Dealership sale or Private sale - What you need to know

4 min read
Everyone wants a good deal when it comes to selling their car, but who do you sell to? Read on to find out.
by

Emily MacKinnon

, Executive Assistant in
Brain Fuel
Image by HeyAuto

Pros & Cons

Dealership sale vs Private sale

If you are on the fence about selling your car, let us tip the scales for you by saying - now is the perfect time to sell.

The shortage of microchips coupled with Covid economics has caused a shortage of vehicles being produced, leaving several individuals and dealerships with a considerable lack of options when buying a car. This means we are in a seller’s market for cars. If you are that fortunate individual with a car, you have the leverage to demand a price not seen in over 15 years.

Now, that we have your attention, the biggest question becomes: should I sell my car as a private sale or to a dealership?

While both options are equally compelling, the largest differences between the two are, getting an offer close to your asking price and the convenience and timeliness of selling your car.

Tough one, isn’t it? Let’s break it down to give you an idea of which one suits you more and make your decision a little easier.

Convenience

Automotive industry experts agree that private sales offer higher prices compared to dealerships. However, the downside is being responsible for the whole process: spending money on repairs, detailing, advertising, filtering the trolls from real interested buyers, and planning your schedule around multiple people for a test drive. The problem with private sales is the no-shows, handling all the paperwork, and all the money you spend on repairs versus the amount you get back.

On the flip side, dealerships buy your car as-is. They handle all your paperwork, repairs, detailing, and you have the peace of mind about selling to a credible source. In fact, dealerships can save you money on repairs as they get your vehicle up to standard for half the price you would otherwise be spending yourself.

Save time

Private sales are time-consuming and nerve-wracking. You wait for a good deal, only to realize those first few offers were the best deals you are going to get or if you are firm on your price people will waste your time asking questions and continue low-balling you. It doesn’t help that the longer your car has been on the market, people believe something is wrong with it and haggle you down to a low offer - forcing you to potentially settle on a much lower price to just finish selling quicker. Lastly, let’s not forget how demoralizing dealing with abusive messages becomes, as private buyers feel entitled to harass you into a terrible sale.

Dealerships, on the other hand, will save you all that time and buy your car in a day or two after their inspection. This eliminates the problem of having your car sitting around waiting to be sold, as well as the assurance of selling your car for a fair price. You also have the freedom of getting multiple offers from different dealerships to pick the highest price. Moreover, at dealerships, you are a valued customer and will be treated with respect.

No Liability

Your car needs to be in mint condition for a private sale because they are taking the car as-is and on your word. There is a significant amount of liability you personally take on privately selling your vehicle, with examples such as strangers test driving your vehicle, properly filling out the bill of sales and even potential scammers. 

Dealerships, on the other hand, ensure a thorough inspection, so there are no surprises to them or the next owner. Additionally, they take on all repair costs, so your car is safe to drive for the next owner removing any liability on you. The peace of mind knowing the deal is behind you is priceless.

Sales Tax

Assuming you are looking for an upgrade, unlike private sales, dealerships will give you an allowance based on the price of your trade-in. For instance, if your trade-in vehicle was valued at $15,000 and the price of your new vehicle is $45,000, you only pay tax on the difference - $30,000. This translates into savings, especially for those living in provinces with higher taxes.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, if you have the time, desire to handle numerous types of people, and sort through tire kickers, a private sale might be for you. However, for a hassle-free, convenient, and professional car selling experience, a dealership sale is the way to go.

What’s my car worth?

If you are looking to sell your car, be part of the HeyAuto Club and hop onto our latest feature -My Offers . This is a car-selling space where anyone can sell their cars to credible and trusted buyers - dealerships! Not only are they reliable, but dealerships can also view your car online and make you an offer without you having to physically go down to each one of them.

But wait, there’s more:

  1. You are anonymous; this means no one can contact you unless you contact them first.
  2. No flood of emails or constant back-and-forth with potential buyers.
  3. Choose exactly who can see your listing.
  4. Pick the highest offer or all of them - the choice is entirely yours.

Selling your car doesn’t get easier than this!

Have questions? Contact us, we are always happy to chat.

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Half a red coup on the right, with the words "Have a car to sell? My Offers" and HeyAuto logo on the left.
Sell my car on HeyAuto
About the author
Emily MacKinnon
, Executive Assistant
Originally from Nova Scotia, Emily has spent the last 9 years in sales and customer service. A jack of all trades. She hopes to be able to help educate and get people excited about their next car purchases through her expression in these blogs.

Comments

  • Brent Lane

    Aug 9, 2021

    Brent Lane - Great post.

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