When it comes to understanding your finances and making smart purchasing decisions, there's a lot you need to know. We're passionate about helping our members better understand their finances so that they can feel secure and informed about their decisions.

  • Private Party vs. Dealership

    Buying a car can be a major purchasing decision. For most, it involves a lot of research, discussion and weighing of options. Of the many things to consider when buying are the type you want — new or used — and where you want to buy it — from a private party or from the dealer. Knowing the pros and cons of both sources can help you make a more informed decision.

    Private Party

    Purchasing a vehicle from an individual is typically less expensive. Dealerships must meet certain standards that have costs associated with them that individuals don’t have to adhere to. Individuals also have the liberty to be more flexible when it comes to negotiating price. Buying from an individual can be less stressful because private sellers don’t have the overhead and monthly sales quotas that dealerships have to meet. However, buying from a private seller has its risks, too. The condition of the car is as is, and you may have little more than their word when it comes to vehicle history and records. And of course, there’s risk involved with meeting and dealing with strangers.


    Buying from a dealer comes with a little more security and peace of mind. Since dealerships are businesses, they’re held to strict operation and selling standards that protect both you and the dealership, should something go wrong. Cars at dealerships come with a buyer’s guide, warranty, financing and warranty options and inspections of varying degrees. And because it’s a place of business, you can easily contact them should you need them. The downside to buying from a dealer is that prices tend to be higher and there’s more pressure to buy from a professional sales team.