Pros of buying a car from a private seller include a lower price, less pressure and few games when negotiating, and direct contact with the owner who knows how the vehicle was treated. Cons of a private car sale include no warranty, interacting with strangers and difficulty financing the vehicle.
An individual selling a vehicle usually wants it gone quickly. That means the buyer can usually negotiate the price easily and complete the purchase quickly. If the seller was the only owner of the vehicle, he knows the complete history of the vehicle, including maintenance, repairs and accidents. If the buyer finds an owner who took excellent care of the vehicle, he can get a used care in great condition for less than a dealership.
The potential drawback is deciding whether or not the seller's word is good. Even if the car was well maintained, an older vehicle often means more maintenance and repairs for the new owner. Without a warranty, that may mean large mechanic bills.
Used vehicle loans typically carry a higher interest rate. Some banks do not offer a used vehicle loan on a private party sale. Buyers who plan to finance the vehicle may fare better at a used car dealership.