Broadly speaking, there’s a handful of pros and cons that come with both selling to a dealership and to a private buyer. But what’s really the best option? The comparison goes beyond simple convenience, and if you are deciding whether to sell privately or to a dealership, there is a few broad areas that are worth covering before you make your decision. In the majority of these, the dealership option generally comes out on top.

But of course, not all dealerships offer the same breadth of service. Some dealerships may simply offer speed and convenience, but without many of the benefits traditionally associated with selling privately – such as the human interaction and room for negotiation that comes with handling a sale on your own. Increasingly, however, dealerships are becoming more personal, offering individual professional car dealers who can appraise a vehicle and communicate with the buyer just like a private sale. If you are selling a used car in Sacramento, this is just one of the many advantages of choosing

Below are some of the main things to consider, and what is offered by dealerships and private sales in each case. 

Convenience and Paperwork 

When selling privately, squaring things with the DMV can be a real hassle. When selling a car, the original title of the car, or a duplicate retrieved from the DMV, needs to change hands. After this has been done, a record of the transfer needs to find its way to the DMV as well. In the case of private sales, this is generally the responsibility of the seller, but it requires compliance on the part of the buyer to ensure that everything stays above board. 

The best dealerships have a database link with the DMV. This allows everything to be updated accordingly and the appropriate forms supplied by the dealership to the seller, who only need provide their signature. In terms of convenience, things are undoubtedly easier with a reputable dealership. The entire process is also faster. 


Liability is an important concept to understand when selling a car. When selling to a reputable dealership, like Cash for Cars in Sacramento, liability is automatically signed over at the point of purchase. This means that any fees that are still due from the DMV or any money that is still owed on the car is reckoned up and the selling price altered to account for it. Walking away from a dealership after a sale, nothing concerning the vehicle is any longer your problem. 

With private purchases, this is something that can be negotiated but which leaves sellers open to the risk of still having to make payments on a car that has been sold. It also eliminates the very real possibility that a sold car could still be registered in the seller’s name after it has been sold. 


Of course, if you are selling privately, then any price can, theoretically, be negotiated. For those that feel they have the business acumen to take the risk and negotiate their way to a fair price, this can potentially work out well. 

With a good dealership though the market knowledge that informs the selling price cannot be matched anywhere else. Good dealerships have a large market database that informs them just how much a particular car is going for across the country. In most cases, this leads to the fairest and best possible price. 

So in conclusion: although there is a certain freedom that comes with selling privately, there is no denying that going with a dealership is the preferable option in the majority of cases.