Once you have decided that it is time to move on from your current vehicle and find yourself a new ride, you will have many options. You can look for private party car options, visit your local new or used car dealer, or you could even go to an auto auction. Though auto auctions can seem a little intimidating at first, they can be a great way to purchase a new vehicle at an affordable price. However, in order to ensure that you get the best deal, it is important that you avoid some of the most common mistakes that people make at vehicle auctions, such as:
1) Not having (or sticking to) a budget
Just like with any other vehicle purchase, it is vital that you set yourself a budget before you walk into the auction house. Take a look at your finances and find a number that works for you. Even more importantly, make sure that you stick to that budget once the auction begins. When you find a car that you like it can sometimes be very easy to get carried away and keep bidding higher and higher. Generally, this strategy will ultimately end up resulting in a purchase price that doesn’t work for you.
2) Arriving to the auction too late
Many auction houses will list the approximate times that each car (or group of cars) will go up for bid. As such, it can be very tempting to simply arrive a few minutes before the vehicle that you have your eye on goes up for sale. However, it is important to also give yourself ample time to inspect the car thoroughly. If you find something about the vehicle that worries you, you will then also have time to view some alternative vehicles. Arriving early can potentially save you a lot of money and a lot of heartache!
3) Forgetting the additional fees
Perhaps a lesser known aspect of auctions is that the final price that the auctioneer yells out when he drops the hammer on a sale is rarely the amount that the buyer will ultimately pay. Instead, most auction houses will generally have a fee schedule that outlines the additional fees that will need to be paid to the auction house for their services. Some states may also require full tax payments at the time of purchase. The additional costs from the auction fees and taxes can sometimes be quite substantial so should never be forgotten.
4) Expecting to drive home in their newly purchased vehicle
Once the auctioneer has finished the bidding on your chosen vehicle and you have made the winning bid, you may begin to dream about taking your new vehicle for a drive that evening. However, this is unlikely to happen. Most auto auctions will not be able to process same-day title exchanges on sold vehicles. In many cases, the title changeover can take anywhere from 1 week to 1 month. Be patient, you will have your new car soon!
By carefully avoiding some of the more common pitfalls of auto auctions you can ensure that you are well prepared and ready to make the best deal possible on your next vehicle.