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What are the pros and cons of selling through a dealer vs. a private sale?

1460646460887_Car-dealerWhen you want to sell a car, you can choose either a private party or go to a dealer. Generally, selling using a dealer takes a lot of pressure off the seller. The dealer will handle all the nuts and bolts of selling the car like paperwork. When it comes selling as a private sale, it will mean you and the buyer will take care of everything involved in the transaction. On the flip side, you may find it easier to negotiate the price you want with a private party. This is just the tip of the iceberg that you should expect when you are selling as a private party and a dealer car sale. The following are some of the pros and cons of each.


Dealer pros and cons

The following are some of the advantages of selling through a dealership:

  • Selling a car through a dealer provides you with more legal protection than selling from a private party
  • You have the option of trading in your car, instead of selling it, and getting a great deal on a newer model or a different make
  • You may need to go to few dealerships to find the best one to sell your car
  • Some dealerships will sell your car as a certified pre-owned vehicle
  • Normally, cars from a used dealer have been inspected thoroughly and repaired if necessary
  • Some dealerships will offer seller warranties on their cars
  • Majority of dealerships offer financing options to the buyer
  • Generally a dealer will be in charge of the paperwork associated with title transfer or ownership and registration



These are some of the cons of selling through a dealer instead of a private sale:

  • It is easy to be distracted and lose sight of your big picture by being offered
  • You are likely to deal with professional sales team who are pushy because they rely on sales commissions
  • Sometimes the dealership may offer lower prices than private parties with having little room for negotiation being occasional


Private party purchases


The following are some advantages of purchasing a car using a private party:

  • Even though they may want to buy used cars, majority of private buyers are not pushy compared to dealership buyers
  • You may have more negotiating room with a private buyer than with a dealership
  • Majority of individual buyers use the blue book value to determine their buying price



Obviously purchasing using a private sale is not devoid or risks. Some of them are:

  • Depending on your state, it will be up to the seller to ensure the car is up to date on its inspection and smog requirements
  • All the paperwork will be handled by you and the buyer
  • Ordering and getting a vehicle history report is quite easy. However, when the buyer wants to have a trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle will mean you have to be flexible with their time
  • Typically, a lot of footwork goes into selling a used car as a private sale
  • Generally, buyers will want your car and pay cash for it, therefore, no trade-in options for the seller
  • Buyers will not receive a warranty of the vehicle
  • Selling privately binds the seller by the same strict federal and state laws same as dealerships

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