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Private Car Sales vs. Buying from a Dealer

Buying a used car from a private seller is very different from buying a car from a dealer. Private sellers generally are not covered by the Federal Trade Commission's Used Car Rule and don't have to use the Used Car Buyers Guide. However, you can use the Guide's list of an auto's major systems as a shopping tool. You also can ask the seller if you can have a car inspection done by your mechanic.

Private sales usually are not covered by the implied warranties of state law. That means a private sale probably will be on an "as is" basis, unless your purchase agreement with the seller specifically states otherwise. If you have a written contract, the seller must live up to the promises stated in the contract. The car also may be covered by a manufacturer's warranty or a separately purchased service contract. However, warranties and service contracts may not be transferable, and other limits or costs may apply. Before you buy the car, ask to review its warranty or service contract.

Many states do not require individuals to ensure that their vehicles will pass state inspection or carry a minimum warranty before they offer them for sale. Ask your state Attorney General's office or local consumer protection agency about the requirements in your state.

The following tips are useful when buying a car:

  • Do you homework on Carfax, KBB, eBay. Check prices. Getting a car from a dealer at Private Party price is often a good deal.
  • Ask questions. Please note Carfax, Auto Check will not always show if a car has been in an accident - so have the vehicle checked out before you buy. Almost 100% of used cars sold by a dealership will have had paintwork done (and many new ones too)- so that may not always be a useful question to ask. Better to look or inspect. Do you see poorly done work? Check hidden areas for "ridges" to indicate paint that may not have been done well. (A note on extended warranties: buy cars that are at the end of their factory warranty.)
  • There's an option where you can get great deals and it's still much safer than just buying from any private individual: repossessed car auctions (in particular, government car auctions). These are cars that have been repossessed by the bank or lien holder due to a lack of payment of the original auto loan, and then sold at public auctions so that the lien holder can make some of the money back. Even though you should always get a vehicle history report and inspect the car yourself, these are usually pretty safe environments, although they're attended by many professional dealers.
  • Another way to get great deals (and safer than buying from a private seller) is hiring a professional negotiator. If you use a service (ex: Carsala), you can get private party prices from a dealership on a car that's been reconditioned, in good shape, clean title, etc.
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โˆ™ 2012-04-18 15:04:37
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Q: Should you buy a car from a private individual instead of a dealer?
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If you purchase a car from a private dealer how will you get it home with out tags or even to get temp tags? put "private dealer". Is he a dealer or a Private Party? For the future it would help to know what state you are in. Not all states offer temp tags. The dealer made a sale. Ask him to drive it home for you with his dealer plates on. Better yet, you should insure and register it.

What's better, private or dealer Automotive Service Centers?

The dealer service center will know a bit more about your new car than the private one. The private mechanic will be cheaper.

How do you get a truck?

In order to get a truck you either need to buy it from a private dealer or a certified dealer.

Why do you have to have a license to buy a gun?

(in the US) So that the government can conduct a background check on you to determine if you are legally qualified to purchase a firearm. A private individual does not need a license of any sort to purchase a firearm from another private individual under federal regulations administered by BATF&E. State laws will vary, with some states requiring a permit to purchase a handgun. Only when a private individual purchases a firearm from a Federally Licensed Firearm's dealer, is the dealer required to conduct a background check, called a NICs check, to verify that there is no record of the individual being legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Which is better dealer or private car loan?

Private. I suggest getting pre-approved at your bank / credit union, and see if the dealer can beat that rate, as some dealers will arrange financing with a local bank. Private party car loan you can say it in other words personal car loan or person to person car loan where individual can get car loan without cosigner help.

Should you shop at dealers and private parties or just dealers?

While buying a used car from a private party might take less time and be less expensive, buying a used car from a dealer provides a guarantee. The guarantee alone makes shopping at a dealer a better choice.

Is it illegal for a dealer to sell a car without a catalytic converter?

Yes and No. A dealer should not be able to sell a car without a catalytic converter. However, the dealer should assume that every car it purchases has a catalytic converter. Therefore, if the dealer was unaware, then the dealer has no liability in selling a car without a CAT. Ultimately, the liability lies in the individual whom removed the catalytic converter in the first place.

Can the dealer repossession your car off private property?


What is a reasonable offer to make on a new automobile in relation to Dealer cost?

Honestly google kelly's blue book, the site should be something like If you enter the vehicle, it will tell you 'private party', or what you could expect or ask from a private seller and 'dealer' or what you can expect a dealership to ask (or haggle them down to, hehe)

Should I sell my car to a dealer or private purchaser?

In general, most will agree you can get a higher price if you sell direct to a private party. However, if you don't want the hassle or are concerned for your safety, a dealership may be a better option.

What is a gun private sell in Texas?

When a person that is not a dealer sells a gun to another non-dealer. Both must be residents of Texas.

Can a car be sold without seat-belts?

If the vehicle was originally manufactured with seat belts, a dealer must sell the vehicle with working seat belts. a private individual is typically under no such restrictions, but it depends on the state.

Where can you purchase a Ford XR2?

If one is in the United Kingdom it may be possible to purchase a Ford XR2 from a local used car dealer or private individual. Car and Classic and Trovit list XR2s for sale on their websites.

Where can you get a handgun?

The legal ways to purchase one in the U.S. include purchasing from a gun dealer or from an individual. Depending on the state, to purchase from an individual, you may or may not have to go through a gun dealer to complete the transaction.

Who sells guns?

A licensed FFL dealer can sell firearms to the public. But, a private party can sell guns to another private party.

I am a private party that sold a car to an individual. After 3 days he returned the car because he said he couldn't afford the repairs. He stated he had 72 hours to change his mind. Is this correct?

No. It is only correct if it was a contract sale such a a car dealer to an individual. However, the dealer can charge restocking fees. Check state laws,, each state is different. It Is True With Most Items Purchased From Car Dealers, Ect. BUT IN A PRIVATE TRANSCATION: IT MAY NOT BE SO. CHECK WITH YOUR COUNTY ATTORNEY. This Will Give A Start Or The Correct Information. This Varies From State To State

Should a dealer manager be a dealer principal or dealer principle?

The spelling is DEALER PRINCIPAL (a principal here is someone with a proprietary interest).

Can a wholesale auto dealer sell a vehicle to an individual?

A wholesale car dealer is a car dealer that cannot sell vehicles to the general public, and can sell only to other car dealers.

I live in Alabama and want to know if you have to pay sales tax on an automobile if you purchase the automobile from and individual seller as opposed to a dealer?

Normally in a state that has sales tax whether you buy from a dealer or private party, you have to pay the sales tax to get the car registered. For more real answers for a real world go to http\\ If is not in your area call your local dealer and ask why?

Do you have to pay sales tax when purchasing a used car from a private party seller in Ohio?

No you don't pay taxes to an individual, only a dealer. You will pay the sales tax at the dmv when you go to register the vehicle.

What type of credentials should I look for when seeking the services of a jewelry appraiser?

You should look for an indpendent and unbiased professional appraiser. Make certain that the individual is well known in the area, and that they aren't affiliated with a jewelry store or dealer.

Where can you buy a car without a social security number?

You can buy a car without a social security number if you purchase it from a private dealer rather than from a car lot. The car lot dealer has to present it legally in order to transfer the title, a private owner does not.

Do you have to pay sale tax on a car in the state of indiana from a private party?

Yes, but not to the private party. The tax is collected by the MVD when you register and title it in your name. When you buy from a registered dealer (who handles all the MVD stuff for you) you pay it to the dealer.

Buy From Someone You Know?

When you purchase used pickup campers, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you take them home. If you can find someone who has one to sell, then this would be your best option instead of buying a used one from a dealer. Purchasing a used pickup camper from an individual is easier because you can look at the camper as it is on the truck. If there is anything that does not look right about it, then you are under no pressure to get it. You can also get a used pickup camper from a dealer, but it will probably be more expensive.

How can you find your gun's serial number after it has been stolen?

== == If you are trying to find the number for a gun you no longer have you will have to go back to the dealer who sold it to you, if the dealer is still in business. Dealer records are the only place serial numbers are recorded. If the dealer is out of business, his records may have been sent to the BATF. Theoretically they store them, but I have never heard of anyone having much luck getting any information out of there. If you got it from a private individual, you could hope he recorded the number and you can locate him. Absent these sources you are out of luck.