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Pros and Cons of Private Car Sales

There is often debate over whether you should buy your car from a dealership or a private seller.

By now you’d have heard horror stories from both sides of the argument – dodgy hidden repair jobs, overpriced cars, pushy sales tactics and cars that fall apart not long after you drive away.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of purchasing a car from a private seller. You can also check out our list of Pros & Cons of Dealership Car Sales.

Advantages of Private Car Sales


Generally a private sale will work out cheaper than a dealership simply because they have less overhead costs. The dealership has to pay bills such as rent, wages, advertising etc. that have to be made back through the profit they make from selling to you. A private seller will usually be trying to get what the car is worth, maybe a little more of they can.

Eager to Sell

While a dealership may turn down your low offer because they can wait weeks until someone is willing to meet their asking price, a private seller is usually eager to sell. A private seller will often be waiting to sell their car before they can take the money to buy the car they currently have their eye on. You can usually get a great deal simply because the seller was in a hurry to sell.


If you’re good at haggling you can often get a pretty good deal from a private sellers. As previously mentioned they are eager to sell, so if you can show that you can get them their money fast they will often be willing to lower their asking price. Having a pre-approved car loan is a great way of doing this as you already know how much you can spend and you can get it when you need it.

Disadvantages Private Car Sales


There isn’t one. With car yards there have been enough customers over time to present a clear picture of how reputable they are and what standard of car they sell. With a private seller your first impression is about all you have.

Multiple Meetings

When you’re shopping for a car through private sales you’ll be doing a lot of travelling. While there are often multiple car yards in one suburb, shopping around the private sales could see you travelling all over town.

No Warranty**

After purchasing from a private seller you have no assurance or guarantee the car will continue to run. Once money has changed hands it’s all on you.


A dealership will handle all the paperwork associated with transfer of ownership for you. With a private car sale all this paperwork is your responsibility.

*We can assist and guide you through this process.
**We can assist with aftermarket warranties - apply online or contact us.

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