4 Perks to Buying from a Private Seller

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You’ve decided that you’re ready for a new car and now you are eager to get the ball rolling. Your first decision will be whether you purchase from a dealership or a private seller. There are pros and cons to both, but you’ve check out how to safely buy from a private seller and decided to go that route because there are several benefits of buying from a private seller that are hard to pass up.

1. Detailed background information

When looking to buy a used vehicle, knowing the ins and outs of the car as well as a detailed history are important factors in the decision making process. One advantage of buying from a private seller is that he or she is going to be able to provide much more background information than a dealer would, according to Autotrader. While dealers are responsible for hundreds or thousands of models each year, a private seller is going to be an ideal source on their previously owned car when it comes to vehicle history. Being able to trust the seller is also key, but there’s no question that your private seller will have a much more detailed account of the car than a dealer would.

2. Negotiations

Dealerships are always going to have higher costs. Buying from a private seller has the potential to provide you with a better price than a dealership would. A private seller doesn’t have fixed business costs to cover, so they are free and flexible to negotiate costs. Obtaining a vehicle history report on the car will give you a good idea of where the starting price should be. With a private seller there is a stronger likelihood that you’ll be able to negotiate a lower price.

buying a car3. Taxes

The tax variable to the private seller equation is completely dependent on where you live. According to Autotrader, state sales tax laws vary and taxes can be a perk to private sellers or to dealerships. If your state does not assess sales tax on private vehicle sales, you could save upwards of several thousands of dollars by buying from a private seller.

4. No gimmicks

Typically private sellers are eager to sell their vehicle and according to J.D. Power and Associates, if you are a serious buyer a transaction will be quickly established. There are no games or gimmicks or endless papers to sign. Salesmen at car dealerships work on commission-based salaries. When buying from a private seller you avoid not only pitchy sales but also all of the distractions that come with holiday sale weekends and signing incentives.


If you’ve found a car you like on Craigslist and are planning on meeting to buy from a private seller offline, be sure to follow our 7 tips for ensuring a successful Craigslist deal.

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