Car auctions are becoming increasingly popular across the United States. As incomes stagnate and credit standards tighten, more and more people are turning to auctions to get affordable vehicles. However, one should avoid several potential pitfalls when attending a car auction. We provide ten useful tips for buying a car at auction.
Learn these tactics and bid like a pro at a car auction.
1. Conduct Search
Before attending an auction, it is advisable to do some research about the auction house you will be visiting. Consult their website and use their lists. Visit Internet sites such as Kelley Blue Book and Edmonds to determine the average market value of listed vehicles to gauge the accuracy of price estimates.
2. Set a Strict Budget
It can be tempting to buy too many cars at auction and buy too many cars, only to regret the purchase later. Set a realistic budget line, in writing if necessary, and don't bid above it. Sometimes, it's a better deal to walk away from buying a car for more than you're worth.
When determining your budget, be sure to include not only the cost of the vehicle but also the cost of transportation, auction fees, etc.
3. Bring in an Expert
Remember that in most auctions, the automobile is offered as is, which means you have very limited inspection rights and cannot test them. Also, cars sold at auction seldom come with warranties, guarantees, or legal remedies. In addition, many dealers will go to great lengths to hide vehicle defects. Once you successfully bid and acquire the shiny automobile, you may find that it is in dire need of a number of expensive repairs.
To reduce the chances of being taken advantage of, you should bring along a car expert who can provide a more accurate assessment of the vehicle's condition for auction.
4. Check the Background Vehicle
Mileage can be changed, and vehicle history can be fabricated. Check the complete history of the vehicle you plan to buy. Obtain a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and complete a vehicle background check by visiting the National Insurance Crime Bureau online.
The current status of the vehicle's title, mileage, brand history, and total loss date must match the information provided to you at the auction. If any information is inconsistent, this is a warning sign that the vehicle is not worth bidding on.
Check that the automobile is not hiding a skeleton. Check to see if the vehicle is a stolen vehicle if it has been involved in a major accident, or if it is subject to an outstanding credit agreement.
5. Attend Several Auctions BeforePlacing your First Bid
Before becoming a bidder, it is always a good idea for novice bidders to observe a few auctions as an observer to gain a better understanding of the process. Remember that automobiles are expensive investments, and the last thing you want is for your inexperience to turn into a costly bidding mistake.
6. Make sure you are Registered
In most auctions, you can't simply walk in and start bidding. Instead, you must register before proceeding. Several auction houses allow online registration directly through their websites. After registering, you may be given a bidding number which you must present to the auctioneer before bidding.
7. Be an Early Bird
Get to the venue well before the auction starts. This is the perfect time to check out the autos in person and check out what's on offer. Inspecting the vehicle in daylight enables a more in-depth examination of vehicle details and the detection of defects that would otherwise be missed overnight.
Arriving early also allows you to accurately estimate your selection after the auction begins. If you've already identified two or more vehicles that you're interested in, you'll have a solid fallback position if the competition for your best vehicle becomes fierce.
8. If the Car Looks in Bad Shape, it most likely is
If the vehicle you're inspecting has dents, weathering, and paint damage, likely, the seller didn't consider it worthwhile to repair its appearance. This recommendation does not apply to government-run auctions as the government intends to dispose of scrapped automobiles.
9. Make the most of what you can inspect
Take advantage of whatever limited inspection you are allowed to do on the vehicle. Check the gearbox fluid in the vehicle. If it is dirty and dirty, it is a sure sign that the car has been neglected. Start the engine and listen to it. If it's screaming that it shouldn't be built, it's probably best not to bid on it.
10. Listen Carefully to the Auctioneer
Before accepting a bid, the auctioneer usually lists the characteristics of the vehicle, including any known serious problems or technical defects. Pay close attention to what they say so you can factor the cost of the repair into your bid.
11. Check for an Engineer's Report
Some vehicles at auction will display the engineer's report on the windshield. An engineer's report shows that the car has been inspected by a certified engineer and is being offered for sale based on an assessment of its condition.
12. Maximize Your Auction Chances
Remember that auctions can be exciting and entertaining. Meet as many people as possible. Interact with them and share knowledge. Who knows what great auction advice they can give?
Auctions can be the best or worst place to look when it comes to finding low-priced vehicles. It depends on your desire to play the game. Armed with these powerful insights, you'll be able to make better bidding decisions and greatly increase your chances of getting a car that offers real value rather than burdening you with unnecessary charges.