Taiden Reader
9/22/10 2:15 p.m.

I have ALWAYS bought my cars private party, and I have always believed that dealerships were THE DEBIL!

But... I am curious. What do you guys think of buying from a used car dealership?

I'm looking for a light duty 4x4 truck, like a v6 S10 with a five speed.

I'm about to pick up the phone book... stop these idle hands!!!

Mikey52_1 Reader
9/22/10 2:32 p.m.

You're looking to US to talk you out of buying a pickup?? You silly delusional soul, you!

Taiden Reader
9/22/10 2:36 p.m.
Mikey52_1 wrote: You're looking to US to talk you out of buying a pickup?? You silly delusional soul, you!

LOL nah talking me out of buying one from a USED CAR DEALERSHIP

pilotbraden Reader
9/22/10 2:45 p.m.

It can work out well if they do not know what they have. I bought a 100,000 mile 1995 Miata for $2300 from a small lot. The carpet and insulation had been removed (easy to check the integrity), Koni adjustables, Borla exhaust, Racing beat intake and nothing else. They thought that I was nuts for wanting it when they had nice cars with interiors and radios etc.

1988RedT2 Reader
9/22/10 2:51 p.m.

I bought a used Volvo 850 from a Saturn dealership. Shortly thereafter we noticed the gentle but persistent clicking noise at speed. After taking the car back and talking to one of the service techs it turns out that it was previously owned by a relative of one of the managers and they knew it had issues. One of the connecting rods had been replaced just prior to it being offered for sale by the dealership.

If you buy from a dealer, you're just going to pay more.

mtn SuperDork
9/22/10 2:57 p.m.

We've bought used cars from private sellers, new car dealerships, and dealerships that only deal in used cars (and not connected to another dealership). Generally I prefer private sellers. Usually, a used only store is relatively shady and sells crap. There is the exception to this though. I routinely check out one dealership online just to see what he has--he is a single salesman, and he gave us such a fair price and was so honest that I would not hesitate to buy another car from him. And this is after the car we bought from him threw up the engine--he went above and beyond in helping us find the past history of the car, every single receipt across three states over five years.

As with any car, if it is a good car in good condition for a good price, who doesn't matter so much. I'm buying the car, not the dealership. Reputation does count though.

mtn SuperDork
9/22/10 3:02 p.m.
1988RedT2 wrote: I bought a used Volvo 850 from a Saturn dealership. Shortly thereafter we noticed the gentle but persistent clicking noise at speed. After taking the car back and talking to one of the service techs.... If you buy from a dealer, you're just going to pay more.

Also, always talk to the service tech before. We always do this. Don't do it while you're on the lot, call into the service department. There seems to be no correspondence between sales and service, because I've heard some frightening things from the techs telling us to run away.

JtspellS Reader
9/22/10 4:46 p.m.

If applicable to your state talk to the person who did the state inspection and talk directly to him, usually the sales people will try and dart around the situation.

integraguy Dork
9/22/10 5:27 p.m.

Like any situation, there are good and bad points. Sometimes, the used lot of a new car dealer has THE best local selection of a particular car (the brand they sell) in their area. The flip side? A Chevy dealer wants top dollar for a used Chevy on his lot.

I was car shopping about the time Saturn looked like it was going to shut down, I could have gotten a real deal on a used car that they had recently (like that day or the day before) gotten in and not yet washed and Armor-alled to death. Bad news? It was a Pontiac....so I figured a real lose/lose situation.

I've recently posted on another topic here that I've bought my last 3 or 4 cars from a guy who works for my mechanic. Every now and then they will either buy a car wholesale, or wind up with a car a customer won't pay the money to repair...selling it to this mechanic. All of these cars have been decent runners and in some cases had a warranty.

A private seller? May give you a good price, especially if they don't know what they are selling and/or need money badly. The bad part? Next to no recourse if the car isn't what they advertised it to be.

Still, in this case, a used S-10....recommend you go private as you can get a good idea of how it was used/taken care of by meeting the current owner.

Toyman01 SuperDork
9/22/10 5:57 p.m.

I buy just about everything from two dealerships. Neither one offers financing, neither one haggles over pricing. What you see is what you get at the price on the windshield. All the cars have prices on them and that's what he sells them for. Not a dollar less.

One of the places I go out of my way to check with regularly because he doesn't sell cars over $2500. He's happy to tell you what was wrong with it when he bought it and what parts bought he from LKQ get it drivable. No BS, no double talk, no wading through crap the get to the truth.

Ranger50 Reader
9/22/10 6:58 p.m.

Always ask for a repair order when they serviced it after a test drive. It will either say what needs to be fixed and was or wasn't. Plus it will confirm anything you may find on the test drive.


M030 HalfDork
9/22/10 8:08 p.m.
mtn wrote: As with any car, if it is a good car in good condition for a good price, who doesn't matter so much. I'm buying the car, not the dealership. Reputation does count though.


I am a used car dealer, and I can tell you that it's difficult to earn a good reputation in this business. The upside is that when you do earn a reputation for quality and 'doing the right thing', it's really worth something.

integraguy Dork
9/22/10 10:05 p.m.

You may not be buying a dealership....but would you buy a car from a guy who's curbstoning? My point being, that when it a dealer has a rep, a GOOD rep, they want to stand behind it. They also want to get you to come back, and better yet, send your friends and relatives.

A private seller doesn't guarantee a lower price/better deal when the true value of the car is factored in, and they have NO incentive to get you to come back...in fact, often just the opposite.

wcelliot HalfDork
9/22/10 10:17 p.m.

I dislike buying from dealerships because, by definition, you're buying retail. However, sometimes the car (and the deal) are better than what you can find privately.

I recently helped my daughter buy a SAAB Turbo vert from a large dealership because the deal was better than anything we'd found privately. (And frankly we were shocked at the price they accepted for the car... the salesman actually showed me later that they'd lost money on the car)

But any thoughts we'd had of the car being significantly better than what we'd find privately were misplaced... the car had several serious issues (most undisclosed) that explained why the dealer was willing to essentially wholesale it.

So yes, we got a good deal... but had we paid typical retain for the problematic car we received, we'd have been extremely displeased.

Also, I'm getting ready to buy from a semi-pro curbstoner (a classification some people would likely place me into!) because I like the car, the deal, and the guy himself.

wrenchedexcess New Reader
9/23/10 3:33 a.m.

Like anything else the dealer new or used is there to make money. No money no business. How and how much is still subject to question. Over the years I have owned 75 cars and counting. Out of all those cars I only traded one in and that was on the cash for clunkers deal. The wife got a new Jeep. If you are not sure about what you are looking at either take the car to a mechanic and have him check it out or bring him to the dealer. I am a mechanic and have done that a few times.

foxtrapper SuperDork
9/23/10 5:39 a.m.

You're buying the car, not the dealership or the previous owner. Inspect the car, evaluate the car, decide if the car is worth the price being asked.

I have bought some vehicles from used car dealers over the years. Some have been good, some have been horrible. No different than dealing with the private sellers. Some have been good, some have been horrible.

gamby SuperDork
9/23/10 9:46 a.m.

I bought my current beater at a small mom-and-pop lot in last spring.

I expected issues, since it was a car bought at auction. Sure enough, a LOT of maintenance had been ignored on it--original timing/alternator/PS/AC belts at 140k miles. I paid a mechanic to replace all of them (after the AC belt vaporized), so it was pricey, but whatever.

Car is pretty solid and clean for its age (00 Civic).

Drewsifer HalfDork
9/23/10 11:14 a.m.

Just go in a little more caution I say. When I bought my Miata from a little lot that specialized in performance vehicles I thought I was safe. Well it's been a bit of a nightmare. And treat them just like a private seller. Come in, kick the tires, crawl around under the car, and take it to an independent shop to get checked out.

motomoron HalfDork
9/23/10 11:19 a.m.

If you know about cars, and know the market - that knowledge is a bankable asset in a car transaction. Looking at NADA and KBB pricing for used vehicles you'll see that private party numbers are lowest - as private parties, while sometimes delusional aren't trying to meet a specific profit number.

Private parties also generally have no motivation to be less than honest in their dealings. Those who ~are~ less than honest are easily eliminated by their sketchy and generally hinky demeanor.

The last thing is consideration of the time-speed-need triangle. One of these things has to yield to get the right vehicle at the right price. Example:

I had a beater Dakota Sport and wanted a 1999-2002 Toyota Tacoma Xtra cab w/ the 3.4 V6, auto trans, Pre-runner, SR5 and towing packages, preferably in silver. It was available immediately on several dealer used lots within 150 miles in the $10-11.5k range. A 2 month trawl of Craigslist results in a clean 2 owner truck for $8k w/ a color matched bed cover.

If you're able to wait and willing to look - the deals are always there. You've just got to be 100% ready to jump on the right one.

90BuickCentury Reader
10/25/21 4:08 a.m.
atienojones said:

Today, mostly people prefer to buy used cars over a new car. If you are looking for the best company to get used cars for sale then [redacted] is the highly certified company that provides you a wide range of used cars at a very affordable price. They provide you the most reliable used vehicles.

Are they related to Canoepax? I buy all my canoes there exclusively, as they are highly competitive canoe dealer. Once got a 6 passenger model from them for only 6,000 Rubles.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/25/21 5:22 a.m.

Proceed with caution.  This thread from 2010 or 11 years ago, was bumped by spam.

dropstep UberDork
10/25/21 6:13 a.m.

I personally buy my cars so cheap the local dealers don't sell it. But my wife's last vehicle was purchased from a dealer. It was listed on FB marketplace at a price around private party. We went and looked at it, test drove it and haggled a bit and my wife still drives it. 


Chris_V UberDork
10/25/21 8:17 a.m.

I've bought cars from used car dealers because they had the exact car I was looking for at a price I was willing to pay. I run a carfax and look it over carefully (like most of us here, I've had enough cars that I know exactly what to look for when looking at used cars) and I've been lucky so far. My JCW MINI was bought just that way back in December at 52k miles, with the carfax showing a water pump replaced at 45k miles and only one owner. I've got 60k on it now and the only thing I've actually had to replace was the original 8 year old battery and the tires (they were fairly decent when I got it, but the rear two were close to bald on the inside). When I went looking for one in December (wanted a JCW Roadster and winter is the best time to buy them) there were only 4 for sale in the entire country, so it was either buy one of them at the dealer or wait forever for a private sale to come up. The dealer specialized in cars like this, so it seemed like they would be fine to buy from and they were.

jr02518 HalfDork
10/25/21 9:57 a.m.

For the cars that I am willing to drive, it's private party.  My wife wanted a bucket list car and it needed to be financed.  I spent weeks talking to private parties that ether had issues or the cars did.  Our source for the funding had its requirements, it was not going to be ease in any way

Then we found a dealer that only moves high end used cars, in volume.  Based on what my wife wanted they had two in stock to look at.  They operate on appointment only and they held off other buyers as long as you were prequalified.  We were the second appointment the Saturday we arrived at the dealership and have requested to look at the two cars we were interested in.  The first appointment had asked about one of the car's we on the way to see and were told no.  Until we had seen the car.

The transaction was a no "negotiate on the price",  but as a paperless transaction on the title it was very easy.  Our credit union did all the back office work while we went out to lunch.  My wife is very happy with her car, I am on the hunt for my next adventure. 


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