4 June 2022 · Our Blog - Read The Latest Articles

Buying used cars for sale in Brisbane: Privately vs. Dealers

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Australia is a road-faring nation, and we love our cars. Every year for the past decade, we’ve purchased more than 1 million new vehicles, and our used car market is now around 3 million units per year! Those are staggering numbers when you compare them to our relatively small population. 

All of this means, there has never been a better time for buying used cars for sale than right now. The global pandemic brought many new changes and challenges in the automotive industry. As a result, more and more Australians are taking the opportunity to buy quality used cars for sale from reputable sellers.

How do you know where to start? More importantly who should you be looking to deal with when buying your used car in Brisbane?

Here we compare the pros and cons for both buying a used car privately and buying used cars from dealers in Brisbane

Buying a Used Car for sale Privately vs. From a Dealer

One of the most important decisions that you will make when buying a used car will be whether to buy from a private seller or a licensed dealer. This choice will impact every step of the process, from the sale price and subsequent payment options to vehicle condition, warranties, and even your personal safety.

The Advantages of Buying used cars for sale Privately

Lower Price

One benefit of buying a used car privately is that you may be able to buy the car at a lower price than when buying through a dealer. This is because a dealer has a number of overhead costs that will be worked into the price, such as vehicle reconditioning, advertising, and sales commission. 

Additionally, private sellers are less likely to know what their car is actually worth, often basing sale prices on similar cars that have been advertised. Though this can work in your favour to secure a better price, it can also result in the seller having an inflated opinion of what their car may be worth. When buying from a dealer, you can rest assured that they know what the car is worth in the current market and have listed the price accordingly, ensuring that you are getting your money’s worth.

Motivated Buyers

Another benefit of buying from a private seller is that they are often very motivated to get their car sold. This can leave them more open to negotiation allowing you to negotiate a better price more easily.

The Disadvantages of Buying used cars for sale Privately

No Warranty

Unlike buying from a dealer, a private car sale will not come with any warranty or the option to purchase extended warranties. This means that if anything goes wrong with the car after you have purchased it, it will be up to you to repair the car at your own expense. With no warranty provided, buying a used car privately comes at a much higher risk than buying through a licensed dealer.

Cars Are Sold ‘As Is’

When you buy a used car privately, it is unlikely that you will receive a guarantee of the condition of the car from a certified mechanic. This means that any faults found in the vehicle after purchase, many of which may not be visible to the untrained eye, will be your responsibility. 

The best way to ensure that a used car is in good working condition is to have it professionally inspected. However, you will have to arrange for this to happen with the seller and pay for it out of your own pocket. Additionally, if you are not happy with the condition of the car after inspection, you will need to pay for an inspection of another used vehicle until you find one that you want to buy.

Since you will be buying the car ‘as is’, the seller is under no obligation to have the car professionally cleaned and detailed, so this is another cost that you will have to cover after purchasing the vehicle.

Buy At Your Own Risk

There are also a number of risks that come with buying a used car privately. Con artists look for any opportunity to scam the unprepared buyer, and car sales are no exception. Whether they are trying to sell you a temporarily repaired car that is likely to break down or they have forged documentation for a stolen or damaged car, buying privately means buying at your own risk.

There is also a safety risk when buying from a private seller as you will have to meet up with a complete stranger to inspect and test drive the car, which can put your personal safety at risk. To reduce the risk, you should always meet the seller in a public place and bring along one or two people you trust. 

Limited Payment Options

Another consideration when buying a privately listed car is that you will have to provide the money upfront, through cash or a bank transfer, depending on the seller’s preference. This means that you will have no option to finance the purchase at the time of sale. If you don’t have enough money available to purchase the car outright, you will need to organise a personal loan through a bank ahead of time.

Time-Consuming Process

A private car sale also means that you, the buyer, will be responsible for organising and submitting the required paperwork to get the car transferred into your name and registered. As there is no option for trade-ins with a private sale, you will also need to sell your old car, which can be a lengthy and frustrating process due to potential buyers backing out last minute and price negotiations.

The Advantages of Buying A used car for sale From a Dealer

Warranty & Certification Provided

One key benefit of buying a used car from a dealer is that they can provide certification and warranty for the car. In fact, Downtown Toyota offers an extended new car warranty PLUS another 12 months for newer years on all Toyota Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. 

Our rigorous certification process includes a 90-point inspection carried out by skilled Toyota technicians. This ensures that your new car will be in great working condition upon sale and is backed by our 1-year warranty.  

The Dealer Takes Care of Everything

Buying through a dealer is typically a much simpler process than going private. This is because you will be working with professionals who are well versed in the ins and outs of car sales. The dealer will take care of all documentation in regards to the sale of the car, leaving you to sit back and enjoy your new purchase.

Alternative Payment Options

Dealers also offer alternative payment options to the cash or bank transfer needed to buy a car privately. Your chosen dealer will be able to set up the financing for you if you choose, a much simpler process than having to source your own personal loan through a bank.

Most dealers will also give you the option to trade in your car in order to reduce the sale price of your chosen vehicle. Not only will this mean less money upfront, but it also takes away all the hassle of having to list and sell your car privately, providing a convenient and immediate resolution.

Peace of Mind

Buying a used car through a dealer also comes with peace of mind for the buyer, not only through warranty and certification. When buying through a dealer, you can have confidence that your car will be delivered in great condition, having been professionally cleaned, rather than having to accept whatever condition a car may be in when buying privately.

You will also have the peace of mind of meeting with a trained professional to run you through the car’s features and provide a test drive, as opposed to the risk of meeting an unknown person for a private car sale.

Finally, when buying from Downtown Toyota, you will receive a rigorous Car History check so you can rest assured that there is no finance owing on the vehicle and that it is accident-free.

The Disadvantages of Buying a used car for sale From a Dealer

Higher Cost

Buying a used car from a dealer can often mean a slightly higher sale price than buying privately as a result of the extra costs involved. However, when buying from a dealer, you will also receive confidence in the condition of the car, peace of mind that the car is unencumbered, and a stress-free sale where all of the paperwork is taken care of for you.

Limited Car History

Another disadvantage of buying through a dealer is that you won’t have a thorough car history as you are not purchasing from the original owner. However, when you purchase a Toyota Certified Pre-Owned car from Downtown Toyota, we will include an extensive car history check to provide all important information pertaining to the vehicle’s history as well as a full service history.


Downtown Toyota - Your Local Used Car Dealer

With so many used cars for sale in Brisbane, it can be hard to know where and how to buy them. Downtown Toyota is your local used car dealer, providing certified used cars that you can rely on at industry-leading prices. We make buying a car simple, taking care of all of the paperwork and organising financing and trade-ins where applicable so that you can enjoy the process of buying a car stress-free.

If you’re looking for quality used cars for sale in Brisbane backed by an independent certification and extended warranty, Downtown Toyota has the solution. We offer reliable, quality-tested, pre-owned vehicles at competitive prices. Call us today on 07 3896 0100 or fill out our contact form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BUYING USED CARS IN OUR ARTICLE “Buying Used Cars in Brisbane? Read this first!” from Brisbane's Downtown Toyota.