Car Auctions 101
by Gregory Ashton
Car auctions are a good place to get good a bargain on cars. But buying cars
from auctions can be very complicated. This is particularly true for the
uninitiated. Of course the cars in auctions are generally cheaper. But they are
cheap because they lack the guarantees that come with cars bought from dealers.
The rules in auctions are simple, you bid an item, you pay for it, and you own
It is therefore not advisable for persons without much experience in motor
vehicles to just go to an auction and buy a car.
What you’ll need if you’re planning to buy a car in an auction is a good
eye, good observation skills and a willingness to learn the car auction process.
You can even make it a business by buying cars at auction and then selling
them at a profit. There are several people who have made huge profits by buying
and selling cars at auction.
There are basically two kinds of car auctions, local car auctions and online
car auctions. Each of the auctions works differently. Each has a different set
of rules so you must study them very carefully if you are planning to buy a car
from either kind of auction.
If you want to buy a vehicle in a car auction you must first pre-register
with the local auction you want to join. The pre-registration process won’t take
much of your time and will provide you all the essential information that you
will need in order to buy a car. An auction site will often have an auction
staff who will explain to you the rules of their auction site and the procedures
and instruction on how to participate and bid on the cars.
It is wise to inspect the cars before the actual bidding begins. Ask the
auction organizer or staff if they can allow you to take a closer look at the
cars before the start of the actual auction. Another wise decision is to set
your payment limit before the actual sale. This way, you won’t fall victim to
the trap of overbidding.
As in other auctions, it is very important that you signal your bids
carefully to the car auctioneer to avoid confusion. Settle your transaction as
soon as the auction ends. Look for the block clerk and settle your accounts with
him. A car auction staff will usually be available to assist you when you are
ready to pay for the vehicle you have won. He should also be able to guarantee
you a good title for the vehicle.
You must also check the vehicle after you have won and settling your
account. Take the vehicle for a test drive and make sure that it conforms to the
guarantee and representation made during the auction.
Most auction sites would accept check or credit card if you cannot pay the
car with cash. An auction staff will also usually give you a third party
financing offer. It is advisable though to have your own finances ready before
entering a car auction. Outside financing is usually cheaper than most in-house
financing of auction sites.
Ask for an invoice copy from the auction staff. This will enable you to
drive or ship your newly bought car to your location. Most car auction managers
will give you good deals on shipping arrangements so inquire about this.
There really are no significant differences between a local auction and an
online auction. Online car auctions work more or less the same way as local
ones. The only disadvantage of online auction sites is that you won’t be able to
inspect the car as you would in an actual car auction. In participating in
online car auctions be sure that you will be provided with all the necessary
information about the car upfront and that there is an actual photograph of the
Cars bought from an online auction are usually shipped to the buyer for a
minimal fee. Inspect the car immediately upon arrival at your location to
You are now ready for your first car auction. Happy bidding!