Anyone who has ever searched for a dream car knows that there are probably benefits to searching for a private seller rather than a dealership. However, there are just as many people who feel that when you are in the market for a car, the dealership is the best place to go for it. Which one is really best depends on what you are after, but there are pros and cons to each. If you are still on the fence about where you need to start your search, take a look at the pros and cons of car dealerships vs. private sellers.
The Dealership Deals
One of the biggest reasons a person may go to a dealership is because dealerships generally offer an easy financing plan and most private sellers tend to want cash up front. If you are tight on finances or need a vehicle in a hurry, but do not have a thousand or two laying around, a financing option is preferable. Dealers also offer a better warranty than those private sellers. They often thoroughly inspect the vehicles that come onto their lot and perform oil changes, tire changes, and clean it out before they make it a vehicle that you can purchase. The downside to all of this is that you will most likely pay more on the total price of the vehicle, not only the listed price being higher, but if you finance it, there will be extra costs and interest included.
The biggest reasons many people choose to steer clear of a dealer is because when you walk onto the lot, you will be greeted by someone who wants to sell you a car. They may pressure you into it, they may try to make you fall in love with a ride that is not within your price range, and some dealers have been known to sell cars that are lemons. The reason they try so hard is because they make money if they can put you into a vehicle. The higher the price of it, the more they stand to make off of closing the deal.
Therefore, every person on that car lot is waiting for you to show up. In the event you purchase a lemon, you are protected to some extent by lemon laws, but that does not always work out to be in your best interest, especially if the dealer can show that it may have happened after you bought the car. It also doesn’t protect you if the warranty runs out two days before the vehicle breaks down.
If you do decide to venture onto a car lot, make sure that you know what you are looking for before you go, and then stick to your ideas. If you are looking for a $2,000.00 car, tell that to the sales person and tell them that you are not interested in going over that amount. If they try to show you a car that is even slightly more expensive, tell them that is not an affordable option. Ask them what else they may have within your price range. If they tell you that they have nothing, tell them you will be back at a later time to try again, unless you find a dealer that has an option that suits your budget better. You should also ask for a report on whether it has ever been involved in an accident and get the biggest warranty that you possibly can. All of these things will let the car dealer know that you are not willing to be jerked around. It shows them that you are not willing to play the game and if you decide to spend more, it will be by your choice and after careful consideration, not because they pushed you into it.