Buying a car privately is always a move that could save you a lot of money. It is also a benefit for sellers because it means they can get more for the car unlike selling it through a dealer, who takes their cut. However, buying or selling a car privately can be risky.

I have outlined some tips and your rights to ensure that both you and the seller get value for your money/car.


Photo by Mohamed Hassan on Pixabay

What are your rights when buying a car privately?

When you buy a car from a private seller, you have rights. You have the right to ensure that the car you are buying truly belongs to the person who is selling it. This means that the seller must provide you with proof of ownership.

Secondly, you have the right to change your mind about the car if when you view it, it does not meet the description from the advert. This means that, at the moment when you are viewing the car, if it does not match the description outlined by the seller, you can revoke your decision.

However, things become tricky once you have decided to buy the car from a private seller.

Tips when buying a car privately

Find out what you can about the car. Do some research online regarding the car, its make and how much other people are selling it for. You can even ask the private seller to provide you with more pictures and documents of the car to ensure value for your money.

You can do a history check on the used car to determine any outstanding fees or insurance claims, because once you sign the papers, you are also signing for everything else.

There are also safety checks you can follow to ensure your safety. Such as knowing whether the private seller is truly private or just a dealer posing as a private seller. It is illegal for a car dealer to pose as a private seller, they do this to avoid legal obligations. So make sure you know the difference.

How do you spot if a seller is really a private seller?

Firstly, a private seller is someone who is selling their car without the involvement of a car dealership. However, there are other ways to know if a private seller is truly private and not affiliated with a dealership. Such as the advert.

Adverts can be the first indication if a car dealer is pretending to be a private seller. A private seller would not advertise their car in a car park. It is usually personal and most private sellers do the trading in their homes and not on roadsides or in public spaces.

It is also not safe when the seller wants to bring the car to you or meet you somewhere instead of a dealership or their home. But also remember your own personal safety when meeting a private seller, ensure that you ask to view the car during daylight hours.

Nevertheless, there are many things to consider when buying a car privately. From ensuring that everything you think would be wrong with the car is fixed to any traffic department documents to be handed in or picked up, are available to you.

As a seller

Deciding on selling your car privately is an expected decision, especially if you intend on getting the maximum for your car. However, wherever you advertise your car, online especially, make sure that the pictures are clear, include all extras on the car description and be honest about the condition of the car. This will allow you a better chance of selling your car.

Whether you are a buyer or seller, there are many tips online for car trading, so use technology to your advantage.

Are you looking for a used car for sale? For used cars for sale in South Africa visit the Auto Mart website.


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