What You Need To Know About Purchasing At a Car Auction

Car auctions are becoming more popular to visit to find a good car to drive for bargain prices.  However,  you do run the risk of getting a car that is less that desirable.  Find out how to buy a car at an auto auction.

To avoid spending too much at an auction you need to do your homework.   Know what type of car that you want and what the value for that type of car is.  At an auction you are gambling that you recognize the auto’s value, strengths, and faults.   All in all do you know the cars worth?  You will need to bring a cool head and a bankroll to play this game.  In the end, it may be worth it to avoid the dealer markups.  Below are some helpfull tips to help you with the process.

  1. Know the auction catalog or online listing of the vehicles that you may be interested in.   Find out the history of the car if you can.  What kind of conditions was the car used in.  Was it a police car that sat in a parked position and had a lot of run time?  That is not something desirable.  Was the car in an accident?  Has the frame been bent?  Is there a trial of ownership with the car?  Was this car previously totaled and rebuild?
  2. Go to the auction.  Sometimes you can make a bid by phone or online form but is this the car you really wanted?  What if you bid on a yellow Chevy Caviler when you thought you were bidding on a Camaro.  I did know someone who purchased a minivan on Ebay and received a deal but I don’t know if that’s the norm.
  3. Go early and register as a bidder.  You will need to provide proof that you have the funds to buy a car.  Usually, you will need a credit card or bank statement.   There will be a buyers premium fee added to the winning bid and you are expected to sigh a contract that discloses that fee.   If you arrive late you may reget it and have to wait in line and may miss the chance on bidding on the car that you wanted to get.   Look at the order of cars and get an idea of when the car you are interested will be showing.
  4. Check out the car carefully,  inspect it. Is there overspray in the edges indicating that it has been painted and fixed.  Know the model of the car or take someone knowledgable with you that does.  Check you the engine:  Does it start, blow smoke, have noises, is it leaking oil or other fluids?  Check the fluids on the car.  Is the oil burnt of have metal shavings on the dipstick?   Is the body on the car straight or have signs of bodywork?  It the price and car is too good to be true then most likely it is.
  5. When the bidding is happening make sure you are visible to the auctioneer.   Be as close as you can get and make sure you noticed when bidding.   Know what you are going to pay.  Know and set your upper limit to make sure that you don’t overspend.
  6. Auction houses have shipping available.  The shippers are reputable and will transport your car for you.  It’s not recommended to drive the car yourself in the misfortune the car breaks down.
  7. Sales Tax.  Depending on the state the sales tax will vary.  The tax is paid in the state that the car is registered.