Should you buy a car from a dealership or private seller?

3 October 2018

Once the decision has been made to purchase a car the next step is to decide who to buy it from. This will depend on various factors with one of the most important being your budget and the availability of funds.

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Should you buy a car from a dealership or private seller?

Once the decision has been made to purchase a car the next step is to decide who to buy it from. This will depend on various factors with one of the most important being your budget and the availability of funds.

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Private sellers will want the car to be paid for before handing it over while most dealerships are happy to be paid off with in house finance or conventional car finance from the banks. This means someone wanting to buy a car from a dealership needs to have a healthy credit history.

In the past, second-hand cars were sold “voetstoets”, loosely translated to “as is”, meaning any subsequent faults discovered were not the responsibility of the dealer. Fortunately current customers who buy cars from dealerships are now covered by the Consumer Protection Act which states that if any unknown faults are discovered by the buyer within the first six months after purchase, they have the right to demand repair, refund or replacement of the car. It is very important to note that private sales are not covered by the CPA as the law only applies to companies.

What this means is that a person wanting to buy a car from a private seller will have to do a lot of the groundwork, such as getting the car checked by a mechanic to make sure there are no hidden faults. The buyer will have to work with the seller to make sure that the vehicle is registered in their name to prove ownership. Finally, both parties need to draw up a letter of sale.

The choice whether to buy a vehicle from a dealer or individually is not a simple one as there are many factors to consider. Once you’ve chosen where you want to buy, the rest is paperwork followed by the pleasure of owning a new ride!

Did you know?

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Disclaimer

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