The benefits of buying a used car from a dealer instead of privately

18 Jun, 2021

When customers look for a new set of wheels, they’re faced with two choices: buy from a dealer or a private seller. There are benefits to both, but as any dealer will know, customers are in the safest hands when buying from somebody who knows what they’re talking about.

There are a couple of things that customers have in mind when looking for a new run-around, such as the price, the condition of the car and the trustworthiness of the seller. We’ve listed a few of these below, and have taken a look at how dealers match up to private sellers.

1. Security

When buying a used car, there isn’t much that can outdo the expertise of dealers. After all, it’s their job to know everything about the car the customer is buying. Dealers can offer a level of know-how which means the customer is in safe hands. A used car from a dealer will have been thoroughly inspected by a professional, and any major faults will have been repaired. And, unless you’re buying privately from a top-notch mechanic, customers are unlikely to get that professional service from any private sellers.

On top of that, a dealership will probably have a website or some kind of online presence where customers can have a look at reviews. Even if it’s just a social media page, reviews mean that customers have more of an idea who they’re buying from.

2. Consumer rights

Having consumer rights is an important part of any transaction. After all, what else will keep the buyer’s money safe if there’s something wrong with the product? The same goes for cars; customers want to know that they can get their money back if something goes wrong. As pointed out by the Money Advice Service, customers have more consumer rights when buying from a dealer. This means that, if anything goes wrong with the car, they can rest easy knowing they can get a refund (depending on the issue, of course).

Now, that’s not to say that private sellers don’t need to abide by consumer laws – they do. But consumer laws are far less strict for private sellers. That means that customers may have a lot less security when buying privately.

3. Finance options

A dealer can usually offer finance options, whether hire purchase contracts or personal contract purchase. Generally speaking, this isn’t something available with private sellers. More often than not, they’ll want the money for the car ASAP, meaning customers won’t have the option to spread payments out and will have to fund the entire cost upfront.

Customers have also got the option of part-exchanging their car when buying from a dealer, which is another useful way to bring the cost down. It’s quite common nowadays to hand in your old car for a new one, and it takes away the hassle of new owners having to sell their old car themselves.

4. The cost

Cost might be where the private seller sometimes edges it slightly, as they may choose to sell for well below market price depending on how quickly they want the car gone. However, while customers may be able to get a car for less than it’s worth, buying private doesn’t give them the same security that buying from a dealer does. In our opinion, the small difference in price is worth the expertise you get when buying from a dealer. Plus, it’s a fact that under-pricing a car can actually be a bad thing!

On top of that, buying from a dealer doesn’t always mean the car is more expensive. In fact, there are plenty of dealers who are willing to negotiate an amazing deal, especially when it comes down to offloading cars to hit sale targets.

All in all, buying from a registered, experienced dealer is a good option for any customers looking to buy a used car. Between the security, the expertise and the consumer security, it’s usually best to go with a trustworthy dealer than to a private seller online – even if the cost is slightly cheaper!

Are you using these points to emphasise the benefits of buying from you as a dealer with your customers, or do you have other things you think customers look for when they come to you? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


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