Though buying a car from a dealer can be less costly, you may not get the vehicle of your dreams. If you have the time and patience to scour Craigslist or other used cars in austin sites, looking for the right deal, sifting through private owner listings can yield positive results.
Why buy from private sellers? For starters, selling privately is usually cheaper than going through a dealership and can allow you to negotiate prices. Also, many people are willing to work with you on making an as large purchase as possible in smaller increments—a tactic that may work well if you rely solely on your monthly income to cover your car payments.
When you purchase a car from a private seller, you can expect to save money in a few different ways. First, many people who sell cars on their own want to unload them as quickly as possible. After all, why would a person decide to part with something they just spent money on? If the car has any issues, think twice about buying it.
Another thing to consider is that if you buy privately, you are, in fact purchasing the vehicle with no warranties or little-to-no warranty coverage. What does that mean to you? If the car is in great shape, as most are, there is less money for repairs. Usually, this means you can purchase the vehicle with no money down and little or no interest payments. As a budget-minded buyer, this can be very appealing—but only if everything checks out on the vehicle and the prices are correct.
The final thing to consider is that many private sellers don’t have time to deal with the paperwork of selling their used cars. This means they may not know much about the car or its history, which may make it difficult for you to get in touch with them after purchase.
Now, to some people—those who don’t have a lot of money for a down payment, for instance—these may seem like pretty glaring drawbacks. However, if you are looking for an inexpensive car that could need work after purchase and if you want to avoid the hassle of going through a dealership, this may be the way to go.
But you can take steps to ensure that everything goes smoothly when buying from a private owner. First and foremost, make sure to bring the cash with which you plan to pay for the car. Most sellers will not accept checks or other methods of payment, and this could mean walking away from such a great deal.