Buying from a Private Seller is Risky – Here’s Why!
Thinking of buying from a private seller? Think again. You don’t have the legal protections that come with buying from a new or used car dealership. If you plan on buying from a private seller, there are some basic things you need to consider.
In some cases, though, you might be tempted. Perhaps the vehicle quality seems sound. Maybe the price is better than you anticipated. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is – but that’s often not enough. Sometimes temptation takes over.
At Vegas Used Cars, we’ve helped hundreds of clients find the perfect vehicle to meet their needs. We’ve heard some terrible stories where buyers have been fleeced, acquiring a vehicle whose maintenance costs are greater than the cost of the vehicle itself. That’s the last thing you need.
We want to help prevent that.
That’s why we’ve developed the complete guide on what you need to think about before taking that plunge. Buying from a private seller comes with risks. Here are the factors you should consider before handing over that all-important cash.
Take a Proactive Approach
We can’t stress this enough – examine the vehicle to the maximum possible extent. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pardon the pun, but, when it comes to a sale, you’re in the driving seat.
The more knowledge you have, the greater ability you must dissect the vehicle you’re about to purchase. You become armed and ready. You understand more about what’s gone wrong. You learn where cover-ups are and why those cover-ups exist. You learn about what your costs are likely to be in the long-term.
In summary, you learn everything you need to know about that used car.
That’s why examining the vehicle is so important.
But not everyone is equipped with the vehicular knowledge they need.
Here, we’ve put together a quick summary guide on the factors you need to consider. This guide is by no means exhaustive, but it puts together the very essential elements you must think about.
What to look out for
We recommend starting with examining patchwork.
Patchwork means that different parts of the vehicle have different paintjobs. At first glance, the vehicle may appear to have uniformity but, on closer inspection, you learn that the vehicle has been involved in a ghastly accident.
How can you identify inconsistent patchwork? The best strategy involves viewing the vehicle from an angle, not upfront. You can now view indentations.
You learn more about whether the paintjob is 100 percent consistent. You must know everything about that vehicle before purchasing, particularly when it comes to accidents. A thorough examination of the paintjob can reveal just that.
Think about panelling alignment, too.
Make sure that the doors, boot and bonnet are completely aligned. Any misalignment suggests the vehicle has either experienced a terrible accident or, even worse, that the seller is hiding something more nefarious about its history.
Take a few moments to think about smell.
If the vehicle is scented with many fresheners, think twice. The seller may be hiding widespread flood damage. Learn more about the electrical equipment of the vehicle. Does each element work? Electronic equipment that doesn’t work could be a symptom of previous flood damage; the very last thing you need to deal with.
Similarly, take the microscope to every other major part of the used car – including the windshield. No matter how small that scratch may be, it may represent the consequence of a recent car accident – again, something you shouldn’t have to deal with.
Examine headlights, too. Does one headlight have more clarity than the other? Why? When was one headlight replaced and why was it replaced? These are the types of question you need to think about. Don’t accept the sellers answer at face value, they have no reason to tell the truth.
Test-drive the vehicle too. Notice any unusual sounds? These sounds could represent serious structural deformities with the vehicle, particularly the engine. The last thing you need is to pick up the tab for fixing engine damage.
Examine the wheels, too.
Notice an uneven distribution? This may be caused by damage to the chassis, resulting in uneven wheel alignment. Again, this may have been caused by a previous accident, perhaps an accident not talked about by the seller.
It’s not enough to talk your way into a sale.
Buying a used car is a long-term investment. Buying from a private seller comes with risks. It means you need to be on-the-ball; knowing what structural and electrical factors to think about. Perhaps you don’t have this experience, in which case buying from a private seller becomes an even greater risk.
Buying from an established used car dealership attenuates this risk. You have greater legal protections and don’t need to worry about additional future maintenance costs. Though purchasing from private sellers can sometimes result in some great bargains, it can often result in some terrible purchasing decisions.
Don’t become a victim. Stay informed and stay ahead.
Vegas Used Cars is the leading used car dealership in Las Vegas. Check back to our used car blog soon for even more great tips on what you should think about before buying from a private seller.