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Why Buying Cars Privately is Risky

You most likely want a car that’s stylish, powerful and affordable. It’s a universal dream for all car owners. It’s hard A private seller may offer a tempting deal, but you should investigate it thoroughly. to find a vehicle that delivers in the triple threat department. As a result, many people are looking to private sellers who offer deals not seen in dealerships. Perhaps you’re considering such a move. If so, it’s important to recognize the risks in addition to the rewards. You might certainly find a deal that’s one of a kind, but you may also find a vehicle with problems that are also…one of a kind. So be very careful if you decide to go private!

Why Choose a Recognized Auto Dealer First

Ideally, the best people to buy a car from, are those working at a recognized auto dealership. First of all, they are licensed to do so. The government of Ontario, for example, has imposed strict laws on the sale of new and used cars, and only the companies which meet those standards will have the necessary qualifications to sell cars through the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC). These rules also make them liable for the vehicles they sell, so you can be sure that they take extra care of their property.

Additionally, going through a dealership gives you options that private sellers can’t offer. One such advantage is your method of payment. A private seller may only accept cash or cheque, but a recognized dealer will also give you auto financing options. And if you’re facing tough circumstances or credit problems, you can even work around the issue of bad credit by securing a car loan. Such a plan gives you the ability to finance a car at an affordable rate, while helping you stay within your means.

Going through a dealership also opens you up to another feature: warranty. You won’t regret choosing a vehicle with warranty on it if something goes wrong. When a private seller offers you a car, the warranty is likely to have already ceased, meaning the costs of emergency repairs will come out of your pocket.

What to Remember

There’s a shady underworld out there, waiting to put its hands into your pocket, taking your money and giving you nothing in return. We’re not talking about mobsters here. Everyday people, seemingly unassuming individuals who look like good citizens are waiting for their opportunity to take advantage of honest and innocent people looking for a good deal. Cars are often at the centre of fraud. And there are many reasons why private sellers succeed in their devious acts.

Why Private Sales Are Often a Gamble

  • No Regulations Over Private Sales – There are no regulations or government organizations to keep tabs on the individual transactions between people. There are only laws that come into effect if one person commits a criminal act against another – in this case, defrauds them while selling a car. Basically, there are fraudsters out there who will sell you a defective or malfunctioning vehicle if they can get away with it. After all, they don’t need a license or certificate to sell a car. All they need is an ad.
  • Listings May Not Be What They Seem – In today’s era of copy and paste, all it takes is a person with high speed internet and some free time to sell a car. How? They can pull images of cars in mint condition, and upload them to their online marketplace profile or personal website. If the image looks identical to what they’re selling, it may be difficult, if not impossible to tell it is a fake. Also, those bolded descriptions – “ALMOST BRAND NEW” or “NO DAMAGE, DRIVES LIKE IT’S NEW” – are often poor indicators of a vehicle’s condition.
  • Court Battles May Turn Into Lengthy Affairs – Remember, not much can be done to prevent a fraudster from ripping you off besides good judgment. Even though you can take a criminal to court, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have an easy time bringing them to justice. They might present startling counter-evidence that could make your claim harder to accept. That’s why it’s best to avoid such confrontation in the first place by approaching a private seller with care.

How to Approach a Private Seller

It’s almost always better to go through a licensed auto dealer. Fortunately, dealing with a private seller doesn’t have to feel like skydiving without a parachute. If you feel like a private seller is the only way to go, there are measures you can take to increase the safety of your transaction, especially if it involves an online component.

Tips for Safe Private Dealings

  • Check their online reviews – Online marketplaces generally allow shoppers to comment on their experiences with a particular vendor. And people are almost always honest. If the person selling you the car has received great reviews, you can contact them for more details. However, beware of good reviews that seem exaggerated or spare. Such comments could very well be from a friend supporting a dishonest friend.
  • Take a closer look at their profile – If anything, and that means anything, seems out of the ordinary, stay far away. Your gut reaction is a powerful feeling, and you shouldn’t ignore it. Strange messages or obscure contact info for example, are all things that should serve as red flags. There is no reason for a vendor to leave potential customers feeling confused.
  • Visit before buying – Seeing the car and the vendor in person is extremely important. Think of this stage as the deal-breaker. This is where you get to inspect the vehicle, looking at it up close for signs of damage or defects. Also, this is where you get to meet the person behind the sale. Pay attention to their demeanor. If they are respectful, patient and willing to answer your questions, then buying the car from them may be a good idea. If they are aggressive, indifferent or insulting, turn the other cheek.

Proceed with Caution

Going through a private seller can be good way to save cash since many of them are eager to rid themselves of a car. However, it’s not always easy to separate the genuine ones from the fraudulent ones. You need to spend much time investigating and learning as much as you can about the person selling the vehicle of choice. With that said, it’s usually a safer bet to go through a recognized auto dealer when looking to buy a new car. It’s safer, not to mention more flexible. Even if your credit score isn’t the greatest, a dealership still gives you options by means of a bad credit car loan and other financing options. The takeaway here is to consult a fully licensed auto dealer first, turning to a private dealer only if there is no other option.

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