What You Need to Know About Buying from a Private Seller


Looking to buy a car from a private seller? Before you race out and buy a car from a private seller there are a few things that you need to consider...

1. Private Sales Don’t offer the same protection as buying from a Dealership

By far the most important thing that you need to consider when buying a car from a private seller is the protection laws differ greatly to buying from a dealership.

The most important thing to know when it comes buying privately is private sales are not covered by the Australian Consumer Law. When buying privately, you also won’t be entitled to a cooling off period. Another key law to be aware of is warranty and refunds. The seller may have their own refund or warranty policy, however private sellers do not need to have warranty or a refund policy. Most private sellers do not provide warranty or refunds for purchases. From a consumer protection standpoint buying a car privately is a lot riskier than buying from a dealership.

2. You need to conduct your own vehicle checks

The biggest mistake you can make when looking to buy a used car is not undertaking a car history check and inspection. As mentioned above, when buying a car privately, you are offered very limited protection, warranties, or refunds. In saying that, you need to protect yourself as much as you possibly can.

When buying a car privately you need to undertake your own vehicle inspections, purchase your own Car History & PPSR Reports and determine whether the car is right for you. It is highly recommended that you get a third-party mechanic to inspect the condition of the car prior to you putting any money down.

You need to keep in mind that you need to pay for all the necessary checks and reporting. A private seller will not provide free Car History Reports like a Motor Dealer would.

Car History Reports can be purchased from the official website here.

PPSR Reports can be purchased from the official website here.

Related Article: How to get a free car history check in NSW.

3. You need to organise your own Finance

Finance is an extremely important part of the car buying journey. Most people need access to finance if they are going to buy a car, however when it comes to gaining finance when buying privately, there are a few stumbling blocks. If you are looking to buy privately, you need to organize your own finance.

Many people run into issues with gaining finance when buying privately as many large banks and lenders have restrictions on financing cars for private sellers. Some lenders do finance private sales, as a buyer, you will need to manually reach out to different lenders to see if they will or won’t lend for a private sale.

Car Finance

4. It’s Time-consuming

Arguably the biggest disadvantage of trying to buy a car privately is it is time-consuming. Think about it, you need to consult with the seller, try to find the right time to test drive, get the appropriate inspections, negotiate, and find finance, just saying it sounds exhausting!

If you are considering buying a car privately you should expect to spend upwards of a month on the buying process depending on logistics and the seller’s situation.

5. More Negotiation Power

Arguably the biggest benefit of buying a car privately is you have more room for negotiation. Private sellers do not have the overheads that a dealership has, as such you may be able to negotiate a cheaper price!

To negotiate the best price, it is important that you understand the seller’s motivation and reasoning for selling. Once you know why a seller is selling you will be able to determine how desperate they may be to sell. Those who are wanting an urgent sale, are often willing to discount the car to get it off their hands!

Related Article: How to Negotiate the Cheapest Price When Buying a Used Car.

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Final Word,

Buying a car privately has and always will be one of the most popular methods of car buying. Buying privately offers many advantages and disadvantages but there are things you need to consider prior to proceeding. The 5 things mentioned above need to be considered when thinking of buying privately or at the dealership.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To read more article like this, please visit the Shop for Cars latest news page here.

About Shop for Cars,

Shop for Cars is Australia’s first car dealership-only online classified. Shop for Cars brings you the best quality new and used vehicles from trusted motor dealers Australia wide. Shop for Cars currently has over 12,500 cars listed for sale all from licensed Motor Vehicle Dealers ONLY.

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DISCLAIMER: This is all based on opinion please research and consult with all relevant parties to make the best-buying decision.