Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Auto Shopping - Buying From a Private Seller

When in the market for a vehicle, it’s smart to consider buying from a private seller.

The main benefit to purchasing from an individual is that you are more likely to get your auto for a good, or even great price compared to the price of a similar vehicle at a dealership. Many times, a private seller wants to sell their vehicle simply because they want to buy another one - either an upgrade or a downgrade, possibly for financial reasons - and must sell their current vehicle to move forward on another purchase.

A private seller may be more likely to accept a lower price than an auto dealer whose sole purpose for a sale is to make a profit. Avoid offending the seller with a low-ball offer if you want to be taken seriously, but just keep in mind they may be flexible with the price to get the vehicle sold. Even if they are firm with their price, it is likely to be significantly lower than the same vehicle in similar condition at a dealership.

A great reference for anyone interested in buying an automobile, whether from a dealer or private seller, is the Kelley Blue Book - also available on the web. By inputting the make, model, trim, year, condition, and mileage, the Kelley Blue Book will give you an accurate price for retail sales, private sales, as well as trade-in value.

While you can save money by buying from a private seller, the main downside to buying from a private seller is that you must be prepared to pay in cash or to arrange financing on your own. This can be very simple if you have good credit; just get an auto loan pre-approval with your bank or credit union before you begin shopping so you know what price range to look in.

Once you find the vehicle you want that meets the lender’s loan requirements (for example, under a certain age and under certain mileage) your financial institution can finalize the details of the loan and you can pay the seller with the loan proceeds.

Another downside is the legwork you’ll have to do to locate a private seller who has the vehicle you want, as opposed to a one-stop shop at the dealership which is likely to have several vehicle that interest you.

Private car sales can be found in various classified ads or auctions in the paper and on the internet. Some towns have a lot where individuals can park their for-sale vehicles. These benefit the buyers and sellers by bringing more automobiles to one location and making it easier for anyone who is selling or shopping.

It may take more effort from you to find the right vehicle if you plan to buy from a private seller, but the savings of up to several thousand dollars can really make it worth doing.
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Monday, 14 October 2019

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