Car auctions are no longer limited to classic cars and niche dealers. An increasing number of people are flocking to auctions hoping to find an operational vehicle at a great price. However, with them, they bring various misconceptions. Here, we will be debunking car auction myths so you can gain a better understanding of how auctions work.
1. You Only Get Wrecked and Salvaged Cars at Auctions
Most people actually believe car auction only sells wrecked or salvage cars. Though it is the most prevalent myth, there is no truth to the statement. Auctions display a variety of vehicles, including those recovered from accident sites.
You will also be able to find used cars or trade-in cars. You may even come across vehicles from police impound lots. Vehicles repossessed by banks and lenders also make their way to auction lots as do some cars from private collections.
At an auction, you can get a wider variety of options to choose from. Not all of them will be worth buying, but provided you have the eye for it, the chances of you getting a good deal are quite high.
Even if you are at an auction that has wrecked or salvage cars, know that nobody can fool you into buying a salvage title. The law requires auctions to display which car has a salvage title and why clearly. Do your research, and you should be fine.
2. Cars at Auctions Are All Damaged beyond Repair
Again, not all cars at auctions are hopeless. In fact, some of them only require minor repairs before they are fit for the road once more. Here you need a good eye and extensive research. If you are a first-time buyer, then we suggest you seek help from an expert who can guide you.
Where you may miss out on dents and major damage, a mechanic may not. Take them with you to the auction so they can inspect the car before you make a bid. Or you can run your options through them before making your way to the auction, so you have an idea of which ones to focus on.
3. Auctions Are Not for First Time Buyers
On the contrary, if you are a first-time buyer hoping to get good value for your money, and the auction is exactly where you should be. The misconception goes that as a first-time buyer, you are naïve and might end up either buying the wrong vehicle or paying too much.
However, as long as you have someone experienced to go with, there really isn’t anything to worry about. Take a mechanic, your father, or even a friend who knows about cars to help you pick a decent vehicle.
In fact, auto auction firms have taken specific steps to eliminate the possibilities of cheating. Many online auctions now even allow you to take a look at the vehicle before making your bid. Just be sure to take a thorough examination before and after the purchase and take pictures of the car to ensure you don’t get cheated.
4. Cars at Auctions Are Available for a Few Dollars
Walking in at auction with a couple of dollars in your pocket is not a good idea. Despite popular belief, automobiles are not available for a few dollars. No doubt, those vehicles at auctions are priced substantially lower than those at dealerships.
However, most auctions have minimum reserve prices to ensure the car does not sell for less than it is worth. The profit margin at auction is lower than it as at dealerships, which is beneficial for you as the purchaser. But they will cost a realistic sum of money as you are, in fact buying an actual vehicle and not a toy car.
5. Car Auctions Proceed Very Fast
The word is that auctions proceed incredibly fast, not giving the buyer enough time to look at the vehicles. However, the word is wrong. All car auctions allow people to reach the venue early and allows them to inspect the car in broad daylight.
By coming early, you can take your time looking at each car before you make your decision. You can also bring in an expert with you to give you a second opinion on the vehicle of your choice before you proceed with the purchase.
6. It is Impossible to Get the Vehicle Insured
There’s a lot of a grey area where auto auction cars and insurance are concerned. It isn’t as black and white as the myth makes it sounds. While we are debunking car auction myths, let us also debunk this one. Getting comprehensive insurance coverage for a wrecked or salvage car is unrealistic.
No insurance company is going to provide complete coverage to a vehicle that they have termed as irrecoverable. However, once you make essential repairs and get the vehicle to clear road safety tests, getting basic insurance is effortless. In fact, if properly restored, you can even obtain personal liability and property damage coverage as well.
With a salvage or wrecked car, you may be losing out on collision insurance out of fear of structural damage. However, this again depends upon the car, nature of repairs as well as the reason for the salvage title.
If the car was stolen and recovered after the insurance company paid it in full, then it earns a salvage title but is essentially in ideal working condition. You may be able to bargain your way into getting comprehensive coverage for such a vehicle. At the end of the day, it all depends upon your expertise and negotiation power.
7. Hope for the Best and Expect the Worst
Lastly, we debunk the misconceptions brought about by a common saying. “Hope for the Best and Expect the Worst” makes it sound like you are making a purchase at gunpoint. Nobody is forcing you into buying a random automobile at the auction.
You have the opportunity to do your research and ample time to inspect available options before you handpick the ones you would like to bid on. Even if you are unable to purchase the one you had an eye on, nothing is forcing you to opt for a second less suitable vehicle. You can always visit another auction.
As long as you hold out and do not make haste, you can get immense value from your purchase. Auction cars are definitely cheaper and serve as an ideal option for those on a budget. If they were really as bad as an investment as they are believed to be, dealers wouldn’t be investing so much on such automobiles.
In fact, there are dealer to dealer auctions as well, that are not open to the public. Generally, they proceed much faster than large scale auctions as all those present are experts and know which vehicles are worth the purchase and which are not.
The prevalent rumors and misconceptions revolving around auctions make debunking car auction myths essential. They are an excellent option for first-time buyers on a budget or for those looking for used cars. For some, they may provide even more value than new vehicles do, so do not let false information hold you back.