At auctions, there is a lot of rush. Moreover, you cannot test drive the car; you can only look at it before quickly deciding whether or not to place a bid. In the best-case scenario, they will run the engine. However, they can still pull some tricks to make the engine sound like it is all perfect. Be very vigilant in your examination.
You may want to bring someone along with you at an auction. Given that there are no guarantees and that there is only so much you can check before buying the car, we would suggest that you must always bring someone with you who is an expert in cars. Even if you have a good eye for cars, bringing a friend will only help you since two sets of eyes are better than one, especially when there is so much uncertainty at a car auction.
Things to look out for are dents, paint jobs, and other repair indicators. Even though almost all the cars at an auction will be showered and made to look their best, you must look for signs to differentiate if repairs are minor or major.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you see a car with dents and a bad paint job, it may be the case that the seller didn’t think that it was worth the effort. The car can be a total wreck, and you may not want to bet on something like this.
Moreover, to check how the car was kept and driven, if possible, check for the engine dipstick for oil. The quality of oil tells you if it has been maintained well. Since people don’t check this often, the seller may not have given a thought to changing it.
Since there are cars that were previously totaled, you may want to check for the VIN numbers throughout the car. They must be the same everywhere, a car cannot have more than one VIN number, nor can two cars have the same VIN number. A difference in the VIN is the best indication of wreckage or replacements. If the seller has not made it common knowledge, and you identify a discrepancy, you should most probably drop the car.
So whenever you are at an auction, you have to ensure that you give your best at examining the car. However, the risk still persists. You may drop a car that has a great drive based on a few dents or you may end up getting a shiny good looking car with zero performance.