Is the premium markup of a used car dealer really worth more than a private seller’s? Compare the pros and cons of both.

Car shoppers who are looking for the best deals on used cars have a lot to think about before driving off into the sunset with their new vehicle. Private sales and dealer lot sales are two different types of transactions. Knowing how they differ will help used car buyers with a budget make an informed decision about where they will go to make their next purchase.

Kelley Blue Book Classifications

Vehicle pricing resources like the one found on Kelley Blue Book’s web site suggest a number of values based on the car’s make/model, year and condition. Users enter information about the car and the system proffers a number of prices. These prices are “dealer’s suggested price” and “private party value.” The two prices differ because of how used dealerships generally work.

Used Car Dealer

One of the prime reasons that dealer values are higher is because of the process figured into selling a car. A used car dealer typically pays for detailed inspections of incoming stock, and even refurbishes previously enjoyed cars with interior upgrades and new parts before putting them on the lot. Customers of reputable companies know they are getting cars that have gone through the lot technician’s scrutiny. They get no such treatment from a private party seller, where someone with a title is just seeking to get rid of their vehicle for a profit.

A used car dealer also has the power, and obligation in some cases, to add warranties, which makes the sale more valuable.


Auto financing may factor into a car’s overall value at a dealership. Financing is increasingly popular in today’s auto market. It gives buyers the ability to walk away with products they otherwise couldn’t afford. Not everyone has $10,000 on hand to make a purchase with. As a result, dealerships have become effective brokers between shoppers and banks or other financial firms. Some actually offer their own financing, but according to some experts, this is less common than the seller acting as a third-party solicitor for a loan.

Dealer Markup

Some customers have issues with financing their vehicle through a third-party. In some cases this is called a dealer markup or dealer reserve, while some call it “padding the deal.” Keep in mind that markups give buyers leverage during price negotiations. The lot has already secured the money, the buyer wants the car, and the seller is going to do just about anything to close the deal, sans losing money. Bidding slightly lower than the financed price is a good place to start. For example, if you’re approved for $7,000, start your buying price at $5 or $6k. Additionally, you might consider bringing along a bidding specialist if you know of one.

How To Get The Car You Want, Cheap

Sometimes people opt for private sellers simply because “the price is right.” Sure, you might find the car you want listed slightly lower than expected, but private sellers don’t have to worry about things like reputation, maintaining favorable public perceptions, and trust. Buying private can be a real gamble.

Think about the aforementioned details before purchasing your next vehicle.

For many of us, buying a new car can be an expensive proposition. In comparison, buying a second hand car is often a more affordable option. The problem with a used car, however, is that you need to be sure you are getting your money’s worth.

Sellers naturally want the best possible prices on used cars. Towards this end, they often manipulate the records of vehicles, to raise their value. A rigorous used car title search, can, however, help you to know the truth.

These are five tips to help you to buy a used car:

1. Get an expert’s opinion. Even before you do a used car title search, get the car evaluated by a competent mechanic. He will help you arrive at an accurate estimate of how much you should pay for the car.

2. Check the VIN. A preliminary check in your used car title search should be to ascertain if the VIN (vehicle identification number) on the dashboard or engine compartment matches that specified in the used car title. If these numbers differ, ask your dealer for an explanation.

3. Examine records. A proper used car title search involves thoroughly investigating the history of the vehicle. Scour through the car title certificate and other records to ascertain the car’s previous ownership details-such as whether the car was driven by the owner, or whether it leased or rented out-and condition at the time of sale. Your used car title search should also ascertain whether the car has been through any accidents, been stolen, or been labeled for “salvage”. A vehicle marked “salvage” means that it is damaged up to, or over, 70% of its market value.

4. Verify inconsistencies. If you are in doubt about the information contained in the records shown by the car dealer, don’t hesitate to probe further. A thorough used car title search may require you to approach sources such as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the police department, or the car manufacturer for further information.

It doesn’t matter when you make the decision to purchase a vehicle. All that matters is which used car dealers you go to. Since there are so many of them, no matter where you go you may want to spend a little time getting familiar with the best ones before you make any purchases. You need to take into consideration several different factors before you start picking out a vehicle.

Not all used car dealers are equal. While it is common to assume that you should see the same prices and vehicles all across the board, in all actuality you won’t. Many of these places are independently managed. This means that the owners and managers have complete control over their inventory. They also can be more flexible on their prices. If you are looking for a vehicle and are a little short on cash, you would have a much easier time of getting the vehicle you want from those places versus if you were to go to a new vehicle lot.

Used car lots have many different older and newer model vehicles for you to choose from. Many people assume that by going to a pre-owned lot, they will only be able to choose from vehicles that are old and ugly. The type of cars that are sold by used car dealers range in age and price. It is very possible for you to find a reasonably priced newer model vehicle without being disappointed about the way it looks.

Find out what the reputation is of the used car dealers you are thinking about doing business with. Some places sell junk and others actually take the time to provide their customers with reliable modes of transportation. You need to be certain that you are not dealing with a business that is only looking to make a profit. By doing a little investigating with the Better Business Bureau, in addition to speaking with some of their previous customers, you can save yourself a lot of hassles and frustrations. You can increase the chances of you doing business with a credible business.

Before you purchase any vehicle, make sure you know the history of the vehicle. There is nothing wrong with you doing a check on the vehicle’s VIN number to make sure it has a clear title and history. Test drive the vehicle and take it for a quick inspection at a nearby auto repair shop so you can make sure you are not getting a lemon. Keep in mind that no matter how good a vehicle looks, its appearance tells you nothing about what is under the hood. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly and then talk to the salesperson about purchasing it.

Used car dealers are the best places to go whenever you are in need of quality transportation. You don’t have to spend a fortune just so you can own an attractive and newer model vehicle. Visit several dealers and start exploring your options.

First Killer Reason – Used Cars from Japan are Cheaper

Yes, they have to be shipped around the world to get to you, but even despite that, you will find that used cars bought directly from Japan will punch above their weight in terms of value for money.

So, why are used cars so cheap in Japan? Well, first of all, you know it’s not because they are poor quality in the first place. Japanese brands like Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi are known the world over for their quality and longevity. They lead the world. No, there are several good reasons why perfectly good cars can be picked up cheap in Japan.

First of all, the dream of every Japanese business is to be number one in its home market – Japan. In the car industry, to be number one means to be the guy who has sold the most cars in a given year. But why do you care about this – you aren’t after new cars anyway? Well, think about it: If you are Toyota and your motivation is to sell the most cars to be number one, are you going to be too concerned about making a big profit on each vehicle? Obviously not. Sure you want some profit, but basically you want to shift as many units as possible as fast as possible, and to do that you need to keep prices down. So the fight to be the number one new car maker has the knock-on effect of keeping new car prices low. And if the car starts low when it is new, it is only going to be even cheaper when it’s secondhand.

So, the car starts off cheap when it’s new. What about the used car market? With all these cheap new cars around, does anyone buy used vehicles in Japan? Of course, just like everywhere in the world, there are used car dealers in Japan too. But the next reason Japanese used cars are relatively cheap is that Japanese people themselves are culturally-programmed to prefer new products. Let me give you an extreme example: Where I am from in the UK, a house is still considered basically new even after ten or fifteen years, and people live in houses that are literally hundreds of years old. Well, get this – in Japan the average age of a home is 27 years! This means that your average house in Japan is torn down and completely rebuilt every 27 years. That is how strong the preference for “new” is for Japanese people. So, when a Japanese person goes to buy a used car, they won’t to look at it as having anywhere near the value of a brand new one.

The final reason is that Japan has a strict and expensive system of roadworthiness testing which kicks in 3 years after the car is bought. (Linguistically-minded readers may be interested to know that this test is called Shaken – pronounced “shah-ken” in Japanese.) Just imagine you are Japanese and have a car a few years old that is approaching its “Shaken” test in a few months. You would be pretty tempted to trade it in, wouldn’t you? And this is exactly what happens, leaving a lot of low-mileage, relatively new cars on the market.

For Japanese businesses that own vehicles another major crunch time is the end of the financial year, which also coincides with when car tax expires. This explains why you will see a surge in the numbers of cars passing through the Japanese car auctions in Spring each year, as companies offload their old cars before this deadline passes.

Killer Reason Two – Low Mileage and Good Condition

If you ask someone who has never been to Japan what they imagine it to be like, they will often mention Temples, mountains or Zen rock gardens. Very “Last Samurai”, but not the reality of most Japanese people’s everyday lives. The fact is that the vast majority of the population live in the concrete jungle of the big urban centers. Huge metropolises like Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya are where the population concentrates. That’s right – these are urban driving environments with traffic lights every few meters, where a journey of a few kilometers can easily take well over half and hour.

What does this tell you about cars in Japan? Simple! They have usually not gone very far, and where they have been, it was not at any great speed. In fact, if my experiences are anything to go by, you average Japanese car will have spent most of its working life idling at red lights.

Not only do secondhand cars in Japan have lower mileage than their counterparts, but they have also been better maintained. To some degree, cars here are still a status symbol. People who get their cars new make sure they stay in that condition as long as possible, passing on the benefits of thorough maintenance to whoever gets that car next.

The Third Killer Reason to Get Used Cars From Japan – Fuel Economy

There was a time back in the early 90s when a barrel of the black gold could be yours for just $10. That’s right – ten dollars! Doesn’t that seem a long time ago now? In truth, it was a different world. A world ruled by giant SUVs and pickup trucks. And yet it was in this world at this time that Japanese companies like Toyota and Honda started working on the hybrid technologies that are all the rage now.

Why were the Japanese car makers so far ahead of the game with this hybrid technology? Why were they investing millions developing these new ideas when the other big players pandered to their customers’ demands for ever-thirstier vehicles?

One big reason is geographic: Japan has almost no natural resources. It is one hundred percent dependent on foreign oil. Not only did the forward-thinking Japanese automakers realize that the black stuff would one day be no more, but they also realized that in order to win big sales in their dependent home market, they would have to make sure their cars were fuel efficient.

Of course, if you know anything about the car market in Japan, you will know that for years their has also been a class of vehicles called Kei (pronounced “kay”, meaning “light) Cars that have a maximum capacity of 660cc. The Japanese car companies have vast experience in making these light, compact and very fuel-efficient vehicles. The same technologies of light-weight vehicles with small, efficient engines can be applied across the spectrum of vehicles. This is another reason why the Japanese are ahead of the game now. So, what you find is that when it comes to fuel-efficiency, the cars in front are Japanese.

And what does that mean for you? Well, the cars that your customers want right now – cars that sip, not gulp – are ready and available right now in Japan.

Whiz-Bang Finale

So there you have it, folks. Three killer reasons why the cars you want for your used car sales business are waiting for you in Japan right now. Offer your customers these and they will not only buy them, but thank you as well.

New motorcars are much more desirable for drivers, but the cost of new autos is so high, many drivers can’t bring themselves to spend that much. With petro at its current price, it is almost a prerequisite to find some way to lower driving expenses. If new cars are not an option, the next choice is looking for used cars for sale or using public transportation.

Used cars for sale can be found everywhere. They are on internet boards, Facebook, in the papers, on the telly, and several other locations. People who have owned an automobile have usually undertaken to sell one, so most people at some point end up on both sides of an auto transaction.

Because an auto, used or new, still costs hard-earned money, you want to get the best value you possibly can when considering used cars for sale. Not every source supports your best interests. For this reason, the first place to search for used cars is through a car dealer.

Why Consider a Dealership for Used Cars for Sale

Car dealers unfairly get a bad rep many times because a secondhand vehicle does not perform as well as the buyer expects, but there are several reasons why a dealer is the place for used cars for sale. Consider the following:

1. Car dealers have many connections for locating the used vehicle you want. Even if they don’t have the make or style you are looking for, they can quickly run a search of the area and tell you what is available.

2. Pricing is in line with the market value of the car you want. You may think that you are getting a deal through the friend of a friend, but there is a good chance there is something wrong with a vehicle that is far below fair market value.

3. Most car dealers stand behind what they sell. You may not get an extended warranty on a used car, but most dealers will offer some service period when a vehicle is covered. Most dealers fully check out autos and make any necessary repairs before putting them up for sale. Try to get your money back from someone you don’t know, and you will see why a dealer is a better option.

4. Often, dealers have the best prices. After all, selling cars is what they do. You can negotiate when purchasing a used car and a dealer knows what the lowest reasonable price is before you offer. Even though dealers are in the business to make money, they also know that they must turn over used cars timely.

You might get lucky going another route for a used car purchase, but why chance a bad experience if you don’t have to? You will most always save yourself some time and headaches if you go through a car dealer when looking for used cars for sale.