Knowing how to buy a car at an auction can make the difference between getting a great deal and getting stuck with an overpriced lemon. Online car auctions are a great place for you to find the cars you always wanted to own but didn’t have the money to purchase them new.
Buying at a used car auction means you can get access to some great used cars that can be yours at a much lower cost as compared to buying the same car brand new. However, there are some things that you need to know about before buying a car at an auction site.
Do Your Research
Sure, the whole point of participating in a car auction online is so that you can find out more about the best options. However, there are some things that you will need to find out for yourself. This is why you are advised to always go with online auction sites that provide all the information needed for potential buyers to make a more informed decision. You’ll have the opportunity to go over the listings before the auction begins in some cases, which allows you to view what’s available and focus on the automobiles you’re really interested in.
It is important to choose vehicles that have a vehicle identifying number or VIN included in the entry. You can look up a car history record using the VIN on sites like Carfax. These reports can include important information about the car’s prior owners, severe accidents or damage, maintenance history, and more, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Transportation Can Increase the Cost of the Car
It doesn’t matter if you’ve found a great deal at the used car auction if you’re going to end up spending that money on transporting your car from the used car auction lot to your home. Few people realize this, but transportation can cost a lot of money and could even bump up the price of getting a used car at an auction. This is why it is best to always choose automobile auctions closer to home and go with those car auctions that also offer transportation for your vehicle in the fee they charge. This means that you’ll be covered in terms of the cost that goes into getting your car from the used car auction lot to your home.
Approach Inexpensive Cars with Caution
This rookie mistake is generally made by newbies who do not have experience using car auction sites. It goes without saying that you will also find cars that have been leased, traded in, totaled, or damaged at automobile auctions. So, be wary of any vehicle you know is priced too low. The good news about using online auction sites is that you can get a complete history of the vehicle you are interested in getting. This means you get to know whether the vehicle was traded in, repossessed, or leased.
Also, cars that you find at online auctions also carry a VIN number, which provides you with other valuable information on the vehicle, such as if the car has had previous repairs, if the engine’s been altered or replaced, if the car has been in an accident, and so on.
You Need to Pay on the Spot
If you do win a bid, you are going to need cash or at least a preapproved loan. This is why you need to find out what credit card the auction house accepts to make a purchase. Apart from needing cash to pay, you will also need to pay the additional costs of purchasing a used car at an auction, as in title and registration fees and taxes.
If you are financing your purchase, then you will also need a collision or comprehensive insurance coverage. Keeping that in mind, you should also talk to a trusted insurance company if you are looking at financing options.
Don’t Get Too Impressed
Yes, you’ll be purchasing a car from a used car auction, but that doesn’t mean you’re only going to see old cars. Most of the vehicles found on online car auctions have been buffed and polished, and if needed, touched up to look great from a distance. However, a shiny interior does not guarantee a solid engine or a fuel-efficient car.
If you are looking for one that will not require many visits to the mechanic often, then you should dig deeper and find as many potential purchases on the inventory; then make a comparison based on their cost, condition, and your personal preferences.
Also, it is never a good idea to get too impressed with a particular car you find at the auction because sellers polish and touch cars to increase the car’s value all the time. Besides that, the vehicles purchased from an online auction do not come with a warranty or a guarantee, so you want to get it right the first time.
Look Out for Bank Vehicles
If you are still confused about where to look when trying to find a car at an online auction platform, then you can play it safe by sticking to vehicles that are owned by banks. This is because bank-owned vehicles that are given up for auction are usually repossessed ones that do not have technical faults and have been taken back by the bank due to the previous owner defaulting on their payments. This could mean finding a car that’s just a few years old and almost new, at less than half of the market price of a new one.
Don’t Rush It
Even if the used car auction is online, car auctions tend to be fast and intense. This may leave many people feeling rushed or pressured into making a hasty decision. This is why you need to be prepared beforehand so that you know exactly what you want in a used car and have a good idea of how much you are willing to pay for it.
Public auctions, such as those provided by RideSafely.com, are open to all who are looking for vehicles at a bargain. The best part about public auctions is that you do not need to have a license to participate in the auction. Also, you also have the option of participating in the auction either in person or online, which is another added advantage. All you will need to take part in a car auction online is to create your account on the platform, which only takes a few minutes. After that, you will be granted access to a large inventory of vehicles that are slated for auction that you can purchase.