The best way to buy a car at a car auction, or anywhere else, is to make sure you get the best deal possible. Here are seven essential tips that will help you get the most bang for your buck when buying a car at an auction.
1) Research the cars
If you’re going to buy a car at a car auction, make sure you research the cars you are interested in. Check the mileage, year of make and model, and check with your insurance agent to find out if it will be compatible with your current coverage. Keep an eye out for any maintenance or work that may need to be done on the vehicle – this is information that will either boost or lower the price of the vehicle, so it’s important that you take it into consideration.
2) Get comfortable with buying a car
Many people have preconceived notions about the benefits of buying a car at a car auction, while others avoid them altogether. Some people are terrified at the thought of this type of event, fearing that they’ll be ripped off or won’t get the deal they want. But as with most things in life, there’s nothing to fear. Preparation is key and there are many things you can do to ensure that you buy the car you want for the price you’re willing to pay. Here are 7 tips for buying a car at a car auction:
1) If you plan on buying multiple cars, bring an SUV-size vehicle to haul them home.
2) The night before the auction, review the list of vehicles being sold so you know what will be available and make your selection(s).
3) Dress casually but don’t wear anything too flashy–cars sell better when buyers look like someone who could afford one.
3) Shop around before you go
Before you go to a car auction, you should shop around and set a price point that you’re willing to pay. Consider financing as well since they don’t typically accept cash purchases. Be wary of people who are walking around before the auction because they might be there for the same reason you are—to look at cars and purchase them. Be careful of used car lots because it’s possible that their cars could be stolen or have false titles.
4) Arrive early and inspect the vehicle before bidding
If you are buying a car at a car auction, arriving early and inspecting the vehicle before bidding is always recommended. If the vehicle appears to be in bad shape, feel free to walk away and bid on another vehicle that you might like more. But don’t just look for obvious damage- on rare occasions, cosmetic flaws can indicate mechanical issues as well.
5) Bring cash in small bills
One of the best pieces of advice that you will get for buying a car at a car auction is to make sure you have cash on hand. Cash is king, and in general it’s best to have a reserve balance in your account and bring it with you to the event. When you are ready to buy your new wheels, it will take less time to go through everything as they won’t need proof of funds or anything like that.
6) Know the difference between buy it now and auction
Before you buy a car at a buying a car at a car auction, make sure to understand the difference between buy it now and auction. One is straightforward: if you want the car, go ahead and buy it. The other means bidding on the vehicle against other buyers until someone wins. The next tip for buying a car at a car auction is knowing what type of auction will be held. Some auctions are live only, while others are online-only auctions with no in-person participation required. If you are looking for an older model that may not be in running condition, know how much cash in hand you need to have before going into the auction so that you don’t get caught off guard when bidding starts.
7) Don’t be afraid to barter
When buying a car at a car auction, don’t be afraid to barter. Consider how much you are willing to spend before entering the bidding process and use that as your bottom line for negotiations. Once you enter the bidding process, never overbid – even if you want the car. If someone outbids you, take this as an opportunity to set your sights on another vehicle, or move on from purchasing a vehicle altogether. If you do get outbid, just make sure that you go back to negotiating with the new winner after they’ve bought their desired vehicle.
After all is said and done, it’s important to remember that buying a car at a car auction is all about finding what’s right for you and not trying to please everyone else.