Is Purchasing a Truck From a Private Owner a Good Idea?

Buying a truck or any other personal vehicle from a private owner can save money and enable the customer to possess a well-maintained truck without going through salesperson's hurdles. On the flip side, there may be more work, there are no warranties or guarantees, and the seller may be a stranger.

Buying a truck from a private owner may cost less than buying from a dealership. Dealerships often have several overhead costs, including advertising, vehicle reconditioning and maintenance, and payments for the salespeople. Private sellers do not have these extra costs and are often more eager to sell their trucks. They also may be willing to negotiate on price. Because of a private seller's eagerness to sell, the buyer can often close a deal more quickly than with a salesperson. Some used trucks are also very well-maintained, though this is not always the case.

There are also downsides. The seller may be a complete stranger, so the buyer does not know the seller's personal integrity or history with the truck. A truck from a private seller also does not come with warranties or guarantees, so if the truck breaks down or has problems early, on the financial responsibility falls on the buyer. The buyer also has to take care of the paperwork normally completed by a sales agent.