Buying from a Dealer vs. Private Seller

salesman passing over new car key


Should you buy your next used car from a Hood River-area dealership or a private seller? Which is better? We’ve put together a detailed comparison of buying from a dealer vs. a private seller, below.



Buying from a Car Dealer vs. Private Seller – Pay Over Time

Most drivers need to finance their vehicles, paying for them little by little over several years. You can’t do that with a private seller unless you take out a personal loan—which could present a challenge if your credit score is on the lower end. A dealership has the resources to get you into your next car, usually regardless of your credit situation.

Buying from a Dealer vs. Private Seller – Convenience

Most car shoppers like the convenience of showing up at a dealership at a time convenient to them, and then having the choice of a wide selection of cars. With a private seller, you’ll have to set up a time that is convenient for you both just to take a look at one car that you may or may not want to buy. And what if the seller is a stranger or you’re not familiar with their neighborhood? Those safety concerns are not an issue at a dealership.

Buying from a Car Dealer vs. Private Seller – Options

Typically, a dealership will have several pre-owned cars to choose from. So, if you don’t like one, you can test-drive another one during the same visit. A private seller usually has only one car for sale. What if you drive all the way to their home and you don’t like it? The process starts all over again, and you can’t get that time back.

Buying from a Dealer vs. Private Seller – Warranties

Buying a used car from a private seller can be a gamble, especially if the car is not still under some kind of transferable warranty. Certified pre-owned cars, however, have to pass a strict inspection and are covered by a warranty. You’ll only find these vehicles at a dealership, not with a private seller.

Buying from a Dealer vs. Private Seller – Trade in Your Current Car

Getting rid of your old car and getting your new one happens all on the same visit to a dealer. Just trade in your existing car towards your next one. But, if you buy from a private seller, you’ll have to sell your current vehicle in a separate transaction with yet another party.

Buying from a Car Dealer vs. Private Seller – Paperwork

Buying a car requires a lot of registration and tax paperwork. We’ll help you with all of that! But if you buy from a private seller, you will need to go to the DMV and take care of the paperwork yourself.

Shop Quality Used Cars at C. H. Urness Motors Co.

We have a large selection of quality pre-owned vehicles for sale on our lot in The Dalles. Why not come down and test drive one? And, if you’d like to learn more, check out our guides detailing the difference between used and certified pre-owned cars and whether you can lease a used car. We’re just down the road from Portland and Goldendale, WA. So, drop by or contact us today!


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C. H. Urness Motors Co. 45.606435, -121.196108.