Car Buying

How to Buy Cars at Auction (With Tips)

Buying a car at auction and learning about how to do it is one of the most interesting and exciting ways to buy a car that there are. Learning the ins and outs of how to buy cars at auction, however, is where things can be a little bit daunting. Auctions have a bad wrap for being a little aggressive when in reality, they’re just another way to buy.

The standard procedure at a car auction is fairly simple. It does take some getting used to, but realistically, it’s always a similar flow when you’re buying a new car. You need to find out what’s out there, what you should spend, what you can afford, what you really want, and then pay for the whole thing. Car auctions have buyers’ fees but even dealerships have admin costs and commissions included. It all intertwines and becomes a very similar process. Just make sure you know it.

To help you feel more at home and get the right car (or cars) for your needs, we’re here to help. Whether you’re buying to sell, use, or even just hold on to, there’s always good advice out there to help if you know where to look for it. To give you a push in the right direction, this is ours.

Tip 1 – Learn the Process

Step one of how to buy a car at auction is always going to be to learn how the auction process works. We have tips to help guide you through it, but make sure you learn the rules of wherever you’re buying. Stick to the etiquette of the auction as best you can, don’t make a racket, and keep yourself to yourself. It’s a place of business after all.

Tip 2 – Do your homework

Next up is to do your homework. This pays off whether you’re buying from a dealership and auction, or even privately. You should always be doing your homework when it comes to buying cars. It’s the best way to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. When you’re learning how to buy a car at auction, that can be anything from researching the auction online all the way through to looking at the catalogue before the show begins.

Tip 3 – Inspect the cars

Reading the small print is all well and good, but when you’re buying a car, one of the most important things for you to be doing at all times is to inspect the car yourself. Always make sure you know what’s what. Take a good look at every inch of the car and its workings. It’s also absolutely vital that you listen to the auctioneer to hear every detail you need to know, and you learn what condition the car can be in as well. That goes for faults structural damage, history, or if it’s being sold as-is and you need to use your best judgement.

On a separate note here it’s always wise to make sure you’re as thorough as you can be with a car being bought like this. While any in particular defects of a car should be announced, especially when you’re still learning how to buy cars at auction, sometimes things slip through the cracks. It can often be worth paying for external checks like MOT histories, previous owners and even financial information services to make sure you’re not getting stung. These are always fairly cheap ways to protect yourself and are available all the time.

Tip 4 – Keep Your Cool

Auctions are exciting places. That much we know. Buying cars, in general, is one of the most exciting things you can ever do. Add an auction into the mix and things are bound to get a little bit overwhelming. The best tip anyone can give you about these is to make sure that you keep you cool. Never get too excited about what you’re doing. Think ahead all the time, and make sure you have a plan. Don’t buy for the sake of buying or you could well regret it.

Tip 5 – Know when You’re beat

On the same kind of level, it’s also a smart move to know when you’re beaten. Bidding in an auction is a tough nut to crack, but it’s happening around you all the time. Don’t get too competitive and make sure that you know when to fold. It’s not worth spending more money on a car than it’s worth in most cases, so always try and remember what that is. Keep rational.

Tip 6 – Don’t overspend

Another of the most valuable tips about buying a car at auction you could ever get is to stick to your budget. Never overspend on anything to do with vehicle’s in an auction, you’re already buying a car and paying the fee to do it. Make sure you’re not ripping yourself off by spending more than the car is worth. There’s always another car out there if you don’t snag the one you want, and this is a huge money game after all.

Lastly, remember to make your car legal at the end of it all. Always make sure you’re fully covered to drive anything you might buy, even if you’ve owned it for less than a day. Get insured, MOTd, taxed, registered as the owner, everything you need to. It all goes a long way in protecting you in every way possible.

In a nutshell, that’s how car auctions work and the tips you need to come out of one on top. Spot the deals, do your homework, pay the right price, and you’re done. The movies make auctions seem a lot more glamorous than they really are, but it’s always business as usual and these people almost always have seen everything before. Don’t panic and just do your thing.

It’s as easy as that, but don’t get carried away. Always remember there are serious pros out there buying in bulk that can afford to take losses through bulk buying discount. Play the smart game and you might just come out a winner. There’s always a great steal if you know where to look!

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