The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a Car at Auction

When you’re looking to buy a car at auction, it can be difficult to tell the difference between one that’s a great deal and one that includes a great deal of problems. Purchasing a car, truck or van through an online auction gives you the opportunity to save more than you might at a dealer, but the buying process is much different. It takes research to find the right car at the right price, but when you do the extra effort is well worth it. You know that feeling you get driving off the dealer’s lot with a new car you’ve already fallen in love with? It’s even better to drive away with a vehicle that you purchased for well under market value. It’s important to know exactly what you want when you’re going into a vehicle auction, so here are some of our top tips.

Do: Consider Repairs

When a vehicle goes to auction, there is a chance that it requires some repairs before it is ready to drive on a daily basis. It all comes down to your mechanical skills or budget to pay for repairs and how much work you’re willing to put into these types of vehicles. At Auction Masters, we will always be upfront about the condition of a vehicle, and you can stop by to inspect a lot you’re interested in before auction day. If you find a fixer upper that you’re interested in, consider the investment required to bring a vehicle up to speed. If you’re willing to put in work that others are not, you might land an item for much less money than you imagine.

Don’t: Get Attached

Many people have a dream vehicle, so when they see it at auction they can get carried away and bid emotionally. If you’ve done your homework, you already have a price in mind that you’re willing to pay. Don’t let a bidding war get in the way of your strategy because there’s always another chance to find the car you love. If you frequently check the Auction Masters calendar, it won’t take long to come across another vehicle auction with bargains that make more sense for your budget. Unless you’re a collector, you probably don’t want to throw cash at a car you hardly drive, so consider how you will use a car in your daily life. When you love a car and bidding falls well within your price range you are following both your heart and your head.

Do: Some Digging

You might have a general idea of what a car is worth, but it’s always a good idea to check out the Kelley Blue Book value of a car before you submit a bid. This company is a trusted source that analyzes real-world transactions and market conditions to determine an appropriate price range for vehicles. You can also research prices on your own by searching Craigslist for the make and model you’re interested in. Remember that mileage and condition factor into the price of a used car — if a price seems too good to be true, look closely at small details. The more research you put in, the more you will get out of a car at auction.

Don’t: Be Afraid to Show Off Your Purchase

You’re not buying paper towels here — a car is something you can show off with pride. Take your new wheels out for a spin and invite friends, family and neighbors for a ride. Anyone who loves cars knows it’s all about the experience, and there’s nothing quite like turning the key on a newly purchased car. You can add some personality to your car by giving it a name, but we recommend driving it for a few weeks to get a feel for what fits. If you buy a vehicle you love, you might even look forward to the commute to and from work. It’s a great opportunity to carpool with coworkers and show them your new ride!

Auto auctions can bring out the car enthusiast in all of us, so if you’re counting down the days to buy your dream car, we don’t blame you. Just remember to approach an auction with a strategy that makes sense for your wallet. One helpful way to get an idea of how a car auction works is to check out past sales. Take a look at our past auctions to discover some of the vehicles that have sold through Auction Masters. When you’re ready to take the plunge and purchase a vehicle, we are here to help. Ditch the salesman and go with an online auction for your next car purchase.