For the most part you have two main routes to find used vehicles, local dealerships like Park Marina Motors in Redding California, and cars for sale by owner. When shopping for a used car for sale by owner there can be a number of hoops to jump through that you’ll want to be aware of ranging from minor inconveniences to clear red flags that you’ll need to look into further.
To get a detailed view of a vehicle being sold privately, there should be at least 12 photos - if there’s only a handful of photos, you can’t help but wonder what the seller is not showing you. Most dealership websites will post as many as 20-30 photos to get a detailed idea of the condition and features of the vehicle.
Communicating with the Seller:
One of the most daunting hassles when you’re trying to buy a car from a private owner is how timely sellers are or aren’t responding to inquiries in the process of selling. Additionally, it can be frustrating if the private seller is not organized in making appointments for showings/test drives, or has very limited availability for meetings. This lack of quality communication can be frustrating when trying to buy from a private owner when you likely will get much better communication when buying from a car dealership.
Haggling Over Price:
One of the main reasons private owners decide to sell their car on their own rather than trading it in at a dealership is because they want to get more money than they’d get on a trade-in deal or selling outright to a dealership. How willing is the private owner to come down from the price they originally listed? This process of haggling can be stressful for both parties involved, and most private owners are reluctant to come down much from the original asking price. While haggling at a dealership can also be stressful, there may be a little more negotiating room.
Some private sellers barely provide enough information about a vehicle for buyers to decide if it’s worth trying to find out more. In comparison, a dealership vehicle listing is going to give you the year, make, model, mileage, what kind of condition the car is in, and some of its main features. A good ad should provide details that really give you a depth of knowledge about the vehicle so there aren’t too many unanswered questions. Besides condition and features, a dealership would additionally provide CarFax that will give detailed information on maintenance, and reported damage to the vehicle, to even further ease any reluctancy
In conclusion, while there are sure to be many people who’ve bought from private parties and had a great experience, there are likely just as many who did not have the same encounter. Many buyers choose to avoid the hassle and headaches of purchasing from a private party and go directly to dealerships like Park Marina Motors, that have a wide variety of vehicles available and typically make the buying process much easier.