Should I pay cash for a car through a private seller or should I go to a dealership to buy a used car?

"My friend wants to sell me a used car, but wouldn’t it be safer to buy a used car through a dealership? My friend is selling his car for a fair price and I can afford it, but I don’t know much about cars and don’t want to get stuck with a lemon."

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Johnny Puckett
Answered on Jul 28, 2021
Johnny Puckett is a freelance writer and automotive expert. He has contributed content to a number of some of the largest online publications, aftermarket automotive manufacturers’ sites, and automotive informational sites. His experience in the automotive and information fields informs his writing at Jerry. His automotive interests bleed into his free time, where he enjoys modifying his favorite cars and woodworking.
“Any used vehicle, whether bought through a dealership or through a private seller, is a risk.
Unfortunately, used cars do not come with a warranty unless you buy an extended warranty. This means that it doesn’t really matter who you buy from; the risk is the same.
Instead of paying a premium to a dealership, have your friend’s car checked by a mechanic and buy it if it all checks out. Also you should always pay cash if you can. No need to pay interest if you don’t have to.”
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