When looking for a quality used car, you can sometimes find better value from a private seller rather than a dealer.
But while private sellers can offer great deals, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Let’s look at some tips and advice on how to buy a car from a private seller safely and securely.
Playing with Price
When buying a car from a private seller, pricing is one of the most important factors. Unlike buying from a dealer, where prices are usually set, private sellers are more likely to be open to negotiations. Here are some tips to get the best deal:
- Know the numbers. Before you start negotiating, research the value of the car you̵7;re interested in on a website like Kelly Blue Book. This gives you a good starting point for negotiations and helps you avoid paying too much.
- Don’t be afraid to haggle. Private sellers often set their prices higher than they expect to get, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. Start with a lower offer and work your way up until you reach a price you’re both happy with.
Another important factor when buying a car from a private seller is quality. Unlike a dealer, private sellers may not have access to detailed vehicle history reports, and it’s up to you to make sure you get a reliable vehicle.
- Take a spin. Always test drive the car before you buy. This gives you a chance to see how the car handles, check for any unusual noises and make sure it’s comfortable to drive. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, ask the seller about it. You can learn something that can either make or break the deal.
- Read the report. Use the car’s VIN number to get a CarFax report. This report gives you information about the car’s accident history, service history and ownership history, which can help you make a more informed decision.
- Inspect carefully. Check the car for signs of wear, rust or damage using a detailed checklist like this one from DMV.org. This includes checking the tires, brakes, under the hood and many other points of concern. Consider bringing a friend who is a mechanic to help you with the inspection.
In addition to researching the value of the car, it is a good idea to compare similar vehicles from different manufacturers and against similar models from different years. This will give you a better idea of the total value of the car you are interested in and help you negotiate a better deal.
You can read online reviews from respected sources like Edmunds and watch videos on YouTube to learn more about the car you’re interested in. Reviews from other consumers can also provide valuable insight into the vehicle’s reliability and quality.
By comparing similar cars and reading reviews, you can get a better idea of what to expect in terms of performance, fuel economy and overall quality. This can help you negotiate a better price and ensure you get good value for money.
Buy safely and securely
When buying a car from a private seller, it is very important to ensure that you get legal title to the car in a safe and secure manner. With a little guidance, you can avoid some pitfalls:
Buy and drive with confidence
Buying a car from a private seller can be a great way to save money on your next vehicle purchase, but it’s important to do your research and take the necessary precautions to ensure you get a reliable car at a fair price.
If you’re thinking about replacing your wheels, check out more helpful topics:
When you finally find that great new ride, protect yourself and your investment with the right insurance by working with us. You can also talk to your agent about adding extras like Auto Security1 and ERIE Auto Plus®2 to your policy.
ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home office: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York). The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to do business in all states. See the company’s licensing and business information.
The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are effective as of July 2022 and are subject to change at any time.
Insurance products are subject to conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of coverage, terms, conditions and exclusions.
The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states. ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York. ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York. ERIE long-term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York.
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Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer any questions you may have before you buy.