Dealer vs. Private Seller – What To Know When Buying A Car


Ready to purchase that car you and your family needs, but not sure whether to go through a private seller or a dealership? Here are some important considerations to help you decide what’s best for your situation.

When Money Is The Bottom Line

You will pay less when purchasing a car from a private dealer than you will buying the same exact model from a dealership. Remember that a dealership has overhead to cover with each car he sells. That’s why any car on a dealer’s lot is going to cost more than the one sitting in your neighbor’s front yard with the for sale sign on it.

If you’re looking primarily for a no frills set of wheels to get you from point A to point B, buying privately is a good way to pick up a steal. Look in your local paper and also at classified sites online. Also, get the word out to family, friends and coworkers. You never know who might be willing to sell their old clunker for some quick cash.

When Warranties Are Essential

If you’re interested in a newer car that is still under warranty, it makes sense to go to a dealership. It’s rare to be able to pick up such a car from a private seller, and rarer still to find such a vehicle in the make and model you seek. Findlay Auto in St. George is a great dealership to start at if you’re really interested in getting a great car with a good warranty.

A dealership will often sell certified vehicles that their technician have inspected. This can assure you that you are purchasing a mechanically sound car that has the potential to last for years. Because dealers love these type of certified used cars, you will often find a wide selection even on the lots of smaller, roadside dealerships. This is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon car shopping for a car that’s in good condition and that meets all your needs.

How Much Time Do You Have?

A fair amount of paperwork must be completed in order to transfer ownership of a vehicle. One of the benefits of going through a dealership is you can have all that paperwork done for you. Many dealers won’t even charge you to complete everything that’s necessary, up to and including the transfer of license plates. Either that or they will charge a small fee, and you will be assured that everything will be completed in one afternoon.

When you go through a private seller you will have to do all the necessary paperwork yourself. This means having to take time off from work or school in order to go to your local DMV. All of this can add up to you not being able to take possession of your new wheels for several days or a week. If time is of the essence, a dealership is the way to go.