Looking for the right car can seem like a difficult task especially with all the options we have these days. One of the many questions buyers ask themselves when searching for a used car is if they should go to a dealership or a private party. There are many factors to look at when deciding on where to purchase your car such as, price, safety and condition of the car amongst other things. There are pros and cons to most decisions in life and when purchasing an automobile, you must consider all things including the good, the bad and the ugly.
Price seems to be the main deciding factor people look at when purchasing a vehicle. Many times people will go with the cheaper options because it will save them some money in the beginning. The great thing about purchasing a used car from a dealership is you can guarantee the cars have been properly inspected and running properly. Dealerships are legally supposed to cover basic vehicle inspections depending on the state laws and regulations. Each state has their own set of rules and mandatory tests they must run before someone drives off the lot with the car and most dealers will supply “certified” cars. When you’re dealing with a dealership, you can rest assured that your used car won’t have issues or has been stolen, since it’s been thoroughly inspected. Dealerships do charge more because they offer you a car in good, working condition, whereas, a private dealer may or may not have had the vehicle inspected, which can end up costing you more in the long run for repairs. Private dealers may be more lenient with the price. You can actually negotiate the price with private dealers but you risk getting cheated if you don’t know how much a specific used car is worth. So it’s encouraged you do your research before bargaining a price.
Much like the price factor, safety is another important thing to consider. Many people are under the assumption that the more you pay, the safer you are in your car. That notion can be true in some cases but not necessarily with used cars. Often times you will come across used car deals that you think may be too good to be true but the dealer may just be clearing out their lot or you’ll find something overpriced but it really isn’t worth it. Many times the price of the car is higher due to other features in the car that have nothing to do with safety. Safety features are enhanced in newer vehicles but that doesn’t mean used cars aren’t safe. If properly inspected, you can achieve the level of safety you desire even in a used car. You can even add on safety features once you’ve purchased the car or have the dealer install them for you which will cost you money. At the end of the day, what you pay is what you get. So if you’re willing to do your homework, you will find out the basic features your car must have to instill your safety and you won’t end up paying more for your used car. The truth is if you’re buying used vehicles from a private party, unless you trust them completely you will not know about any issues the cars have which can potentially put you in danger. If you buy from a dealership, you are ensured proper safety within your car report and can rest assured that any serious defects have been taken care of.
The very first thing you notice on a used car is the body because your brain is automatically looking for defects and such. The condition of a used car will definitely affect the value of the vehicle. The word “used” automatically brings unwanted thoughts to our heads that we get so obsessed with the condition of the vehicle that we often overlook the important things. Safety features, mileage, exterior and interior are some of the things to consider when looking at a used car. Best thing to do is look at the Kelly bluebook to see the actual value of the car and let that be your deciding factor.
At the end of the day you never want to rush into a big decision. Buying a used car can be a tedious task but it’s achievable if you go to reliable people who are going to be honest with you. Dealerships work well if you want a full car report with your vehicle. Private parties can also provide you with inspection papers but they aren’t required to and often times you will have to get your own inspection done. Determining the value of a used car can be difficult but if one takes the time to assess the vehicle realistically, you can get a good idea of what it’s worth.
Written by John Walbridge is an experienced Internet Sales Manager at Bloomington Ford Lincoln. John handles the day to day Internet and digital activities for the dealership. Bloomington Ford Lincoln serves Greenwood, Martinsville, Bedford and all of Indianapolis, Indiana.