risks buying car privately

Risks of Buying a Car Privately

When it comes to buying a used car, sometimes you can be overwhelmed with choices. Now that we all turn to the internet to search for a used car these days; a simple few searches can bring you to entire lists of cars all looking for new homes.

One of the biggest factors any used car buyer has to think about is whether they want to buy from a dealer or privately. Of course, there are pros and cons to both of these options and our biggest advice for any used car buyer is to not rush into any decisions; take your time and hunt out the best options for you. However, it is our view that buying a used car privately can often be costlier than you first anticipate.

More Legwork

You cannot put a price on your time. When buying privately, you can spend hours searching websites such as Autotrader, Motors and other websites that can drain a lot of your precious time. You also have to converse with sellers whom may not have the best customer service and not respond to you in a timely fashion or even at all. Remember; time is money!

Lack of Protection

Normally when buying from a dealer you can usually negotiate some form of warranty or even guarantee to ensure that the car is of a good standard and will at least last a decent amount of time. Of course, when buying a used car from a private seller you are driving a car away ‘as seen’. You have to put a lot of trust into the fact that the car is roadworthy and will be worth the investment.

More Paperwork

Car dealers help with the transfer of ownership of any cars sold and some can even offer some form of short-term insurance to make sure you can drive your new purchase home. Once again, a private sale will not allow for this. It will be up to you and the car seller to submit the forms to declare change of ownership and make sure all records are complete. Once again, this can take extra time and effort for all involved.

Harder Negotiations

As we mentioned above, private sellers will have less of a regard for customer service. Sure, they want to sell their car, but they do not care about repeat business. So during negotiations, are they really going to be friendly to try to win you over for the long term? Possibly not. We are not saying all private sellers are bad or dishonest people, but their long-term reputation is not at risk and so will not care for a long-term business relationship. In other words they can sell you easily offload a car with inherent defects that will be costly for you to fix, and there will be little you can do about it once you’ve made payment.

Finally, always be wary of prices that seem to be fairly low. As the old saying goes; if it is too good to be true, it most possibly is!