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Should you buy a car from a private individual instead of a dealer?

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2012-04-18 15:04:37
2012-04-18 15:04:37
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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Related Questions


Sorry..you 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.

(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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Honestly google kelly's blue book, the site should be something like kbb.com 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)

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.

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.

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

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\\www.credityes.com. If credityes.com is not in your area call your local dealer and ask why?

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

== == 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.

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.

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.

Purchase it from a Federally Licensed firearms dealer or private citizen who legally owns one.


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