Pre-Owned Cars: Should I Buy from a Dealership or Private Seller?


When it comes to purchasing a pre-owned car, you can either visit a certified dealership and buy one or purchase one from a private seller. Although both options have their benefits, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best price and a vehicle that meets your expectations. As one of the leading sellers of pre-owned cars in the Brockville area, the team from 1000 Islands Toyota has helped many satisfied clients find the best used car for them.

Here we’ve collected some of the most important things to consider when weighing whether to purchase a used car from a certified used car dealership or a private seller.

Buying a Pre-Owned Car from a Dealership

When purchasing a pre-owned vehicle from a local auto dealership, you’ll go through the same process as if you were buying a new one off the showroom floor. Additionally, there are a host of benefits to buying a certified pre-owned car from a reliable dealership. Many dealerships, 1000 Islands Toyota included, also provide a CarProof report from CarFax, Canada’s leading vehicle history report firm. 

CarProof reports are basically like a glorified vehicle inspection. They detail nearly every aspect of a vehicle’s history including any existing liens on a vehicle, all registration records, U.S. vehicle history if it was bought or registered in the states, accident history, insurance claims, and if it’s ever received collision services and repairs.  

Some of the other advantages of purchasing a used car from a dealership are:

  • A Wider Variety to Choose from: Many certified used car dealerships will have a wide variety of cars to choose from, making it much easier to find the perfect color, year, make, model, etc.
  • Seamless Paperwork Process: Dealerships make the paperwork involved in buying a used car more efficient by taking care of any legal formalities, in addition to the financing and ownership transfer of the vehicle.
  • Certified Warranty: Pre-owned vehicles purchased from reliable dealerships often come with some sort of warranty, whether it be 30 days or a year. Although it’s not a full warranty like when you buy a new vehicle, it can still provide you with peace of mind that should anything go wrong or you decide it’s not the right vehicle for you.

Purchasing a Used Car from a Private Seller

When buying a pre-owned vehicle from a private seller, there are some key things to make note of, the first being that often such vehicles often boast a lower price tag. It can also be easier to find a car from a private seller and more convenient due to the wide variety of online portals and used vehicle postings. You can search for a pre-owned car from the comfort of your very own home rather than go visit a showroom.

Some of the other benefits of buying a used car from a private seller include:

  • Convenience & Efficient Decision-Making: When visiting a private seller, you’re not walking onto a used car lot, which to some might seem slightly overwhelming. Although many dealerships like 1000 Islands Toyota offer no-haggle pricing and greater transparency, some may want a more personal experience. Additionally, you won’t be distracted by other models and can often make a simple yes or no decision, after taking it for a test drive of course.
  • A More Personalized Experience: Piggybacking off the point above, not only can purchasing a vehicle from a private seller provide a more comfortable buying experience, but it can also help you emotionally connect with the seller. For many, selling a car is an emotional experience, and this impression is a good sign that the seller has kept the car in great condition and it’s been properly cared for and maintained over the years. This provides many people with the assurance that they’re getting a great deal and also inspires them to care for their new pre-owned vehicle like its previous owner.

When purchasing a used car, always be sure to bring it to a certified auto mechanic for a complete inspection before buying it. Additionally, you may want to run your own background report of the vehicle’s history as well, to ensure that it hasn’t been involved in any major collisions, suffered water damage, or other serious issues that aren’t always easy to see when performing your own visual inspection.

Also, keep in mind that when purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, you’ll be required to ensure that all of the proper paperwork is in order, which can be a time-consuming process.

Contact us today for certified pre-owned cars at the best prices in town

When it comes to purchasing a used vehicle, the team from 1000 Islands Toyota understands that you want to get the best pre-owned car at the best value. That’s why we’re committed to meeting those expectations. In addition to our CarProof report provided with each used car, our team also goes above and beyond to ensure you’re satisfied by offering our unique industry expertise when choosing a vehicle. Also, our team will offer key parts and service insight when you purchase one of our pre-owned cars. This provides buyers with an added level of support in a number of ways, giving you any potential repair information upfront upon purchase and access to our experienced service team.

Contact us online today to learn more about our inventory of used and new Toyotas or call (613) 342-9111.