Buying Cars At An Auction: 5 Tips For First-Time Bidders
by Arina Smith Sales 09 April 2018
As a first-time bidder, you may be wondering how to buy a car at auction. Though it may initially seem like an intimidating process, auctions can be a very fun way to spend your time. There are a few things that you should do and know prior to approaching your first auction, whether in-person or online.
Know the Worth :
You will want to inspect the vehicles that you are considering bidding on. Since you will be unable to drive the car, carefully look at the paint and all of the body panels. You want for everything to be even and in smooth condition. Examine the inside of the car and hidden parts that may have been missed by anyone who repaired the car. After you have examined the car, research the history of the car through its vehicle identification number (VIN). You will want to know what the car has been through and whether it is worth the hassle. Finally, research the market and book value of that model.
Vehicles are sold at auction as-is, where you cannot get a refund if anything breaks. There are no warranties on vehicles form an auction, so you want to ensure that you are purchasing a mechanically sound vehicle. If you are not mechanically-inclined, understand that you may need to pay someone to repair whatever may be wrong with your vehicle.
Observe Your Surroundings :
You will want to be aware of how other bidders are behaving and any hidden tricks that they may be using. As noted by Popular Mechanics, some bidders attend auctions to inflate the prices of vehicles.
Know Your Limits :
You should not be afraid to let go of a vehicle, to another bidder, if you realize that you are going to purchase it for too much. You may end up paying more than retail if you do not give up in some cases. Average cars are not worth spending more money on, as you may have repair costs after you purchase the car.
Repossessed Car Auctions :
Buying repossessed cars at an auction is a slightly different process than walking into your local dealership or purchasing a car from an individual. Repossessed cars are typically sold by financial institutions or law enforcement agencies after some sort of seizure. Though most repossessed cars are in good condition, you will have to be aware as not all repossessed cars were returned in the best condition.
In order to find repossessed car auctions, it will be best for you to look into online auctions. Repossessed car auctions are sometimes listed in newspapers and magazines, but this occurrence is somewhat rare. Once you have found an auction house, if the list is released by the house, you will be able to see the vehicles that will be available at the auction before attending.
Research and preparation is key to getting the best deal at an auction. Through pre-registration, which is required by most auctions, you will begin preparing for the auction. Already armed with the knowledge of what vehicles will be up for auction, you should do your research across a variety of websites to ensure that you know the value of whichever vehicles you would like to purchase.
So you have just won your first bid. What should you do next? The first thing that you will need to do is take your badge to the auction clerk, who will have you sign for the vehicle; this is legally binding. Then, you will pay for your vehicle. Many auction houses accept either cash or card and some offer to finance in order to give bidders an array of payment options.
It is important that you always prepare yourself for the auction that you will be attending. Though a few general steps to preparing for each auction may be the same, different types of auctions will require some different things. For example, buying cars at a dealer auction will present different opportunities and challenges than buying cars on an online auction. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to know how the auction works, what is and isn’t allowed, and what the value of each vehicle is.
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