How To Buy A Car At Auction

Buying a car at auction has become popular in recent times as people are looking to score a bargain on a car that will provide reliable transportation over the next few years. While it isn’t impossible to find a great deal at a car auction, you really need to know what you are getting into. You don’t want your ride to be in the shop constantly because you bought a lemon.

Public Vs Government Auctions

If you must buy a car at auction, you should try buying a car at a government auction. The selection will be mostly old police cars, buses or other public vehicles.

The reason why you should try government auctions first is that the information you get is usually more accurate when it comes to condition of the car and mileage. Cars driven by government officials such as police officers are usually driven with more care meaning the car should be working well.

Visual Inspection Only

You cannot test drive a car that you see at an auction. This means that you have to really know what you are looking at when deciding to bid on a car. Look for things like the VIN number matching at each location and other signs of wear and tear on the body.

If you don’t think you could fix the car yourself should anything happen, you should stay away from that car. Look for obvious signs of damage like scored brakes, tires that might need inflation and fluid levels. A car that obviously hasn’t had an oil change in 5 years isn’t worth investing in.

Know How Much To Spend

Know the value of the car and what your own budget is. If the price of the car is driven up in a bidding war, you should just step back and understand that today was not your day. Don’t overpay for a car simply because you like the way it looks. This mistake can cause you to be paying for a car much longer than you need to be.

If anything, you should have multiple cars that you are interested in and let others overpay at the beginning. This could lead to a great deal on a car later on down the line when you are the only one who has any money to bid with.

Bidding at an auction can be a great way to get a good deal on a car, but only if you know what you are looking for. Make sure you have a price in mind and understand that the condition of the car you are buying is deemed as is. This means that you have no recourse if anything should go wrong with the car you bought. Just be smart and don’t put down money on anything you don’t have the utmost confidence in.

About the author:  Nicole Rodgers has been blogging in the automotive, technology, and insurance industries for three years. Last year when Nicole decided to purchase a car, she made sure to check online for auto insurance, this way she knew she saved money and is well covered. This past summer Nicole decided to help her nephew prepare with driving. She also helped him study for the California DMV test


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  1. Jasmin Lopez says

    Thank you for the information. This article was helpful.

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