It is estimated that there are somewhere between 74 million and 78 million vehicles sold around the world each year. Typically, the only two options you have when buying a vehicle are choosing between a private seller or a dealership.

Both of these options provide many benefits for potential vehicle owners, although they have many differences.

Do you want to learn more about choosing a car from a dealer vs private seller? Keep reading this comparison guide for everything you need to know about buying a new car.

Private Seller

When you are looking for a pre-owned car, many people first choose to see what private sellers have to offer. Private sellers do not have to have any type of certification or qualifications, so anyone that wants to sell their own car can do so.

While there are many benefits of choosing to buy a private sale car, there are some drawbacks as well that you need to consider. Here are the top pros and cons of choosing a private seller when you purchase a used car.

Pros of Private Sellers

One of the biggest benefits of choosing a private seller to buy your new car is that it can result in a fast sale with relatively little paperwork. While it can take a while to find the perfect car, once you have met with the seller, you can immediately purchase the car.

Next, buying from a private seller is a great option for those who are sticking to a tighter budget. While some private sellers still list their cars at a higher price, it is easier to negotiate the price and find something that fits your budget when you are working with a private seller.

However, it is important to note that there are additional costs involved with private sales, including on the road costs and the cost to hire a financier for the additional paperwork. Taking these financial considerations into account is an important part of choosing a new car.

Finally, when you buy your used car from a private seller, you can get a lot more information about the car that you are purchasing. While dealerships may have information about the car’s history, they may not know about its past drivers like a private seller would.

For example, a private seller could tell you how the car has been driven and how it was cared for. They would know how often they rotated the tires, changed the oil, and more. This will give you a lot more information about the wear and tear of your car and will help you know exactly the quality of the vehicle you are buying.

Cons of Private Sellers

One of the biggest drawbacks of buying a car from a private seller is that you may not know exactly what you are getting yourself into. While you may be able to take the car for a test drive or even take it to a mechanic for an inspection, a private seller may not tell you about all of the car’s problems.

Next, buying a car from a private seller can take up a lot of valuable time. First, you have to do a lot of research to find reputable options and to see what type of car you want to buy. Similarly, you have to spend a lot of time researching the market value of a car to make sure you don’t get ripped off.

It can also take a lot of time to set up meetings with several different private sellers. Often, you will not be able to buy the first car that you find from a private seller, especially if they have many interested buyers.

Finally, when you are buying a car from a private seller, you need to be cautious not to fall for scams or inaccurate information. Often, scammers will try to advertise cars that seem too good to be true.

If they trick you into paying for the car in advance, you will be out several thousand dollars without anything to show for it.

Even if you are not getting scammed, private sellers may advertise their car inaccurately. They may be selling a stolen or rebuilt car, so you need to do your research to find a reputable seller.


When it comes to dealerships, you have the option of choosing between both new and used cars. Unlike private sellers, they need to have certain qualifications to be able to sell you their cars.

Here are the top benefits and drawbacks associated with buying your car from a dealership.

Pros of Dealerships

One of the greatest benefits of buying a used car from a dealership is that they typically have a much larger inventory. When you are buying cars from private sellers, there may only be a handful of cars that you are interested in that fit your budget.

However, dealerships have a huge selection of cars available. Many dealerships even post this inventory online, so it is easy to filter through the available options and find a car that fits your exact needs.

Another benefit of buying a car from a dealership is that you can find something to fit your budget. While dealership prices may be higher than private sellers, they often offer financing options or loans for people buying a car. Even if you are not able to pay for a car in cash, you can still buy your dream car and pay it off in increments.

Next, dealerships will often provide short-term warranties for their products. This can cover any manufacturing defects, so you can be sure that you aren’t buying a defective car.

Finally, when you purchase a car from a dealership rather than a private seller, you will have more peace of mind. Dealerships typically only offer certified pre-owned vehicles. This proves that you are getting a car that was thoroughly inspected for problems.

Plus, dealerships often only use original equipment manufacturer parts and can provide you with a CARFAX report for the vehicle.

Cons of Dealerships

One of the biggest cons of buying a car from a private seller is that they typically list their cars at a higher price. This is because dealerships are more interested in turning a profit than they are worried about selling a car.

If you are buying a car, especially a specialty car, you will often find that the prices are higher at a dealership.

Another disadvantage of buying from a dealership is that you may have to deal with pushy salesmen. When you buy from a private seller, you can take your time to find the best deal. However, dealerships will often follow up with you several times to try to make the sale.

If you would rather take your time with the purchase of your car, you may prefer to do it with a private seller.

Should You Choose a Private Seller or Dealership?

Buying a new car does not have to be stressful. While both private sellers and dealerships can offer great deals on pre-owned cars, it is often safer to choose a car from a dealership.

This way, you can be more confident in your purchase and not have to worry about buying a defective car or getting tricked into a scam.

When you find a reliable dealership to work with, they can help you find nearly any type of car to fit any budget. Plus, they can help you with financing, warranty options, and more. This can provide you with peace of mind and may result in you finding a better deal on your car.

Before you choose a car dealership to buy from, make sure you do plenty of research to make sure they are a reputable company. Check their online reviews, see if they have testimonials from past clients, and learn more about their sales process.

This way, you can be confident in the quality of the car that you are buying.

Learn More About Choosing a Dealer vs Private Seller

When you are looking for a new car, it can be difficult to make the decision between a dealer vs private seller. Both options are great for buying a pre-owned car at a great price, but you still must do your research.

If you are looking for a convenient and reliable way to buy a new car, C1 Finance can help! We can help you find car financing and loans, even if you have a bad credit score.