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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

What to Check When Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller?

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When it comes to buying a used car, we all want to pay the least price for the best product. And one way to do that is to buy a car from a private seller. A private seller doesn’t have to pay its investors, doesn’t need to cover “costs,” and doesn’t surcharge or commission you on anything, unlike the guys at typical car dealerships.

With a private seller, it’s a customer-to-customer contact, the business gets done, but not in a traditional way. Therefore, it is the best and easiest way to get a used car.

However, you cannot trust anyone based on their word, especially if they are a stranger selling you their used car. Thus, you need to check anything and everything. And if you are new to this and don’t know what exactly is there to check, we can help you with that.

Some people think if they are not buying from a certified car dealer, they would probably become the victim of fraud or scam because the car dealer has been there for years, and the stranger has a chance to just disappear after selling you the car. But that’s not the case. If you follow the dos and don’ts mentioned in this article and check everything according to the process, you have nothing to be afraid of.

Perks of Buying Your Car from a Private Seller

If you are on the fence about buying from a private seller, maybe these perks will help you make a decision.

  1. Lower Price

Lower price is probably the biggest advantage of buying from a private seller. You can even find your dream car there and you wouldn’t have to pay any extra charges. Unlike car dealers, they don’t ask you ‘what’s your budget to show you the car you can afford and take you every penny, they just show you the car they have and quote the price. And you can always negotiate on their own level because both of you aren’t professionals.

At low prices, you can easily buy affordable used car in Melbourne.

  1. No Fees, Commissions, or Warranties

Since there are no dealers involved in the sale, you don’t have to pay for their fees or commissions, which takes over 1000$ when you are buying through a dealer. Moreover, private sellers don’t force you to buy add-ons and extra warranties to take most of your cash.

  1. Quick Sale

When you are buying a used car from private sellers, time is of the essence. They have to make a sale and get back to life, unlike the professional who sells cars for a living. Thus, they would consider your offers because they don’t have buyers walking all the time in their garage. Moreover, they wouldn’t engage you in their salesmanship and make it complicated.

Cons of Buying a Used Car from Private Sellers

Apart from the appealing perks of buying from private sellers, there are some drawbacks too.

  1. No Financing

Car financing options are only available when you are buying from a car dealership. So, if you are buying a car privately, you must have cash for it.

  1. Dealer Warranties

Since there is no dealer, there’s no warranty. But if the car has low mileage, it might come with existing company warranties.

  1. No Cancellation or Refund

Once the sale is done, you cannot cancel it and get a refund from a private seller, unlike the dealers who allow you to return the cars after a few days of the sale. Moreover, if the car turns out to be defective, the private seller is not legally bound to pay for the repairs or refund the money. It was technically your job to check the car completely before the sale.

Things to Check When Buying a Car from a Private Seller

Physical Condition

The car’s physical condition includes everything, including the car’s outer body, interior, mechanical functions, like gears and steering, and features, such as AC and Radio. Check for dents, scrapes, signs of collision, signs of the paint job, hints of abuse, and anything you can find to negotiate the price.

Also, check if the seats are comfortable and not ripped, all the functions and specifications are working, and the car is running smoothly and just as you want on a test drive.


When you buy a car, ownership documents are important to escape the red flags.

  1. Title

The title of the car allows you to know who the current owner of the car is. If it’s not the seller – if it’s financed and the loan isn’t paid yet – it’s a red flag. If the car isn’t in the seller’s name, they can’t legally sell it to you.

  1. Salvage

titles refer to the totality of the vehicle declared by the insurance company. In other words, the car was once repaired for the cost more than its actual worth. It usually means that the car probably has severe problems.

Moreover, the rebuilt document indicates that the car was sent to the rebuilder after its totaling. Rebuilt cars have much lower prices.

Bill of Sale

The next thing you need to check is the bill of sale, which should include the car’s year, make & model, VIN, sale price & date, name and addresses of buyer and seller, and note of guarantee or any condition.

Some other things you should check are ODB codes and manual paint jobs, which are critical in the authenticity of the car and the price.

If all the things are just how they should be, consider the sale safe. As a safety measure, have the car inspected by a professional mechanic – in the occurrences of faults that weren’t told by the seller, point them out to the seller and negotiate the price. Make sure to be there and attentive for all the documentation and signatures. For instance, if the car is owned by multiple owners, make sure you meet all of them and have them sign the sale papers.

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