As people become more willing to buy pre-owned cars, the market keeps expanding. But not so quick. Like with any other rapidly expanding market, quite a few people are looking to make a quick buck at your expense.

There are a couple of dangers that you should be watching out for. However, let us talk about the one thing that you should always keep in mind. The biggest mistake that you can make while buying a second hand car, is to buy from an individual seller.

Why is this the case? Let us explain so that you know what to look out for.

Dealership vs Individual Seller

When it comes to buying a pre-owned car, you have two options. You either go to an individual seller, or you go to a second hand car dealer.

Purchasing a second hand car from a dealer is similar to buying a new car. There are large brands and smaller dealerships spread all over that sell used cars.

Many of these brands have recently sprung up with the surge in the second hand car market. However, many dealerships have been operating for decades and have earned a great reputation for themselves.

Let us see the advantages of buying from a dealership.


No matter the size of the dealership or its brand, the fact of the matter is that they have a physical presence. They have an address, an existing customer base, a reputation, and years of experience in the business.

Even after your purchase, the dealership will still be where it is. They are not out there just to make some quick money and get out.

This gives you a sense of trust and places some accountability on the dealership. They just can’t give terrible service or products if they want to be in the business for long after all.

In the case of an individual seller, they aren’t going to be accountable after the purchase is completed. In case of any issues, they might not even be easy to contact either.


Just like buying a new car, there is some paperwork involved in buying a second hand car. If you buy a second car through a dealer, they’ll be completing the paperwork on your behalf.

They’ll guide you through the process. So you won’t worry about preparing any of the legalities, ownership documents, and financial records. Just sign off the documents that the dealership will prepare for you and you’re done!

If you buy from an individual seller, you’ll have to prepare all of the paperwork yourself. Unless you hire a lawyer, all of the paperwork can be stressful. Not something to take lightly.

Last Words

As you can see, buying a pre-owned car from an individual seller can be very risky and full of hassles. To spare yourself the time, and protect yourself from risks, try to go to a dealership instead.


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