Should I Buy a Used Car in Singapore from a Direct Owner?
Buying a used car in Singapore from a direct owner seems to be increasing in popularity among car buyers today - and there are a few good reasons for this. One key reason is that there are now platforms and resources available which can help consumers to handle all the paperwork and administration related to selling their car, securing a bank loan at attractive interest rates, and soliciting for the best insurance quotes. As with any process, there are pros and cons to consider. Here are some key considerations to help you decide if you should buy a used car in Singapore from a direct owner.
When it comes to buying a used car from a direct owner, prices can be a little bit of a mixed bag. There will be some direct owners who price their cars based on how much they wish to earn, unaware that their asking prices may not be in sync with market prices - making it difficult for you to purchase from these types of sellers. On the flip side, you’ll also be able to find direct sellers who will price their cars competitively, sometimes lower than a car dealer, as they do not have a need to cover any holding costs or floor loan costs that would normally be part of a car dealer’s scope of consideration. In such situations, purchasing your used car from a direct owner could entail some cost savings for you as the buyer.
Although less structured, price negotiations between you and a direct owner are also likely going to be a more direct affair, as the seller will be able to make a direct decision if your proposed purchase price is acceptable. This is once again due to the fact that in a direct seller situation, it is a willing seller - willing buyer equation; whereas a car dealer might have considerations about margin, commissions, and other related costs.
One downside about purchasing a used car from a direct owner is that technically, lemon law does not apply to the seller, and there isn’t really an obligation for them to provide any sort of in-house warranty or honour any repairs like a car dealer would normally be obligated to do within the first 6 months of your purchase. However, if a direct owner is selling the car to you at a price that is lower than what you would pay for a comparable unit from a used car dealer, then the deal does still make sense.
Moreover, if you are prudent enough to send the car in for a pre-purchase inspection, major accidents, engine issues, and gearbox issues would have been flagged out during this process - these are also the components covered by lemon law anyway. While not exactly the same thing, this scenario does bring about some point of mitigation and risk management for you as the buyer. Keep in mind that lemon law does not cover wear and tear issues such as brakes, suspension, and oil leaks.
While not having the protection of lemon law or an in-house warranty from the seller can make some buyers feel a little uneasy, there are also some benefits to buying from a direct owner when it comes to judging a car’s condition and car servicing history. For one, the car you are buying, is likely still being driven on a day-to-day basis by the seller, which would suggest an element of road-worthiness. Also, you get to see the car in as-is condition, which is helpful in helping you judge how the car was used and maintained. As a direct owner car, it would also be easy for you to request for servicing receipts that give you an insight into the maintenance schedule of the car.
On the flip side, used cars from a dealership can sometimes be purchased from new car showrooms when people trade in their old cars for a new car. In such instances, it is near impossible to get any sort of service history or record as the used car dealer does not have contact with the original owner of the car. Another point of consideration is that many times, by the time you see a used car in at a used car dealership, the car has been groomed and polished up, which is great for appearances, but does not offer much insight into how the car was treated or used by the previous owner.
Perhaps the most traditionally daunting aspect of buying a used car from a direct owner comes from the paperwork involved with having to handle all administrative matters relating to the purchase on your own. There are things like the ownership transfer, soliciting and securing loans, soliciting and securing insurance quotes, and of course, the selling of your own car. This would have been the main reason why most people would not have attempted a direct owner purchase in the past.
However, things are much easier today, with platforms like OneShift providing consumers with a one-stop platform that can help you to sell your car at the best price, secure loans and insurance quotes, as well as handling the paperwork and administration for the purchase of your car. Think of it as a freelance dealer who can help you to purchase any car with ease, even if it is from a direct owner.
Feel more assured to check out used cars from a direct owner? Check out some of the latest used cars to hit the market here.