Introduction: 8 Tips for Buying Cars at the Auction
You probably have an idea of how an auction works. Buyers float their prices and at the fall of the hammer the highest bidder gets the item on sale. While the procedure is more or less the same at used car auctions, you need to know a couple of things to enable you get not only the best car but at a good deal too. Remember that few people buy their cars from auctions, so the chances of getting a car in an incredible shape are always high. Below is a look at some of the things that will give you an edge over fellow bidders at the auction.
It goes without saying that there will be other interested parties at the auction, so the need to get there first needs no emphasis. You need to get a copy of the cars on auction and have ample time to look at them. You have to get their values as well because the car auction is all about outmaneuvering other bidders to get the car that is in good shape and value at a reasonable price.
Having an early assessment on the cars will also enable you know which cars to place a bid on and the ones not to.Know More About the Auction You’re Attending… There are different types of auctions from public to private to government car auctions. Gather more information about the auction you are attending to know if there are any special requirements. For instance, some auctions are only open to dealers hence private. You would also want to know if the auction you wish to take part in deals with pre-inspected cars or everything on the lot is up for sale.
Bring Someone Who Knows A little More About Cars
You may be experienced at auctions all right, but you need to know buying a used car is more than just making the payments or judging the car on the looks. Unlike buying a new car, you need to inspect the car thoroughly. Remember you may not know exactly why the car is being sold at auction. It could be the owner wants to get rid of it because of recurring mechanical problems, so you need to be cautious.
Bring a mechanic to check on things such as indications of wear and lack of functionality as well as malfunctions that can only be detected by a profession. Having an experienced person on your side will come in handy when you want to buy used cars at auctions and you will end up with quality cars only.
Talk to Fellow Bidders
One of the best ways to know what to expect at a car auction you have never attended before is talking to customers who participate there routinely. Chat with them in a friendly manner and exchange notes. They can fill you in on the cars the auction tends to sell and how to go about the entire process. Ask any nagging questions that you may be having and don’t forget to ask for insider tips while you are at it.
Don’t let the Looks Fool You
The fact that the car looks like a million dollars doesn’t take away the fact that it is still a used car. When you want to buy a used car more so at an auction whether public or otherwise, you need to concentrate on the inside rather than the outside. Before you even think of bidding for the car, ensure that you have inspected under the hood thoroughly. There is nothing as bad such as bidding for a used car based on the outside only to find it is a wreck on the inside.
Have a Look at the Documentation
Just like when buying a new car, you need to go through the documents of the car you intend to place a bid on. Take keen interest on the salvage title as it will give you a hint if the car has been involved in an accident and went under repair. If that is the case, then you need to know that the car’s resale value will be affected thus you have to be cautious when bidding on the car. If the car had been wrecked then repaired, avoid bidding on it since things might go wrong with it in the future.
Verify the Car’s Particulars
Used car auctions might be one of the best places to find cars in good conditions at cheap prices, but you need to re-check the details. It is so easy to get swayed and think the details given at the auction are authentic. While this is the case most of the times, verification is always advantageous. With the advancement of technology, it is easy to submit and get the particulars of the car with the local registration body within minutes. Inquire about the car’s ownership history and whether the registration tax has been paid.
Take Your Time at the Auction
You will find used cars at the auction that are worth every penny, but you don’t have to bid in panic. Be calm, and bid according to the car’s value and not because you merely want to outbid other used car dealers. Car auctions are all about getting value for your money and not paying huge amounts unnecessarily. If someone outbids you for a targeted price, don’t compete with them as you might end up burning your fingers. You need to realize that if you don’t get what you are looking for at a particular auction, you will get it in another auction, so there is no need for buying hastily.
Car auctions vary in terms of operation and vehicles on the lot. What you find in one auction will be different from another auction and so will be the terms of service. As mentioned earlier on, the most fundamental question to ask is why the car has been placed on auction in the first instance. That way you will know whether it is worth putting a bid on a car or not. The fact that buying a car from an auction comes with its risks and unique challenges does should not deter you from attending and even purchasing from auctions. In fact, the chances of getting a car that is as good as new are very rife at auctions.
Get cash for your used car instead of selling it at the auction.