Buying a Used Car: Private Seller or Dealership?

Buying a Used Car: Private Seller or Dealership?

November 16, 2021    Auto News

A vehicle is a big purchase and when you take that step, you’ll want to know you’re buying from someone trustworthy. If you’re looking for a used vehicle, you typically have two buying options: dealerships and private sellers. 

How you plan to buy your car and pay for it are both important considerations that will help you decide the buying option that’s best for you. If you’re on a tight budget, you may get a better deal with a private seller. However, dealerships have safety inspections and other maintenance in place that ensures used vehicles meet specific quality standards before they leave the lot. That being said, both options have their pros and cons–it’s about what’s right for you. 

Read on for seven reasons why a trusted dealership is better than a private seller and where you can go to buy a used vehicle in Manitoba. 

7 reasons why a dealership is better than a private seller

  • Quality. When you buy used cars from dealerships, you can rest assured you won’t be sold a damaged or unsafe vehicle. Dealership vehicles, by law, must meet safety inspections before they can leave the lot, so you’ll know the vehicle you buy has met a specific set of quality standards. 
  • Warranty guaranties. One thing private sellers won’t offer are warranty guaranties. Even though the vehicle is used, dealerships typically offer a warranty package that covers certain parts and service. This guarantee provides a bit more security when making a large vehicle purchase. 
  • More vehicle options. When you buy from a private seller, they’re likely only selling that one vehicle, whereas a dealership will have plenty of vehicle options on the lot for you to choose from. Visiting a dealership gives you a chance to inspect (and test drive) multiple models without travelling from place to place.
  • Safety inspection. Dealerships are obligated to conduct a safety inspection on all their vehicles and they must provide the vehicle history report with purchase. This ensures the vehicle meets safety and quality standards and you can trust you’re driving a reliable vehicle that won’t break down on you. If you buy privately and the owner doesn’t provide the vehicle history, you could be stuck purchasing it yourself.
  • Financial benefits. A vehicle is a large purchase and if you’re planning on financing it, you’ll need to go through a dealership as this is something a private seller probably won’t offer. A private seller may require you to pay for the vehicle in full up front or you’ll have to get an auto loan through a bank and handle the paperwork yourself. At a dealership, they can provide financing options including in-house financing if you have less than perfect credit (something we offer at Birchwood Credit).
  • Flexible payments. Dealerships offer more flexibility when it comes to payment terms and payment plans. You have the ability to negotiate and they have more flexibility to accommodate your payment preferences.
  • Trade-in. If you already own a vehicle and are looking to upgrade, many trusted dealerships in Winnipeg have trade-in programs and allow you to use your current vehicle as a down payment towards a newer one. When you buy a used car from a private seller, you’d most likely have to sell your current vehicle first before buying another one. 

Dealerships in Winnipeg, MB

If you’re ready to get started, our team can help you find a reliable used vehicle that meets your needs with financing options that meet your budget. Even if you have less than perfect credit, we’ll work with you to find an affordable loan option so you can get on the road soon! 

Rebecca Lake
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