Top 7 Reasons to Buy a Used Car From a Dealership

by / ⠀Travel / June 12, 2023
used cars dealership

Now that the average new car price has reached a record $50,000, it’s natural for many to look at buying a used car. It’s a great way to save.

But should you buy a used car from a private seller or a dealer? In many cases, it makes more sense to go with a dealership. Here’s why:

1. Reputation

When you buy from a used car dealership, you’re less likely to get a lemon than if you buy from a private seller.

Why? Because dealerships have a professional reputation to maintain, while private sellers don’t. Dealers will prioritize treating you well and will try to make sure you have a positive experience because they want to earn your repeat business and attract new clients through good word of mouth. You also won’t have to worry about transporting your car if you’re working with a reliable dealership.

If you’re not sure about the reputation of a used car dealership, check out online reviews and ratings or try talking to some of its previous clients. They’ll give you a better idea of what you can expect.

2. Warranties

Unlike private sellers, used car dealerships tend to offer their customers warranties. Some warranties are only for the primary powertrain elements of the vehicle, but even that is better than nothing.

According to Tiger Okeley at the used car dealership Oak Motors, “Getting a warranty through a dealership is a huge value add. It protects the buyer in case anything goes wrong with it. If you’re getting a powertrain warranty from a dealership, you can bet they’ve done the research to know they’re not likely to have to replace a major component, like a transmission on your car, in the near future on their nickel.”

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So if you find that there’s a problem with the engine or another major mechanical issue, take the car back to the dealer to have them fix it or take the car back.

3. Payment options

Another benefit of buying from a used car dealer is that you have more payment options. Many dealerships offer in-house financing (aka buy-here-pay-here) or at least allow you to get financing from a third-party lender.

This opens up the door to paying for your used car in regular installments, whether weekly, monthly, or biweekly. You may also have different loan term options, meaning you can pay down the loan in one, five, or some other number of years.

For those who cannot afford to pay for a car all at once, having the flexibility of using different financing options is a huge plus.

4. One-stop-shop

Shopping for used cars from private sellers takes a lot of time. It requires monitoring online used car listing sites, setting up appointments with sellers, and traveling to and from various locations.

In contrast, a used car dealership is a one-stop shop. You go to one location anytime during business hours to check out multiple cars at once. As a result, you’re much more likely to find one you like, and the buying process will be much faster.

5. Transparency

Shopping for a used car at a dealership offers more transparency. For example, you can request a vehicle history report so you know exactly what you’re buying.

In addition, dealers must follow strict consumer-protection regulations, which decrease the odds that you’ll end up with a bad car.

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6. Tax benefits

Many shoppers don’t realize that there are actually tax benefits to buying from a used car dealership. Specifically, the value of the trade-in is subtracted from the price of the car, and sales tax is calculated from that amount. For example, a trade-in with a value of $5000 in a state where the sales tax rate is 7% would save a person $350 in sales tax. When you buy from a private seller, this is not an option.

7. Expertise

Finally, dealers tend to have more technical and mechanical expertise in cars than private sellers do. As a result, they may be more helpful in finding one that matches your needs and wants. They’ll show you a variety of options that fit within your budget and provide the support you need to make a good choice.

Ultimately, where you buy your next used car is up to you. But if you value a seller’s reputation, warranties, payment options, ease of shopping, transparency, tax benefits, and expertise, a used car dealership may be the way to go.

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