how to buy an auction car

how to buy an auction car
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how to buy an auction car

how to buy an auction car


Did you ever wonder how to buy an auction car? How do you go about it, and what things should be taken into consideration? Well, let me tell you one thing: aside from the usual concerns such as price and condition if you want to buy a car from a reputable auction, there are a few more things that need attention. Being a virtual online virtual auctions website, we have received a lot of queries from car buyers asking for guidelines on how to buy an auction car.

What will you benefit from if you know about such things? It will help you make the right decision when choosing which used car at auction to bid on and other concerns that might arise during or after the bidding process. So, here are 15 things that will guide you on how to buy an auction car.

1. Auction preference

how to buy an auction car

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how to buy an auction car

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It would be best if you considered why you want to bid at a particular car auction site. There are private and government auctions, including insurance auto auctions and repossessed vehicle sales. If this is your first time buying a used vehicle from a dealership, you have to know that “the auction site” is the wrong term. The car dealership may be selling the units at a lower price, but they are still making money because their business is not just about buying and selling cars. They have bills to pay, so buying an auction vehicle at a lower price doesn’t mean that you are getting an excellent deal.

2. Buyer background and nationality

Not everyone can purchase a car at an auction. Generally, most auctions require potential bidders to meet the following requirements: must be 18 years old or older, have a valid driver’s license, provide proof of permanent address, provide proof of income or credit history, and have a bank account. Some sites may require that you be an established member or at least have a certain number of positive feedback to bid on their auctions. Cars being sold by the U.S. government are open to all bidders, but there is still buyer background checking required for these units.

3. Vehicle identification number

how to buy an auction car

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If you are to buy a specific model, make sure that the VIN of the unit is clean. To avoid legal issues, it would be better if you could get a vehicle history report before making your purchase. This would help you save yourself from buying “hot” vehicles or looted vehicles which can have serious consequences. You should also know that some auction sites do not give information about an auctioned car’s background, and you can only get it if you ask for a vehicle history report from the seller.

4. Insurance


Some online and offline auctions would require their buyers to be insured, or they cannot take delivery of the unit. If this is the case, make sure you are within their insurance requirements to avoid unnecessary delays in taking possession of your team. I suggest using an independent broker rather than the dealer to save yourself from paying higher premiums.

5. Identify what you want to buy

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Having said that, before bidding on any vehicle at an auction, make sure that you have identified your needs first. Do you need an SUV or a coupe? What is the model year of the car that you prefer? Is it new or used? Do you want to buy a particular color of vehicle? Make sure that before bidding, you are fully aware of what you are looking for. It would be best if you have already researched the car model you are interested in.

6. Financing

Some online auctions require buyers to have pre-approved financing before making any bids on their lot. If this is the case, you might want to check with different bank loans first to know which interest rates are being offered at what time of the day or week. It is vital that you get the best deal for auto loans because this will affect your budget for your new car.

7. Bidding and Winning

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Bids can be placed in quarter increments up to a maximum of $5,000 or any amount stated in the auction site’s bidding rules and regulations, while some sites allow bids of more than $5,000. It is important that you do not exceed your limits, and bids beyond the required amount of money will be ignored by the auction site. Keep in mind that online bidding does not automatically secure a unit for you because there are times when an auctioned car is reserved for another buyer who gave a higher bid on it.

8. Transportation

Most buyers contact shipping companies to transport their car after they win the bid. It is advisable that you seek out quotes from different transportation companies so you would know how much it will cost to move your unit. As soon as the vehicle is shipped, ask the buyer to send you a copy of the purchase invoice together with a bill of lading so you can use this as proof that you’ve already received the car.

9. License Plates

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Make sure that before taking possession of your vehicle, you have already secured a license plate and registration papers from the DMV office in your area. Auctions that are located out of state will most likely come without license plates because these are not legally allowed in the state. It is important that you think about this before bidding on your unit because if it cannot be driven without a license plate or if moving an auctioned car to another state would require registration papers, you might have problems with legal authorities when trying to take possession of your vehicle.

10. Insurance | how to buy an auction car

After taking possession of your car, be sure to get it insured. Some buyers would opt to shop around for the cheapest rates, while some would just go with what is given to them by their dealer. It is important that you are aware of your options when looking for a cheap insurance deal because otherwise, you might end up paying more for your car.

11. Post-Purchase Issues and Problems

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After the transaction, there’s no telling that you might run into issues with your unit. You may already notice some problems that need fixing or it could be something worse like hidden damage due to car accidents. If this is the case, please make sure that you report such a matter to the Auctioneer as soon as possible. If it is within the timeframe that they allow (which is usually around 24 hours), you can still return your unit and ask for a replacement.

12. Returns | how to buy an auction car

Some auctioneers who offer returns would ask you to pay for the return shipping costs plus the restocking fee. If your car is bought for parts, you might have different rules depending on the Auctioneer’s guidelines on this matter. It is best that you closely read their policy first before bidding on any lot so as not to run into any problems regarding returns.

13. Feedback | how to buy an auction car

Make sure that you leave feedback to the Auctioneer as well as for the buyer if you’ve had a good experience with them. This will help build your reputation on eBay and other auction sites which can greatly benefit you when future transactions are involved.

14. Signed Disclosure Statement

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This is a legal document that is given to you when you win an auctioned car. It contains important information about the vehicle, your rights and responsibilities as a buyer, fees charged for using certain services from the Auctioneer, etc. Make sure that you do not forget to sign this document because it will be needed when filing a dispute with the Auctioneer regarding your purchase.

Things to avoid

  1. a) Do not let your excitement get in the way of your judgment.
  2. b) Do not let yourself be pressured to bid more than what you’re comfortable with spending.
  3. c) If you feel that the auctioneer is trying to rush you into bidding, do not hesitate in getting up and leaving or asking for a break to think about it before placing any further bids.
  4. d) If you feel like bidding on an item will make you go over your spending limit, don’t do it.
  5. e) Do not expect that much from the car when you get it or bring it home. After all, it is an auctioned vehicle, and there’s no telling how long they’ve been in service (if at all). As such, keep your expectations realistic, and a proper assessment of the car will be done before getting any repairs are made.

Further Suggestions | how to buy an auction car

If you’re planning to buy an auctioned car in the USA, make sure that you follow all of the tips mentioned above so you would be able to secure your bid and ensure that you won’t be getting ripped off. There are a lot of auction sites out there but if you follow the advice provided, you will definitely end up with a worth-buying unit for less than half of its original price!

Interest: If so, you’ll want to read this. We know that buying a car is an important decision and we want to make sure you have all the information before making your purchase. Buying a used vehicle can be a risky business if you don’t do your research first. With our guide, we hope to help take some of the guesswork out of finding the perfect car for your needs and budget.

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