Thursday, March 30

10 Things to Know About Buying a Car at Auction

10 Things to Know About Buying a Car at Auction

Many people brag about the amazing deals they get when buying a car at auction. How can you get in on these deals, and what should you do?

When you go to a car auction, you need to know a few things, otherwise, you’ll buy something you don’t want or need and be out of your hard-earned money. Most auctions offer tons of used cars in various forms of repair and miles on the odometer. This is a great place to find an unbeatable deal, but you should prepare yourself before you head to an auction with your money.

1. Register for the Auction Ahead of Time

Most auction houses have online registration forms and sites where you can pay a small fee to attend the auction. Many of these auctions don’t allow people to simply come in and simply walk around for free. The registration often involves providing a credit card number or a letter of guarantee that you have funds to buy a car. If you want to attend an auction without buying anything, just to get a feel for things, you may have to go as a guest with someone you know.

2. Bidding is Easy, but the Auction House Might Have In-House Bidders

Some of the people in the crowd might be bidding simply to raise the price of the car. These in-house bidders encourage more bidding with their own paddles. Bidding can be fun and a bit exciting; make sure you stick to your budget when bidding. Any bid you win will need to be paid for when the auction ends, thus the reason for all of the information during registration.

Tip: If you’re unable to attend an event in person but you know there are cars you want to bid on, you can often bid online, over the phone, or by proxy.

3. Research is an Important Part of Buying a Car at Auction

In today’s world, every auction house offers an online catalog to show you the cars that will be part of the next auction. If you know you want to buy one of these vehicles, you’ll want to review the vehicles offered and the expected prices. This is the research part and helps you know what you want to bid on when you’re at the event.

4. Don’t Let the Auction Environment Intimidate You

Most modern auctions are held in clean, modern locations, but some are still held in old barn-like atmospheres where some people still think they can gain a psychological advantage with intimidation. Keep in mind all you’re doing is buying a car. You have a budget, and when you stick to this price, you’ll be glad that you did. Those people are trying to intimidate you are doing the same thing you are, buying a car at auction, nothing more.

5. You Don’t have to Buy a Car; Attend a Couple of Auctions Before You Do

If you want to get comfortable with the lay of the land at the auction site, you should attend a couple of auctions before you ever bid or buy anything. By becoming a spectator, you can learn how the auction works, understand the speed of things and learn what bids to expect. It might cost a little money to attend these auctions, but it could be worth huge savings when you finally buy a car.

6. Don’t Get Into a Bidding War With Other Bidders

When you start bidding on a car, think about what your maximum bid will be. Make this a hard number that you absolutely won’t exceed. There are other models of the same car that you can buy either at this auction or the next one, which means you don’t need to go above your top bid just to win the car. A bidding war is only good for the person selling the car, not for you or the other person bidding against you.

7. Don’t Set Your Sights on Only One Car

Usually, auctions offer hundreds of cars at a time that you can bid on. It’s foolish to set your sights on only one of them because you might not win the bid. The only time this is ok is when you’re bidding on a high-priced classic car, which causes most of the auction rules to go out the window. When you want to get a great deal by buying a car at auction, have several in mind that you can buy.

8. Get to the Site Early and Take a Look Around

Never attend an auction at the time the bidding begins. You want to get to the site early and look around at the cars. Many of the cars going up on the auction block can be viewed and touched by potential bidders. This is a great way to gather more information than what’s offered in the online catalog. Once you see some of the cars on your list up close, you might change your mind and not want to bid on them.

9. Remember, You’ll Have to Pay Auction Fees

Auction houses don’t sell cars out of the goodness of their hearts. They expect to make money when selling these cars. When you fill out the registration forms, the auction fees are listed to make sure you know what you’re getting into. When you attend the auction, your budget needs to include these fees. Make sure you know if the fees are a flat rate or a percentage of the winning bid.

10. You Can Still Win a Car That Doesn’t Reach the Reserve Price

The reserve price is usually the minimum price the seller will accept for the car. If the bidding doesn’t hit this mark, the auctioneer will say “no sale.” That said, if you’re the highest bidder, you’re in a good position to still buy the car. The auction house will tell you how much the seller will take, and you can offer a price that you’re willing to pay for the car. This is a great position to be in.

If you’re ready to get a great deal on your next car, buying a car at auction is a fantastic way to do this. Be prepared and use these tips to guide you to an affordable car price.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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