Dealer vs Private party- Who can you trust?
Clients frequently contact us with questions regarding issues of trust with the seller. Specifically what are our thoughts around buying from a dealer vs a private party?
Our experience has been that most dealers will do what they can within reason to accommodate a client if the buyer's expectations have not been met. These cars are 50-60 years old and were not designed to last that long. Their planned obsolesce is probably half that time, at best. Over time, parts will fail. And no one knows when that will happen. Components that are internal, such as inside a steering box or differential are not possible to diagnose for the outside. When, not if, parts fail soon after the purchase, the new owner contacts the dealer to "fix" the problem. The course of action at that point depends on the circumstances involved. If the owner was racing the car and blew a tire and then crashed into a wall, the dealer is not obligated to repair anything. If however, a radiator suddenly begins leaking, that may be a worth a conversation with the dealer.
Purchasing a car through a private party seller is generally a very different experience. Typically these people have no interest is helping the new owner and fall back on the "as is, where is" cover language. This is especially true if the buyer did not hire a third party knowledgeable inspector prior to purchase. Buyers believe falsely that they know what to look for and go in the transaction alone without professional support and then find out later they made a mistake.
In summary, we recommend purchasing from a dealer if possible. The only drawback is that a dealer purchase will typically result in a higher sale price all things being equal, but the peace of mind aspect is worth it in our opinion.
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