We believe that the better alternative to buying privately is to buy from a registered dealer. There are many reasons why buying from a registered dealer is safer for consumers.
Only Dealers Offer These Services
A Dealer's Warranty
After Sale Service
Choice of Vehicles
Title Guarantee Against Stolen Vehicles
Lien Free Vehicles
When consumers buy a vehicle from a registered dealer, they are protected by numerous pieces of legislation, such as the Consumer Protection Act, and the Business Practices Act, to name a few.
By law, dealers must guarantee title against stolen vehicles. Also, dealers must guarantee that there are no liens on the vehicle. They must use Bills of Sale that conform to the law, and are required to report all known material facts about the vehicle.
In the event of a dispute, consumers can seek help from industry associations, such as the UCDA, for impartial mediation... at no cost! If all else fails, the consumer can lodge a complaint with the Dealer inspector or through the courts.
Additionally, dealers can provide warranties and after sale service. Consumers are offered a selection of vehicles at a dealership, ensuring they get the vehicle that is fit for their purposes. Dealers are able to take a customer's vehicle in on trade. This makes it less of a hassle to find a buyer for the vehicle and reduces the amount of taxes to be paid.
Dealers also have access to financing programs, making it much easier for the consumer to obtain credit.
All of these factors make the advantages of buying a vehicle from registered dealers clear.
When one adds up all of these positive reasons and considers the hazards of buying privately, the obvious choice is a used vehicle from a registered motor vehicle dealer ... preferably a MUCDA member.
Reputable car dealers may offer the best deals
When you buy a used car from a dealer, do you really pay more than you would if you bought it privately? Probably not!!
There are two important considerations, when buying a car or anything else. Quality and Price!
Consider the Quality
Buying privately is simply buying "as is". When you purchase privately, you're buying a car exactly as you see it .... any problems the car has become your problems. When someone's about to sell their car, it's usually because they're buying another one.
That raises the question .... why? Does it need extensive repairs? Has it been giving the owner frequent problems? If so, there's little likelihood that they'd spend the money to have it fixed ... and then sell it. That doesn't mean that you can't get a good deal when you buy privately. There's certainly a chance that the car has been well maintained.
Why consider a dealer then? What does a dealer offer you, if he purchases that same vehicle from the customer and then sells it to you? First of all, he's going to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected and refurbish it both mechanically and, in the case of stains, rust, etc., appearance wise as well. It may need a complete repaint, if it's an older vehicle, or it might just need a quality touch-up.
That's usually the largest part of the difference in cost between buying privately and buying from a dealer. The cost of refurbishing the vehicle, preparing it for sale and ensuring that you, the customer, will be satisfied with it. Most importantly, when the dealer sells you the vehicle it's his responsibility to ensure that
it's reasonably fit for your use. With a dealer, you have recourse. With a private purchase you have little or none.
What about price?
It's true that dealers expect to make a profit on their sale ..... if not, they'd soon go out of business, wouldn't they? But what about the private sale. How does the private seller determine the price they want for their car? More often than not, they check to see what dealers are charging for a comparable vehicle and try to get as close to that price as possible. Often times they might even ask for more because, they may claim, they looked after the vehicle with Tender Loving Care. The TLC may be true or it may not! Only a good mechanical inspection will determine that. Regardless, they're going to try to get as close to what a dealer would ask for the car as they possibly can. That's just human nature. Everyone wants to try to get the best advantage they can. The private seller isn't selling the car to become your best friend. In fact, you'll probably never hear from the person again. You're certainly not likely to buy another car from them, so they really have no incentive to ensure that you're a happy purchaser.
That's not true of the dealer. He not only wants you as a happy purchaser of that car ... he also wants you to spread the word to your friends and relatives that he's a dealer that you're pleased with Nothing beats a referral from a satisfied customer!
To Sell or Not to Sell...as is!
Many people who try to sell their vehicle privately soon learn that potential buyers can be very choosy. And why not? If the seller gets a number of turndowns by possible buyers, they may soon learn that selling a car "as is" is not as easy as they thought. Buyers look for reliable transportation and an "as is" car probably isn't!
So, back to the question. Is it cheaper buying privately? In the final analysis, it might even be more expensive. A dealer's cost to repair a transmission, replace an air conditioning compressor or repaint a car will be well below what the average person will pay. This allows a dealer to refurbish a vehicle, make a profit and still be competitive with a private seller.
When you compare a private sale with a dealer sale ... look at price and quality!
4 Key Steps to Follow Before Buying a Used Vehicle
Set a Budget
your financing eligibility
vehicle taxes and fees
ongoing vehicle maintenance
Evaluate Your Needs
The vehicle will be used primarily for:
long distance driving
in-town or highway driving
Do Your Research
available options and features
vehicle safety rating
space and storage
reputation for reliability
Choose Your Dealer
Is the dealer a MUCDA member?
Can your vehicle be serviced locally?
Are you offered any guarantees on the vehicle?
Can you contact the dealer if there are any problems?