If you’re looking for a new car but aren’t in the market for one straight off the production line, a used car dealership is the obvious choice. However, there’s another option that’s fast gaining in popularity.
It needs a little mechanical knowledge, and also some willingness to take a gamble, but salvage auto auctions offer the chance of getting an excellent deal on your next vehicle. What advantages do they provide to the savvy auto buyer?
Grab a Bargain
Salvage auctions can throw up some fantastic bargains. Unlike dealerships which usually add a substantial markup to the vehicle to make their profit, auctions rely on a fast turnaround and selling in volume to make their money. That means salvage cars often get sold well below their real market value, merely to get them off the auction list.
If you check the vehicles carefully and only bid on ones which you can repair with relative ease, you can pick up a perfectly good car for cents on the dollar.
No Hidden Risks
At a salvage auction, what you see is what you get. Used car dealers will always try to buff up their cars to bump up the price, and you could be buying a lemon underneath the sparkling paint job. With salvage vehicles, there’s no attempt to hide the faults. If you’re careful when you inspect a salvage car, you’ll know what condition it’s in, and there’ll be no nasty surprises in store after buying it.
Bare Bones Vehicles
Salvage cars are a straightforward purchase. You’re not paying for any extras such as warranties, service deals, or insurance upgrades, nor are you paying the dealer’s business rent or taxes. You’re just buying the metal, and you can use the cost savings to get your bare-bones car into roadworthy condition.
Many salvage vehicles may look like wrecks, but if you know what to look for, you can quickly spot cars where the damage is only superficial. A car zeroed for insurance purposes may still be in near-perfect mechanical condition underneath the bodywork damage. Fixing this kind of car will cost far less in the long term than keeping an unreliable used auto on the road.
That’s not to say buying at a salvage auction is without risk. You’re on your own, with no warranty or recourse if you make a mistake. However, if you have enough mechanical knowledge to spot a bargain, salvage auctions offer excellent opportunities.