Buying a car privately

Buying a car privately should cost you less than from a dealer – but take care you don’t end up with a problem car that cost you more

A private sale will give you a lower price

The benefit of a buying a car privately is that the car should always cost less (on a like for like basis). Than if you were buying from a dealer.

But don’t forget whilst the purchase price will be less if you buy a car privately, you won’t receive any of the additional benefits offered by a dealer. These include:

  • Better legal rights
  • Options to part exchange your old car
  • Dealer finance
  • Pre-sales check
  • Warranties

There are some really good value cars available to buy in the private market, but always be careful. If the price is too good to be true, the car might be dodgy.

If you do purchase a car privately, always make sure you get a proper receipt signed by the seller.

Ask the seller the right questions

When you buy a car from a private seller, be sure to ask the right questions. This will help you to avoid buying a problem car and protect you legally.

Your legal rights when buying a car privately

Legally, the seller must tell the truth about any descriptions given of the car and answer all your questions honestly. But if you don’t ask the right questions and there is later a problem, you will have no right to your money back. Finally, there is no obligation on the seller to check the car is roadworthy.

When buying a car privately, the car need only be as described. However when you buy a car from a dealer the car must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described. The dealer should also make sure the car is roadworthy, check the mileage, and confirm the car isn’t stolen.

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