Why Buying Through a Dealer is the Better Option

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Those in the market for a new or used car know one thing: it’s a price game. Everybody is looking for the car they want at the lowest price available, and nearly everyone is willing to take extra time to search out that best bargain. For many, the thrill of the hunt is half the fun. We’ve all likely been tempted by a vehicle for sale by its owner, sitting on the side of the road with a “For Sale” sign in the windshield. Many of these cars come with an astoundingly low price tag, even with low mileage, that may tempt a buyer to look into dealing with a private seller rather than bother with a car dealership. The fact is, however, that purchasing a vehicle from a car dealership like those in King’s Automall is a better bet for the consumer. Buying from a dealer offers considerably more protection for the buyer and will make the most financial sense in the long run. Here are a few reasons why buying from a dealer is a preferable option over buying from a private seller.

Reputation

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First and most importantly, a buyer is guaranteed a straightforward and honest interaction when purchasing from a dealer. A dealer relies on word-of-mouth advertising to draw in customers, and on maintaining positive relationships with prior customers to generate return business. By selling a car that has hidden defects or causes a buyer significant headaches later on down the road, or by being dishonest about cost or financing, a dealer puts his or her business’s reputation on the line. The potential cost to the dealer in terms of continued business here significantly outweighs the cost to simply make sure the cars being sold are functional. A private seller, however, is typically only interested in offloading one single vehicle, and will not typically be worried about building a good reputation for future car sales. In many cases, a private seller may actually be looking to get rid of a used vehicle as quickly as possible to avoid future maintenance or advertising costs. In these instances, the seller may be less than honest as to the condition of the vehicle and, unfortunately, there is no way for a private buyer to know.

Quality Assurance

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Lemon laws are also put in place to specifically protect buyers from purchasing cars that turn out to be duds soon thereafter. If a buyer purchases from a dealer, that consumer is protected from being stuck with a vehicle that has hidden defects or is an undisclosed salvage vehicle. The dealer must pay for any repairs or defects that arise within a certain window after the vehicle sale, and so many will often have these issues addressed by a mechanic prior to the transaction. Many dealers offer certified pre-owned vehicles, which undergo a special series of inspections and tests by a licensed mechanic and can guarantee a vehicle’s quality to the consumer. Private sellers are held to no such laws or expectations, and a buyer who purchases from a private seller accepts the car “as is.” If any issues come up with the vehicle soon after the transaction, the buyer holds full responsibility for repairs. In this case, it is often a good idea to take the car to a licensed mechanic prior to purchase, but that can eat into your personal time and cost you money that would otherwise be spent by the dealer.

Warranties and Maintenance

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By buying from a dealer, a consumer may be able to take advantage of an after-market warranty on a used vehicle, or simply the original warranty on a new vehicle. Since the dealer is licensed and able to give warranties, a consumer may also often bring a vehicle back to the same dealer for repairs later on down the road. This can be an easy way to maintain a good relationship with a seller and protect against unforeseen repair costs after buying a vehicle. In most cases, a private seller will not be a licensed mechanic and will almost certainly not offer a warranty. While the initial cost of the vehicle may be less, it comes with the possibility of expensive repairs down the road. And since the seller is no a mechanic, a buyer will need to find another good mechanic to make any repairs, and will not be protected by a warranty to cover any costs.

Financing

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A licensed car dealer can often work with a buyer to arrange some kind of financing plan. In most cases, this can mean monthly payments at an arranged interest rate. While this may cost more in the long run, it is a secure form of payment for an otherwise large investment and typically comes with the security of a bank-backed loan that is finalized in a contract. This is a very safe way of obtaining a car without having to take a big hit financially. Buying from a private seller, however, will almost definitely not include this option. Most private sellers are not in the business of setting up payment plans or drawing up contracts. Many will require payment up front in a cash payment, which might be too much of an imposition on some buyers.

Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork

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Probably one of the most frustrating (and most overlooked) aspects of buying a car from a private seller is the paperwork involved, which will be left up to you as the buyer or seller. This can include drawing up the bill of sale and transferring the title, as well as transferring the registration and handling all related taxes and fees. This is a lot of complicated legal paperwork, and can eat into your personal time and cause a lot of stress if not fully understood. Plus, it probably means a trip to the department of motor vehicles – need we say more. Those who purchase from a dealer, however, won’t have to worry about this paperwork since each dealer usually takes care of the paperwork for you. In most cases, the most work you’ll ave to do is sign your name and submit to a credit check, while the dealer handles the transfer of registration and bill of sale, plus all of the taxes and fee paperwork. This can save a buyer a lot of hassle in the short term. It seems pretty obvious that buying from a dealer, while perhaps slightly more expensive, is simply the safer and smarter bet for a cautious consumer. With greater accountability and professional training, a dealer is a professional car seller, and much more trustworthy than a private amateur car seller.