Car Buying

What Are the Advantages of Buying a Car From a Dealer?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2015

If you're interested in buying a car, then you've probably discovered that there are essentially two options when it comes to where you can get your next vehicle. You can either buy a used car from a private seller or buy a new, certified pre-owned or used car from a dealer. Given that you'll probably get a more casual, laid-back atmosphere by going through a private seller, what are the advantages of buying from a dealer? We have a few answers.

Extra Options

You might want to buy a car from a dealer instead of a private seller because you can choose some extra options for your vehicle. By options, we don't just mean dealer-installed accessories such as aftermarket wheels or an upgraded sound system.

You can actually add some features at a dealer you wouldn't normally be able to buy from a private seller. Want an extended warranty to cover your car after the manufacturer warranty expires? A dealer can offer it. Want the curb rash removed from the wheels? A dealer can do that, too. A dealer can also offer other promotions, such as free oil changes or tire rotations, to earn your business. You won't get those items with a private seller.

Reputation

Another benefit of buying from dealers is that their reputations matter. While some dealers have bad reputations, most car dealers are trying to offer the best customer service they can, which means, if you have a problem with a car soon after you buy it, you may be able to ask the dealer for help. On the contrary, a private seller will likely wash their hands clean of the deal once the car is sold, and they almost certainly won't be able to give you mechanical help or other assistance after the deal is done.

Financing Benefits

Perhaps the biggest benefit of buying a car from a dealer, however, is the myriad of financing options. One example is that dealers will typically offer their own financing options, while a private seller won't. If you're buying a car from a private seller, you'll have to secure your own financing, and if you're having trouble doing that, you'll probably have to buy a car from a dealer.

Another example of a dealer-related financing benefit is that many lending companies won't finance a car if it's owned by a private seller. Some lending companies don't trust a private seller to accurately value a car, while dealerships are thought to offer more accurate pricing. As a result, getting a loan for a privately owned car can be harder, and in some cases, the interest rate can be higher.

Our Take

There are benefits to buying a car from a private seller and buying a car from a dealer. We like the casual atmosphere of buying a car from another person, but few private sellers can beat a dealer's vehicle extras, reputation and financial choices.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
What Are the Advantages of Buying a Car From a Dealer? - Autotrader