With prices of new cars increasing, more and more folks are turning towards car auctions to find a vehicle at a low price. This has led to many people asking the question, “What car auctions can regular folks take part in?” If you are looking for a cheap car, then that is a valid question. For those who are looking forwards to attending a car auction, they must first find out more about the different types of car auctions that they can take part in. Keeping that in mind, here we are going to take a look at the various types of auto auctions that you can enter in the US and what you can expect at a car auction.
Whenever one thinks about a car auction, they probably picture the famous Barrett-Jackson auctions that are televised on cable TV and usually cater to cars that value three-digit numbers. This is not going to be about those auctions!
Here, we are talking about car auctions that cater to regular folks. These are the people who are just looking for a cheap car that works and are not collectors or car enthusiasts who are looking for a vacant spot to fill in their 50 car garage. In the car auctions that we are going to talk about you can expect to get your hands on basic sedans, hatchbacks, and base model pickup trucks. Point is, in these auctions, the odd 90’s Pontiac Firebird is as classic as it gets. So, if you are a regular Joe (or Joanne), then you’d want to read on till the end.
Government auctions are where counties put used government-issued vehicles up for auction, which could also include a few police cruisers. The good thing about these auctions is that all of the vehicles have a known history, but are properly maintained and fix – no funny business here. Their mileage is also honest and is not tinkered with. In short, you are always going to know where your money’s going when it comes to government auctions. However, since there’s no option of taking the car out for a spin before you buy it, attendees need to keep their eyes peeled and filled with pessimism.
It is also important to note that since the quality of the cars at government auctions are relatively better as compared to others, there is going to be competition. It is no secret that the bidding competition at government auctions can be brutal. This is mainly because you will be going up against government employees who have driven a particular car for years and are just fond of it and want to own it.
On the other hand, there may be a taxi company owner who is scoping for cheap old cars that they can refurbish and use as cabs. There are also brokers present at these auctions who look to purchase in bulk and ship overseas for a profit. So, it’s safe to say that you’re not going to be the only bidder in town at a government auction.
A public auction is another option for those who are looking to buy cheap cars – that hopefully work. While there are many who would argue that public auctions were once good places to buy cars, but aren’t anymore, the truth is, you can still pick up a decent car at a bargain at one of these auctions. That said, one needs to have some mechanical know-how of how a car works, or take along a mechanic with you.
While public car auctions have grown in popularity over the years, especially due to the rising prices of new cars, the options that are on auction more often than not have a shadier past. These are the auctions where the mileage of a car is often rolled back to a smaller number just to bump up its value and make it appear relatively new.
Also, don’t get surprised to see a “Miles Exempt” sign slapped on a car at these auctions, which basically means that there’s no guarantee on the mileage. You can also expect most cars at public auctions to be there as a result of tough repos and bad trade-ins and flood vehicles, and the worst part is, you aren’t allowed to take the car on a test drive (not that you can in a government auction), so there’s really no way of knowing whether you’ve got a lemon or not.
There are also some vehicles that are reconditioned by dealerships as a filler for slow months, while others are in such bad condition that even wholesale dealers reject them. But, just because you see a vehicle sauntering across the auction lot without spewing smoke does not always mean you have found a winner. It is no secret that some cars that look okay and seem to drive without spewing smoke at the auction lot have been slathered with thick racing oil, so be wary. To be fair, that doesn’t mean you will not find a good car at these auctions. But you do need to pay attention to the finer details and what the auctioneer is saying before you make a bid.
Other types of auctions include those for repossessed cars. This type of auction, which is known as a repo auction, is usually organized by banks or other financial institutions that are trying to liquidate car repos. Surprisingly, repo auctions are one of the best places to find good, clean cars at an affordable price.
If you are a mechanic or have knowledge of cars and do not mind getting your hands dirty, then salvage auctions are a good way to find cheap cars, albeit these vehicles usually need a lot of work done before you can drive them on the road. That being said, if you have the mind of a mechanic, it is possible to find extremely cheap cars that can be refurbished by spending a few more dollars and some TLC.
When it comes to car auctions, another option is wholesale auctions where dealerships usually sell any surplus vehicles they have on the lot to add newer models. It should be noted that wholesale auctions are not open to the general public.
Attending a car auction is now seen as a great way to find a reliable and affordable vehicle that’s half the price of what you would have to pay on the regular market. While car auctions are considered to be a great way to get more bang for your buck, there are a few factors that people need to consider before attending a car auction. To find out more on all things related to cars and auctions turn to RideSafely.com for the best advice in town.
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