When you purchase a vehicle from a private seller, you do sacrifice the option to pay through financing and you may miss out on the full inspection before you buy it. You may not get a car that has been cleaned both inside and out, it may not have brand new tires or a full tank of gas, and other things.
However, this does not mean that you are not still getting a good deal on it.
With a private seller, you may be able to haggle a little over the price. Most private sellers are in a hurry to get rid of the car that they have. Perhaps they want to upgrade and need to sell to get the cash for it or they may have two or three cars and one is just no longer necessary. They will want it out of their yard and chances are good, they will rather make the amount of money that you have to offer instead of it gaining nothing in their yard. This may not always be the case and they may already have offers on the table that meet or exceed their asking price, but either way, you do have a good chance of getting a car for less. The private seller most likely owned the car for a few years.
With any luck at all, they have been the only owner of it. They know the history of it and they know how well they have maintained it. If they are truly organized, they may have proof on hand of parts that they have replaced, records regarding the times that it was serviced, and more. This can give you a clearer idea of whether they are asking a fair price or if you may get a piece of junk. You will have the option to look over the vehicle without pressure from someone and if you are a good judge of character you may gain an understanding of whether the car has been cared for or not. If the person selling it is an older person or a family man, you can figure that they used it for errands and trips. If the person you are buying from is a young teenager, you can kind of figure that they have driven the vehicle pretty hard at times. At a dealership, you do not gain this little bit of insight into the cars past.
For anyone who decides to purchase from a private seller, it is important that you study up on the right questions to ask and little on what to look for when buying a used vehicle. Make sure that you listen to the car run and take a look under the hood while it is running. Listen out for rattles and ask questions about it. If you are not very knowledgeable about auto mechanics, it may be helpful to take along a friend who can point out an oil leak or other potential issues. The key is, you should be thorough when looking it over. Otherwise, you do take the risk of being misled by the owner.