used car auctions

Steps to Buy a Used Car at Auction

If you are thinking about attending a car auction to get a great deal on a pre-owned vehicle, you should prepare for a unique buying experience. While many people successfully buy used cars in this fashion, you should be aware that there are both hot deals and money-sucking lemons available at auction. If you want to enjoy the best experience and results when buying a used car at auction, you can use the following checklist to guide you along the way.

Determine Your Budget

The first step in buying a used car is to decide how much money you want to spend on the car. There is a broad range of vehicles at most auctions, and the price point may range from a few thousand dollars to much more. You typically need to prove to the car auction host that you have the funds available to purchase a used car on the spot, so have a bank statement or credit card statement handy when you register for an event. By determining your spending limit up-front, you can avoid overbidding when engaged in a heated bidding war.

Line Up Your Funds

When buying a used car at auction, you typically need to act quickly to pay for the car. While you may have money available in an account, that account may not be easily accessible. You should transfer funds around as necessary so that you can pay for your purchase with a debit or credit card, or otherwise, write a check if the auctioneer permits it. As part of your used car checklist, you should be sure to research the auctioneer’s preferred payment form that your auctioneer desires.

Obtain the Auction Catalog

The next step in your buying a used car checklist is to request a copy of the auction catalog. Many auctioneers post one online, and this makes it easy to obtain and review. Note the vehicles about which you are most interested. Read the descriptions so that you can better determine what to expect. While the reports likely will be accurate, they can often be intentionally misleading. You should read between the lines and pay close attention to the pictures. Make a list of all of the cars that meet your needs and your budget. You will have a limited amount of time available to review these vehicles in person at the auction, so narrowing down the options ahead of time is a wise decision.

Register for the Event

You cannot just attend a car auction. Instead, you must register well ahead of time for the event. The registration process typically will require that you demonstrate that you have funds available to purchase the cars in the auction. Registration requests often need to be reviewed by the event staff, who will notify you within a few days if yours has been approved.

Bid on the Cars You Are Most Interested In

If you have decided to bid on a car after you have thoroughly inspected it, you may be eager to win your bidding war. Before the bidding begins, however, set a maximum spending limit. It is easy for bidding wars to escalate, and this can cause you to pay much more for a car than it is worth. Some unscrupulous car owners may have someone in the audience driving the bid prices up, so be aware of this possibility as well.

Buying a used car at auction may be an excellent way to get a good deal on a quality used car, but this can be a risky buying process as well. By following this checklist, you can more easily find the right vehicle to buy at auction and successfully navigate the inspection and bidding process.


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Buying a used car at #auction may be an excellent way to get a good deal on a quality used car. Learn more:

— Products shown: Buy Fee $299 For All Auction Vehicles.

Posted by on Monday, November 27, 2017


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