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Buying a Used Car at an Online Auction – Preparation is Everything

If you’re in the market for a used car, your first thought might be to visit your local car lot and see what’s on offer. However, there’s another source that can provide amazing bargains. Online auctions feature impressively low prices, but getting the right deal takes a little preparation.


1) Research Car Types

An online auction will offer far more choice than a typical used car dealership. To avoid being distracted by a shiny bargain which isn’t really what you need, narrow your options before even thinking about placing a bid.

Decide on a class of auto which meets your needs, and then pick the brands and models which most appeal to you. Consider taking a few test drives at local dealerships to see which models you prefer, even if you have no intention of buying from there.

2) Check Out Auto Prices

Auction prices tend to be more variable than those at a dealership. This means you can get some excellent bargains, but it’s also easy to get carried away and pay too much.

Avoid this by thoroughly researching the market prices for your chosen models, using dealers’ websites and online classified listings as a guide.

One huge advantage of online auctions over a dealership is you can write your research down and keep it handy when making your choice, without looking like you’re inexperienced and ready to be taken advantage of.

Trucks for sale from auction

Use impartial online reviews and other sources of customer feedback to make sure the auction site is trustworthy. More:…

Posted by RideSafely.com on Monday, April 9, 2018

3) Is There a Warranty?

When deciding on your budget, check if the cars in the auction have any kind of warranty. If they haven’t, or if the warranty benefits are very basic, then lower your bidding price to compensate for this. Usually all vehicles are being sold as ‘as is – where is’ all bids are binding and all sales are final.

4) Choose a Car Auction Site Carefully

As with every online arena, some auction sites will be more reputable than others. Use impartial online reviews and other sources of customer feedback to make sure the auction site is trustworthy.

5) Can You Inspect the Car?

Some auction websites will let you inspect a vehicle in person before committing to a bid. If this option is available and convenient, it’s definitely worth doing to make sure you know what you’re buying.

6) Examine the Vehicle Profile

A good auction website will give plenty of details about each vehicle they feature. They should be upfront about its condition and point out any problems – it’s in the nature of auctions that vehicles aren’t always in perfect shape, but so long as you know about any potential issues, you can take this into account.

They should also provide the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). There are many free websites which will let you use this to view a vehicle’s history. While these checks aren’t always completely comprehensive, they’re a good way of spotting any major issues.

7) Check Delivery Arrangements

Lastly, unless the auctioneer or seller is local, you’ll need to arrange for delivery, and you should check out how much this will cost beforehand to avoid any nasty surprises.

Whether a used auto has been repossessed or the seller is simply looking for a quick sale, cars featured in online auctions can often be bought at bargain-basement prices. However, taking advantage of this means preparing and researching properly, so that you have the advantage over your fellow bidders.

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