Private seller or used car dealership for your first car

Airport Auto Sales - Private seller or used car dealership for your first car

Eager to get your first car? If you are a first time car owner a used car is definitely more appropriate for you for numerous reasons. But used car shopping can be a stressful experience. When you are buying your first used car, you need to do tons of research about how much you can afford, what makes and models you like, and how new the vehicle is. You’ll undoubtedly encounter more obstacles after clearing existing ones.

But one of the most common questions car buyers ask is whether they should buy from a private seller or a used car dealership. There is no doubt that everyone has their own opinion on this issue, but there are certainly some advantages and disadvantages to each car buying experience. So let us look at which is the better option between buying from a private seller and used car dealership.


Buying from a private seller


For some buyers, buying from a private seller can be the best option due to the potential savings. In order to make some additional margin on top of the value of the vehicle, some used car dealerships mark up the real value of the vehicle. As soon as you drive your vehicle off the dealership lot, the value of your vehicle will drop. When you buy a vehicle from a private seller, the value of your vehicle will stay the same.

In addition, most private sellers have owned and operated the car prior to selling it. Therefore, they should be fully familiar with all of the little quirks of the vehicle and can fully prepare you for how to handle them. It may be possible to find a good deal if you’re willing to deal with a car that may have not been professionally serviced over the years.

Once the sale has been finalized, the buyer has no protection once they have purchased a used vehicle from a private seller. In general, used car dealerships offer some sort of warranty on their vehicles, which will provide coverage if something goes wrong soon after you buy it.

A private seller almost never offers such a warranty. You are fully responsible for any repairs if your vehicle breaks down after the sale is closed. For many buyers, this lack of protection is too much risk, especially when buying a used car that has already logged many miles.

Furthermore, because the car belonged to a private seller, its maintenance history is likely to be undocumented.


Buying from a used car dealership


One of the biggest advantages of buying a vehicle from a used car dealership is the coverage and support it provides. There are many used car dealerships that offer a warranty on used vehicles, which covers the whole vehicle or specific parts of it. This gives car buyers peace of mind during the warranty period. Additionally, the dealership service team works with a vehicle that they have a history with and are already familiar with.

Furthermore, since used car dealerships offer financing or “buy here pay here” option, used car buyers will be able to afford a vehicle without spending months saving up. If your credit is in good shape, you can likely secure a low interest rate with a comfortable monthly payment that fits your budget.

The downside is that since most car buyers don’t have enough cash to buy their vehicles outright, they must finance them. As a result, you will be required to take on debt, which carries an interest rate. For this reason, some car buyers are unwilling to take on debt. In order to save the most money on a vehicle, it is best to pay cash up front. Certified pre-owned cars from a trusted used car dealer are often a good choice for those who can’t afford a new car right now.




Who you buy your used vehicle from is ultimately determined by your level of trust with the seller. In some cases, you may be able to score an amazing deal if you fully trust that the private seller has taken good care of the vehicle.

For those who wish to minimize their risk or need to go for a “buy here, pay here” option, a used car dealership is the safest bet, since you will get a good amount of consumer protection associated with your purchase. The best thing is that you are in complete control and are able to make the decision that is best for your particular circumstances.

Back to top