The Cons of Purchasing Vehicles Directly from Sellers

If you are searching for a car, it may be best to visit different car dealers instead of purchasing a vehicle directly from a seller.

Lack of Legal Protections

When you buy vehicles from car dealers, the dealer purchases the product from a business. The business needs to comply with state and federal protection laws.

When you purchase a used car directly from the seller, the purchase is made without a warranty, unless otherwise noted in the contract that you have to draw up on your own.

There is little recourse if the vehicle was wrecked, if the odometer was rolled back, or if the car was stolen and retitled. Dealers may have a cooling-off period where you can return the car within a few days if you change your mind.

With buying directly from sellers, what you see is what you get, and you are stuck with the car once you pay and drive away.

Dealing with Strangers

Whether you are buying a car from a dealer or a private seller, you are dealing with people you don’t know. At car dealers, the meeting takes place in an established business during normal business hours.

With a private seller, meetings can take place after hours and it could be unsafe. You are encouraged to meet the seller in a public place, but it could still be risky.


When you buy directly from a seller, the paperwork regarding ownership transfer is your responsibility. Both the seller and buyer have to ensure all the dots are connected, from the sales tax to proper car registration. When buying from a dealership, the dealer will handle all the paperwork.

While you may be saving money when you buy directly from a seller, those savings come at a cost in terms of legal protection and having to handle the paperwork.