Car Supermarket vs. Private Seller

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Buying a used car is a great way to save money, yet at the same time get the car you want. Used cars do not lose their value as fast as new cars do. Your new car loses up to thousands of pounds in depreciation the minute you take it out of the saloon.

Used cars can be bought in one of two ways – from a used car supermarket or from a private seller. Each has its pros and cons, so here is a comparison of the two for the most important points from a buyer’s perspective.

Warranty

Today’s used car supermarkets often offer an extended warranty on the cars they sell. Fords of Winsford (www.fow.co.uk) – a big used car supermarket located in Winsford, Cheshire, UK, have their FOW Gold extended warranty that will cover all of your costs of future repairs for an extended period of time. Furthermore, Fords of Winsford have a product called GAP, or Guaranteed Asset Protection, which protects you from differences between the price that you paid for your car and the price that the insurance company will pay you. What does this mean? It means that in a case of a theft or an accident, if you bought your car £10000, but in the time of the claim the value of your car is estimated on £7000 by your insurer, Fords of Winsford pays you the difference of £3000. Unfortunately, you do not have an extended warranty or GAP when you buy a used car from a private seller. If you have bought a newer car then the warranty that is left on goes to you, but if the car is older, every visit to the mechanic will be paid from your pocket.

Customer service

Car supermarkets often have an outstanding customer service that is effective even after you buy the car. Fords of Winsford has educated and trained employees and salesmen that will help you through every step of buying your car. They are kind, professional and experts in their field. They will make the experience of buying a used car as comfortable and convenient as they can so you do not have to worry about every little detail. Even if you live in a completely different part of the United Kingdom and you come to Winsford, UK by train, Fords of Winsford will pick you up from the train station if you give them a call. It is needless to say that when buying a used car from a private seller, customer service is nonexistent. Private sellers are regular people who just want to sell their car. They do not have any kind of expertise or training.

Security

As buyers of used cars, we have certain rights that are guaranteed to us by law. But those rights are different when you buy from a car supermarket and from a private seller. A car supermarket is a registered business, so by law they are obligated to sell you used cars that are: of satisfactory quality (which basically means that there are certain quality standards that the used car has to meet or it cannot be sold on a car supermarket), as described (every question you have has to be answered truthfully) and fit for the purpose (so it can be driven safely). On the other hand, when buying from a private seller, the only legal right you have is for the car to be as described. When you buy from a car supermarket, the quality of the car is guaranteed, but when you buy from a private seller, it is probably a good idea to bring a trusted and experienced mechanic with you, to make sure that the car has not suffered any major accidents and damages.

Price

The prices of used cars are perhaps the biggest reason why someone decides to buy one. They are much lower than the prices of new cars, even after they are only a year old. So basically the prices on both car supermarkets and private sellers are already low, but there are still differences. As car supermarkets are businesses and offer other additional services, the prices are usually higher than those of private sellers. When you buy a used car from a private seller, you can usually negotiate the price, and that is rarely the case when buying from a car supermarket. However, the price difference is usually not significant.

When weighting down the pros and cons of the both, the winner seems obvious: it is better to buy a car from a supermarket. But if you are on a really tight budget and the purchase of a car is not an emergency, you can follow private sellers’ listings, because every once in a while, you can find a decent car at a really low price, usually because the seller needs the money urgently.

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