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6 Steps to take to Purchase a Car at an Auction

Auctions are capacitated to make human beings do the strangest of things. You must have seen people who set off one fine day to buy a house within a set budget and then spent much more than they wanted to.

There is lesser danger of over-reaching while purchasing a car at auctions though the very human desire to win at all costs can kick in. The experience of purchasing a car and a house is similar in the way you don’t get to live in the house before purchasing it nor are you allowed to drive the cars that are offered up in auctions.

Without doubt, there is an element of danger but careful preparation as well as research can mitigate the risks substantially.

As it is the case with all types of auctions, you stand a fair chance of getting to bargain. If you are lucky, purchasing cars at auction can be 10 to 30% cheaper as compared to shopping for second hand cars of the local dealer.

Here are a few ways to make the best buy at car auctions.

1. Know the Differences between Dealer Only Wholesale Auction, Public, Repossession or Other Retail Auction

The dealer only auctions require a car dealer license. Auctions are the only way for the dealerships to rotate excess inventory. Unlike the public auctions, the dealer only auctions offer close to new cars or even new cars. They also offer recent trade-ins as well as the off-lease vehicles.

The public car auctions are open to all. This includes the savvy dealers as well and thus the prices may not be as low as is suggested by the hype. You will see them advertised all over the place including online as well as offline media.

2. Prepare Well

When car auctions come under concern, knowledge is power. You thus, must ensure that you are informed about the car you intend to purchase is really worth bidding.

Find out the price that the similar models are being offered at in the market. Also remember that people usually pay significantly less amount as compared to the amount listed.

You may get caught up during the bidding in case you haven’t done adequate research before attending the auction. It is vital to be prepared as much as possible before you immerse yourself in the rapid fire environment of an auction. Auctions are exciting environment and it is easy to get caught if adequate research is not undertaken before bidding. You can attend a few auctions as an observer to learn the tricks and be acquainted with the process.

3. Read

Go through the auction catalogue as closely as possible.

The model is famous. That’s alright. But what is the history behind? Had it been re-bodied?  Are the numbers matching? Does it come with a comprehensive ownership trail? Does it appear to be out of place in this auction? You need to check out on this as well since that may play a role in making the car available at a lower price.

4. Attend

Make sure you are physically present during the auction. No doubt, you can also bid over the phone but would you like to purchase cars that you haven’t even seen?

Cars at the public and the government auctions sell only on visual auction. You need to check out on everything including the signs of repair like paint overspray, puddles under the vehicle, uneven stance as well as other details. Make sure to use your nose, hands and if possible, legs as well. If the carpet is wet or the car smells musty, avoid purchasing the car. Check out on all the aspects you are used to doing while purchasing a used car.

Not tough to guess, you will never be able to check out on these details unless you are physically present at the auction scene.

5. Observe Others

Take time and watch others. Be on the lookout for suspicious actions like bidders being over active on each and every lot. They are probably simply trying to pump up prices. Visit a few auctions before you start bidding yourself. This will help you to know the players.

6. Avoid Getting Caught up in Bidding

If you get the car at the auction, there is nothing like it. You can accessorise it using personalised registration plates in the U.K., change the headliner or the seat covers. You can also keep it as it is.

In case the price of the car is crossing your budget, don’t get carried away. Stop bidding. Remember that it is easy to get carried away during bidding, ending up spending much more than the car is really worth. Never pin all your hopes on just one vehicle. Always be prepared to walk away.

Making a good buy at car auctions is always based on being better prepared. You need to know the product, the invoice, the average selling price as well as the ways to make the best deal with the seller. Make sure to be smart and take advantage of the details available online.

Written By

Kent Charlie is associated with a vehicle registration agency that also deals with the personal number plate design. He has also been writing for many online publications on a freelance basis. Kent loves travelling and adventure riding, which he often does alone. Collecting heritage car number plates is one of his favorites and he takes pride of that. He takes inspiration from Plates4Less which sells number plates for vehicles.

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