April 23, 2024

Where do used car dealers get their cars – All about sources

The modern world is unimaginable without automobiles. You will hardly find a person who doesn’t own or doesn’t plan to get a car. Demand for used vehicles increases day by day. By purchasing a used automobile, we avoid price depreciation and save a lot of money. Only in the USA, around 40 million used vehicles are sold each year. Realizing those details might push you to get involved in dealership business. 

Becoming a dealer requires knowledge of many details about vehicles. You should learn how to choose a reliable automobile and where to get it. Below we’ll discuss where do dealers buy used cars. Nowadays, there are many different sources and I’ll try to review all of them. Hence, after reading the blog, you will know where to get a used vehicle with the best deal!

Where do dealers buy used cars from private sellers? 

There was a time when buying or selling a vehicle took a long time. In the past, you could find an announcement about automobiles either at the newspapers or just nearby with the Sale sign. Nowadays in the internet era, you can search for dozens of car advertisements in a day without leaving a home. Nonetheless, there are many different options to buy a vehicle, private sellers still stay as the popular source. Let me share with you in detail how to get a car from a private seller step by step. 

 Step 1 – Find a car 

First of all, you should know where do used car dealerships buy cars from private sellers. There are many websites where you can find announcements from private sellers. For instance, Cars, CarMax, Autolist, etc. After finding an acceptable option, you can make appointments for the checkup. Even though it takes much longer to get a car from private sellers compared to auctions, or retail companies, you can get it with the best deal. 

Step 2 – Check the car

The next step you should make is to check-up the vehicle in detail and decide, whether it’s worth buying or not.  Here is the list of details that should be checked:

  • The overall look 
  • Mileage data
  • Tire condition
  • Breaks
  • Under the hood
  • Electrics
  • Vehicle history through the VIN code

Besides all of the above-mentioned, you can make a pre purchase inspection at the service center. No matter where do used car dealers get their cars either from private sellers or rental companies, checking all those details will keep you on the safe side. 

Step 3 – Negotiate

After passing the previous steps, we can start a negotiation. Even if you don’t have a big experience in conducting negotiations, you don’t have to worry. There are some tips that help you to get a vehicle with the best deal. 

  1. Determine the market price. Even before checking a vehicle, you should check prices for the same model on different websites. That allows you to determine the average price of a car and determine whether the private seller overpriced it or not. 
  2. Determine the maximum budget for the purchase, but never start negotiation with the amount. 
  3. Offer a lower cost than your maximum budget for purchasing an automobile. That enables both sides to leave room for discussion to reach the average price. In case you get an offer that is close to the average market price, then congratulations! You are in good shape.

Now since you already know where do dealers buy used cars from private sellers, we can move on to explore other sources.

Where do used car dealerships buy cars – trade-in, auctions, and rental companies

As I’ve already mentioned, nowadays it is much easier to get a car than in the past. In the modern world, you can find many different sources for buying a vehicle. It can be auctions, rental companies, trade-in, private sellers etc. To answer the question, where do used car dealerships buy cars, we should review all the sources.


Let’s start by reviewing the trade-in option. Since we already know how to get an automobile from a private seller, that option can be a bit similar to it. While a trade-in dealer gets a car from a private seller. The only difference between the previously discussed option is that in trade-in the private seller sells his/her own car and gets the new one at the same time. Trade-in is very comfortable for a seller since he/she can avoid publishing advertisements, making appointments to individuals, and doing paperwork. Instead of the boring process, he/she can directly contact a dealership, sell a car and pay only the difference for the new one.


You might wonder where do used car dealers get their cars with the best deal. An auction can be considered as one of the most profitable options to get a vehicle with the lowest price. There are two types of auctions, one of them is open for anyone and the second one, “closed” one. Closed auctions are available only for dealers. In both cases, there is a chance to get a reliable automobile with the lowest available price on the market.

Rental Companies

Unsurprisingly rental companies can be one of the options, where you can get a big variety of automobiles with a good deal. If you ask dealerships where do dealers buy used cars, they might answer that fleets and rental companies are unchangeable options. There are many rental companies that own a fleet. From time to time rental companies change their fleet upon demand. Nonetheless, it’s quite hard to purchase a fleet of used vehicles by a single dealer, there are some groups of dealers, dealerships, that tend to buy it. With this option, you have access to used and reliable vehicles. 

As you have seen, it’s very hard to have one correct answer to the question, where do used car dealerships buy cars, as there are many options. In a big variety, you can choose the one that best fits your budget and requirements. 


To sum up, it’s almost impossible to have one answer to the question, where do used car dealers get their cars. Nowadays, there are plenty of options for purchasing used vehicles. We’ve reviewed all the most popular options for buying used vehicles, from private sellers, trade-in, auctions, and rental companies. Besides reviewing sources, we’ve discussed in detail the process of the purchase. Now you know what you should take into account while checkup and how to negotiate. Remember the importance of determining the market price, for avoiding waste of money. Hopefully, you will enjoy with your purchase. Wish you good luck!