Private Sales

Private vehicle sales deals, whether realized on Kijiji or at an auction, represent a substantial aspect of the total vehicle sales market. They are simple, straight-up agreements made usually when a seller needs to sell quickly in order to extract maximum value from their asset.

For businesses looking to beef up their rental fleets, company car fleets, or find a great deal on a luxury vehicle, private sales can be hugely beneficial in terms of keeping competition, monetary assets, and fineprint to a minimum. But like all sales deals, private deals of course have their fair share of pros and cons. Let us help explain:


What is a Private Sales Deal?

In essence, a private sale is a voluntary, unadvertised transaction undertaken on an individual basis negotiated independently by the buyer and seller. They are not available for public participation, unlike purchasing a vehicle from a dealership.

The seclusion of private sales from the eyes of the public can yield many benefits for individuals or businesses looking to purchase used vehicles at a solid price, without much room for haggling or surprises, and typically close quickly.


Why Do Private Sales Benefit their Users?

Pro #1

It can be cheaper. Used vehicles sold by private sellers can cost you substantially less than those sold by dealers who have to recondition their vehicles for roadworthiness by means of repairing, licensing and guaranteeing a certain level of mechanical competency. A private sale is as-is, and as a result will cost your business less, both in terms of sticker price and in fees associated with the transaction.

Private sellers want to sell quickly, and in realizing so, are usually more flexible than a dealer during final negotiations.

Pro #2

Private vehicle sales can be very well-maintained by their owners, providing exceptional value for buyers. This certainly isn’t always the case, and buyers need to do their 



homework before shaking hands on a private deal they know little about, but as a general rule of thumb, a seller who has evidence of comprehensive maintenance records and can answer questions about the vehicle’s past, can prove to be good decisions for businesses looking to expand a fleet, or update an existing fleet of vehicles for less. Sellers who look to sell a well-maintained vehicle are simply likely to be trying to make more from their sale than a dealership has offered them on a trade-in.

Pro #3

No shenanigans from your seller means you’ll be able to close a good deal quickly and get you or your business what it needs in as little time as possible, by means of a reduced cost. Business owners who demonstrate that they are seriously interested will inevitably be greeted by an expedited purchasing journey, and experience less haggling during price negotiations. This can ring particularly true when the vehicle in question is of a popular make, model and colour. For example, a beige Toyota Corolla will presumably have more competition in the marketplace than a niche vehicle like a yellow Camaro, meaning that the increased availability of the vehicle is of benefit to buyers who can take their business elsewhere.

A motivated seller understands that games shouldn’t be played when the buyer could find a similar product elsewhere, making prices and negotiating a pro for business owners looking to take advantage of private vehicle sales.


Potential Cons

Cons of private sales include numerous visits and meetings with strangers who may or may not be unintentionally wasting your time. When time is money, meeting an unmotivated, or stickler of a seller can be frustrating and demoralizing, making the experience of a dealership sale alluring.

There are also no guarantees, warranties, or certifications associated with private vehicle sales. In some cases, an emissions test and/or safety certification may be able to be included in a private sale, but for the most part, what you see is what you get – meaning that doing your homework and test-driving a few models is key to being prepared. Thirdly, dealer sales take care of all of the paperwork associated with buying a vehicle. There will be insurance, financing, transfer of ownership and licensing to deal with directly when purchasing a privately sold vehicle.

Ensuring that you’re prepared and educated about the marketplace, potential re-sale values of the make and model you’re considering purchasing, and the pros and cons of purchasing privately, can make private sales, whether found at auctions, online, or down the street from the office, an excellent value for businesses that invest the time.


Tips & Tricks

There are a number of online resources you can consult to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal, and purchasing a quality vehicle privately.

Researching and investing your time in a CarProof search is great way to confidently gain knowledge about the specific vehicle you’re looking at purchasing. A CarProof takes the vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and cross-references it with various databases related to collisions, sustained damage, or unfixed safety recalls, giving you an up-to-date history report on the vehicle.

Trusted online resources like AutoTrader are also a good way to research and investigate the value of certain models, cross compare alternative makes, and gauge an appropriate price point so you can be certain you’re not overpaying. Using AutoTrader has become a staple experience of buying a vehicle in the private market for good reason – their database and availability of vehicles makes them an authority on the used market. To further the discussion on value and securing a fair price for your privately purchased vehicle, consulting the Canadian Black Book is a confidence inspiring way to find the retail value of a given make and/or model based on condition, trim level, and mileage. Simply select the make and model you’re investigating and the website will give an accurate representation of current market value to help you secure a great price.


Whatever your decision on how you’re acquiring, Travelers is your trusted go-to. Most banks and lenders do not finance private sales, but we’re here to help you with the vehicle that you need, whether it’s from the dealership or Craigslist.

Posted On Thursday, March 9th, 2017
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