Ideas and tips for buying cars at auctions

7 Oct by Katherine J. Chambers

Ideas and tips for buying cars at auctions

The idea of buying cars at auctions is booming these days, as this way you can get a cheap car, but you should avoid being cheated, as well as learn how to make a bid, so follow the tips below.

How to Buy Cars at Auction in America

If you want to buy cars in auctions, you should know that it can be a trap for you if you don’t know several issues you are about to read and it will depend on it whether you consider an auction is for you or not.

Where to find car auctions

In the United States, a large number of auctions are available to licensed car dealers, but you can also search online and in your local newspaper for public auctions near your area.

If the auction posts a list of vehicles in advance, do a vehicle value search and a car history report.

Most online auctions feature cars from municipal lots including cars that have been towed, abandoned and impounded. But in most cases these will not be the most attractive, safe, or well-maintained cars. Another possibility is that you may find the old rental cars or fleet vehicles such as corporate or police cars unarmed.

Keep your cool at the auction

On the day of the auction, stay calm, because it’s easy to get excited and overwhelmed. You can visit an auction the day before you plan to bid to familiarize yourself with the process,

Get there early and check the lot. In case you don’t know much about the cars, arrive at the auction with a friend and look for the cleanest cars and take note of the ones you are interested in.

If those cars are the same ones you researched in advance you will have made a good start. Keep in mind that some auctions will allow you to drive the test cars you like, so take advantage of this opportunity.

Benefits of buying at car auctions

The main benefit of the auction, obviously, is that the cars, and even the best ones, will usually cost much less than at a dealership or if you buy from a private dealer, but never drive under pressure.

Disadvantages of car auctions

However, while you may get a benefit in terms of cost, there are also drawbacks such as the fact that in the United States there is no federal law requiring sellers to disclose defects, damages and other issues regarding used cars.

This means that most auctions sell the cars as they receive them even if the car they receive is in serious condition, they still put it up for auction this way without any repairs and will sell it to you without warranty.

However, some states have laws on the sale of used cars but usually the law is directed at the dealer and also these laws are difficult to enforce at an auction if the buyer has agreed to the terms.

However, if you buy a car at a damaged auction, you can take it to the local dealer for that brand and he is required by law to do the repair work for free.

On the other hand, think that an auction is not the best place if you are an overly detailed buyer, since the goal is to buy the best car you can find at the lowest price. So, you will have to leave aside your preferences regarding make, model and year.

Method of payment in car auctions

Many auctions require buyers to pay in cash, but this is a detail that should be disclosed to you in advance, either on the auction website or in the newspaper ad, as traditional financing is not an option at auctions, so you will not be able to buy your car cheaply with your credit card.

Tips for buying cars at auctions

Follow these tips for buying cars at auctions so that you don’t have problems with your new, cheap used car and can buy it in good condition:

  • Be careful because this is the place where recovered vehicles arrive, crashed, whose odometer will show you a false number, etc., But it does not mean that the whole lot is not ideal for you, so you should always be suspicious and inspect.
  • Remember that you will need cash or an approved loan if you win the bid.
  • If you plan to pay back with a loan you got from your bank, be prepared to cover a deposit once you see that you have won with your offer.
  • While it’s not common, find out in advance if the auction accepts credit cards, but you’ll also have to pay taxes, title and registration fees.
  • If you’re financing the purchase of your car, you’ll probably need to carry insurance from a loan agency, so it’s a good idea to talk to an agent who can help you find car insurance quotes before you buy, since independent agents work with several insurance companies and can make comparisons for free.
  • Keep in mind that you will be surprised because all the cars shine, as they look like new because they have been touched, polished and again polished for the auction, but it does not guarantee the solidity of the car, so you should always check the history of the car, if the VINs match the dashboard and other identification details.
  • In fact, sellers will hide problems from you by masking bugs. For example, a faulty engine will be shown to you by making it look clean and sound good.
  • If you don’t know the tricks that sellers can use, come with a friend who knows these traps, as in public auctions there is no guarantee.
  • At a public auction you will usually find salvaged vehicles and trucks that lenders want to sell at a price that will allow them to recoup their losses. So make sure that the car is well maintained and that the interior is in good condition, as these are the areas with the most problems when it comes to repossessions.
  • Beware of used car sellers at auctions. Take your time, research one, two, three and four times that bid because everything you see may not be true.
  • At an auction it’s easy to feel rushed and pressured to make a decision, so be prepared to stay calm.
  • If you don’t have complete confidence in a vehicle, then you’d better leave and buy another day before you buy a car that you won’t be able to use or sell later.
  • Set a limit before the bidding begins and stick to that limit and set your best price without going over it.
  • It’s important to arrive early because if you are late you won’t have a chance to inspect the car you are interested in.
  • If you are away from home or out of state, think about extra money for shipping, as it is not convenient for you to drive a car that has not been tested or may have any breakdowns during the trip.

How to buy cars in online auctions

If you are thinking of buying cars at Internet auctions you should be sure that the site offers you the same advantages as an authorized dealer for the purchase of used cars.

The site must also provide you with access to clean title vehicles in addition to 24-hour access to live and pre-auction bidding.

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