Daytime TV has shown us the good deals on offer at auction houses and the bargains consumers can bag. Car auctions aren’t just for motor dealers; it’s a great place for private buyers to find their dream car at a reduced price. If you’ve never been to an auction don’t worry, we’ve put together a clever step by step guide to car auctions.
Before you do anything else, it’s important to do your homework to decide on the type of car you want to buy. Make sure you know what the market value – check the prices online and the ‘used car guide’ price to ensure you won’t be paying over the odds. If you’ve never been to a car auction it can be daunting, the golden rule is not to buy on your first visit – instead get a feel for what’s going on and how it works. You could also take an experienced friend with you who can offer advice.
Arrive with plenty of time to spare before the auction starts to have a look around and check the vehicle offered for sale. This is a perfect time to ask questions about the vehicles(s) you are keen on. Make sure you examine the bodywork checking for dents and anything suspicious. Does the outside look new but interior haggard? Check the mileage to see if it could have been possibly clocked. A helpful tool is a car history check – this will uncover the car’s past and tell you any relevant information ie: if the car has been written off or has outstanding finance recorded against it. Decide on a couple of possible choices for each sale.
Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully as these can vary from auctions houses. Admin fees may be charged at an additional cost so make sure you check with the auction house before. Don’t panic, there will be plenty of sales staff present to help you out and answer any questions.
When the car auction begins, listen carefully as the auctioneer’s description as it is legally binding. Keep your budget in mind and stick to it. It’s easy to get competitive but make sure you don’t pay over the odds. Unlike auctions portrayed in the movies, there is no need to wink or tap your nose when bidding, simply raise your hand or the catalogue – the auctioneer will see you and will make sure you have an opportunity to bid.
Once the hammer falls the car is legally yours so make sure you have insurance cover if you want to drive it home and check that it’s roadworthy and fully taxed – if you prefer the auction house will be able to deliver the car to your home.