Buying a car, be it new or used, requires lots of thinking and diligence. You have to make various assessments regarding the purchase, which are going to leave you confounded, and you may realize that lack of experience renders you as an incompetent decision maker. Before you set out to buy a car, you need to make a crucial choice; whether you should buy from a car lot, a dealership or a private seller.
The excellence of a purchase is guaranteed by the reputation of the dealer you are associating with. Therefore, you have to err on the side of caution while choosing a car dealer to eliminate any risk of fraud and deception. In order to do so, you need to be aware of the pros and cons of each to make the ultimate decision. Let’s go through each in detail:
Independent Used-Car lot
Car lots are managed by independent dealers who use one or more sites to display their selection of cars. These dealers are not associated with any manufacturer nor are they bound by any contractual obligations. Unlike other dealerships, the inventory found in independent used-car lots is acquired through customer trade-ins, private sellers and auctions among other sources, but not from the automaker.
- Car lots are a good source for used cars at lower-prices
- A good selection range is available
- They offer old car models at affordable rates
- Some independent dealers also provide in-house financing to individuals
- Independent dealers do not deal in new cars
- It is difficult to hold the dealer accountable for its sales practices
- Their warranty repairs are held at local garages instead of proper service departments
- They provide in-house financing at high interest rates
- Since they deal in old cars, a special mechanic is required to inspect the vehicle and ascertain its working condition
Car Dealerships and Franchises
Official car dealerships are brand’s own property where they display all their lineup and offer aftersales and services. Honda and Toyota both offer 3S dealerships (sales, services, spare parts) in all major cities of Pakistan. FAW, the new entrant in the Pakistani market, also allows 3S dealerships to gain the trust of their customers.
The franchise dealers have exclusive contracts with auto-manufacturers that permit them to sell their cars. These dealers are bound by a contract to adhere to the guidelines prescribed by the manufacturer who provide the required employee trainings and customer services. It is vital to ascertain the reputation of a franchise dealership before you decide to strike a deal with them.
- Buying from a car dealership allows you hassle-free services and repairs. Warranty can be claimed there and then and your car would be ready within no time
- Since a franchise is associated with a renowned brand, its services and practices are more reliable and trustworthy
- Being a franchise dealership, it is well connected with exclusive service departments for repairs, and offers the best maintenance services for your car
- These dealerships offer certified pre-owned cars (CPO) which possess a warranty backed by the automaker
- The car dealerships offer you reasonable financing options at considerable low interest rates
- The franchise dealerships may have a limited range of vehicles confining your selection, however, company owned dealerships may offer all the current models in their lineup
- They mostly offer younger cars so you may not be able to purchase an old car model which is comparatively more affordable
- Car dealerships only offer financing to individuals with a good credit history
- The prices can be high with less room of negotiation
Private sellers are individuals who are willing to sell you a car, but they are not in car business. If you plan on purchasing a vehicle from a private seller you need to be wise and cautious. This deal is solely based on your own judgment, as there is no guarantee, contract or protection such as a warranty.
- You can acquire good condition cars at very cheap prices
- You can obtain an accurate vehicle history of the car directly from its owner
- You have the liberty to negotiate the price up to an extent that wins you the best deal
- There aren’t any persuasive salespeople to influence your decision
- You have to deal with unknown people whom you cannot trust completely
- The vehicle has no warranties, hence no assurances in case of a breakdown
- You cannot be sure if the vehicle has been acquired legally by the seller
- As private sellers are not engaged in car business and do not have their reputation at stake they may sell you defected cars
- There are no trade options and you will be required to make full payment at the time of purchase
Now that you have become aware of the various pros and cons entailing the different dealers, you possess an edge over others and can make a better choice. Considering the various factors such as price, guarantee, availability, selection options, financial alternatives, services and type of car required, you can make a well informed decision and acquire your desired car. For instance, if the car price is not a major issue, you may want to consider purchasing from a car dealership as it promises quality with warranty, however, if you are looking for an affordable old car, you may do well by seeking an independent used-car dealer. Similarly, if money is a big concern and you need to acquire a car at the lowest possible rate, a private seller may be more suitable, though you may require the assistance of a skilled mechanic to ensure that the car is in good working condition. Happy Car Buying!