a dealer is the way to go – and for many, it is.
Good dealers such as Perth City Peugeot have a reputation to maintain and will go above and beyond to make your used car buying experience a simple, stress-free one. They even clean and detail every car before putting it out for sale. No mysterious food scraps, wrappers, pet fur, or funky smells to deal with.
At the end of the day, you should weigh the pros and cons against your personal situation (eg. What kind of budget do you have? Do you want to deal with paperwork yourself? How much time can you spend?) before making your choice.
If you’re unsure about which option is best for you, then just take a wander down to Perth City Peugeot. We pride ourselves on being easy-going, friendly and great listeners. We’re more than happy to show you a car, take a look at yours, and give you the options completely pressure-free. Come down and see for yourself how easy getting into a new-to-you car can be!