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Physical Vs Online Auto Auctions: Which is Right for You?

When it comes time to say goodbye to your trusty old family car and look into buying a new one, you would be remiss to not consider the idea of purchasing your next car at an auction. Auto auctions can be a great way to view a lot of cars in a short space of time, as well as offering up some excellent deals that you just won’t find at the local dealership. However, once you have decided to give the auction a try, you will be faced with one more question. Should you go to a physical, in-person auction, or should you look at an online auction? In order to answer this question, you will need to know some key information.

Physical Auto Auctions

Many buyers enjoy the process of buying a vehicle at a physical auction in part because it is just what they are used to and most comfortable with. Buyers like the fact that you can physically view and inspect each and every car in-person, so you will know for sure what you are purchasing. It can also sometimes be a little easier to snag a good deal at a physical auction, since you will mainly be bidding against the other people in the room (though some auctions will have phone bidders or similar).

One potential stumbling block of physical auctions, however, is that it all happens very quickly. This means that it can be all too easy to either get carried away and over-bid on a vehicle, or to walk away from the auction empty handed. In most cases, all physical auction inventory requires special licenses or documents.

Online Auto Auctions

Though much newer than a physical auction, online auctions are always increasing in popularity. Bidders enjoy the massive selection of vehicles that they can view – since they aren’t constrained by the inventory that can fit into a physical space. This increased inventory means that you will potentially get to consider cars that you have never seen before, and potentially save a lot of money when buying them. Of course, you can do it all from the comfort of your sofa.

However, some buyers are put off of online auctions by the fact that they cannot view the vehicle in-person before buying it. Others complain about the fact that you may have to wait days or even weeks for your vehicle to be delivered after purchasing it.

Ultimately, each individual car buyer will make their own determination on whether to opt for physical or online auctions. What is certainly true is that no matter which option you pick, you will soon be back on the road in your new vehicle that you bought at a great price.


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