The Downfalls of Buying a Used Car From a Private Seller Rather than a Dealership

March 11th, 2019 443 Auto Sales
Buying a Used Car

Why should you buy a used car from a dealer rather than a private seller?

Less Accountability

For starters, sometimes private sellers are shifty– and they’re not telling you the truth about the vehicle they’re trying to sell you. If you do meet with a private seller, be wary if the vehicle has out of state or missing license plates. If the seller insists on a cash payment, that’s a sign something might be amiss, too. Does the title of the car appear to be in a different name than the seller’s name? Or is the seller refusing to show you the title? These are red flags. Also, if the seller gives you a long story regarding why they’re selling the vehicle for somebody else, or they’re refusing to answer your questions about the vehicle’s past history, then “something’s up” and it’s probably not good.

Increased Chance of Fraud

Private sellers might not be genuine and truthful. They might not have your best interests in mind. Other things to be on the lookout for include fake wire transfers/escrows, fake car shipments, and title/VIN scams. If a private seller asks you to transfer some or all of your payment for the vehicle via wire transfer (or an escrow service), be warned that you might be dealing with fake companies out to steal your money– and leave you with no vehicle in the end! If and when a seller claims to sell vehicles across state or county lines, and they offer to ship what you want to the area where you are– for an extra fee– be careful, as they might take your money and run. Private sellers can easily disappear if they want to, and how are you going to find them and get your money back? Finally, if a title and/or VIN doesn’t seem to match up with the vehicle in front of your eyes, of course this is a red flag.

Dealing Process

It’s much smarter to deal with a dealer than a private seller. A dealer can offer you a vehicle history report that details its sales, title transfers, accidents, claims and maintenance. In other words, you get the truth about the vehicle you might buy, in writing no less. Dealers will also let you take the vehicle to your mechanic to check before buying it. They also have their mechanics and service departments on hand should you need some things adjusted or fixed before purchasing the vehicle. Finally, dealers will work with customers in regards to financing, even if there’s poor credit involved– and that’s something you don’t typically get with a private seller.

In Lehighton, PA, visit 443 Auto Sales to test drive and buy quality used vehicles. Call 570-386-0443 for more info.

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