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How To Buy Cars At Auction? Best Tips You Should Follow


When compared to buying a car at a dealership or from a private party, buying a car at an auction may save you money. However, if you're considering trying this, it's crucial to get ready in advance. So, how to buy cars at auction?

Be flexible while staying within your budget, and be aware of the guidelines for purchasing a car at an auction.

Let's look at how you might research a car before bidding at an auction and some factors to consider on how to buy cars at auction. Finding a decent deal may be easier if you know how to buy a car at an auction. Here are a few suggestions.

Research Automobiles In Advance

You may have the opportunity to review the listings before some auctions start. You can then focus on the vehicles you like after seeing what is available. The vehicle identifying number, or VIN, for each car, may be included in these entries.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/how-to-buy-cars-at-auction/ by Hilda Workman on 2023-01-27T08:23:49.886Z

A car history report can be found using the VIN on websites like Carfax or AutoCheck. These reports may contain crucial details about the vehicle, such as past owners, significant accidents or damage, maintenance records, odometer readings, and manufacturer recalls.

Top 10 tips for Buying cars at Auction (Dealer Auctions)

Additionally, make sure to check the vehicle's current market value using internet resources like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, or NADAguides. This can help you decide how much to offer for the car and when to withdraw if a bidding battle breaks out.

Be Flexible While Choosing The Car At Auction

It's acceptable to have a basic idea of the type of automobile you want, but focusing only on one listing may lead to disappointment.

According to Richard Reina, a classic automobile enthusiast, and product training director:

“If you’re quickly outbid, or if [the car] requires a reserve (a minimum acceptable bid) and you can’t meet the reserve, you’ve put a lot of effort into this and that vehicle’s gone,”- Richard Reina

Reina advises concentrating on the features of a car that are significant to you. Take the case of wanting a four-door sedan with fewer than 100,000 miles that is between five and eight years old.

With those specifications, you're more likely to discover several vehicles that meet your needs, giving you additional options in the event that one doesn't suit you.

Learn The Rules

You should familiarize yourself in advance with any participation requirements that may be specific to each auction. For example, you might have to sign up by a certain date or show proof of who you are. Payment terms are also important to understand.

Richard Reina explains:

Some of these auctions are cash only, and some will accept a credit card, cashier’s check or money order. You really want to know that ahead of time. Let’s not expect that they’ll take a credit card only to find out that they won’t.- Richard Reina

Arrive Early At The Auction To Get A Good Deal

If the auction is being held in person, arrive early so you can inspect each vehicle you're interested in. You might be able to start the automobile at some auctions or bring a mechanic to look at the car.

Even if you are unable to operate the vehicle or bring your dependable technician, you can still open the hood, check the oil, kick the tires, check for leaks under the car, and look for other significant warning signs.

Additionally, you'll get the ability to inspect the item for any cosmetic flaws that may not have been included in the ad, such as dents, scratches, and rips on the outside and inside.

If the VIN wasn't included in the pre-auction advertisement, you can now obtain it to check the vehicle's history. On the driver's side of the vehicle, look where the dashboard and windshield meet to discover the VIN.

It might also be located on the driver's door, right where the door latches shut. Verify that the VINs you notice on the vehicle all match. If not, the car might have been rebuilt using components from other automobiles.

Take A Person With You

Buying a car can be an emotional experience, so it might be helpful to have someone with you who can help you keep your mind on the facts. A second set of eyes or just an unbiased voice can be helpful occasionally.

It's possible to focus so intently on one characteristic that you fail to see some warning signs. You can take off the blinders and stop yourself from making a regrettable choice by having a companion by your side.

Follow Your Budget

It's easy to get caught up in the thrill of an auction, but if your bid wins, you're usually required to complete the deal, and you could have to pay some or all of the price right away.

Determine your budget for your new car before the auction, and keep that amount in mind when you place your bids.

It's advisable to back down, regroup, and keep exploring until you discover a car that matches your financial circumstances if you don't acquire the car you want because there are always more cars and auctions.

Remember that some auction houses might levy a "buyer's premium," according to Reina, which you'll have to pay on top of the sales price. Either a flat fee or a percentage of the winning offer may apply. It's not usually a significant sum of money, but you should still be aware of it.

Flipping Cars 101 - How to buy at a Public Car Auction - Flying Wheels

People Also Ask

How To Buy A Car From Auction Online?

An account with an online auction service is necessary in order to purchase a vehicle at an online car auction. The setup is frequently free. Premium membership with additional perks is available on several websites. Before you may place a bid, many online auction sites demand a deposit; however, the deposit is automatically applied to the price of your winning bid.

How Do I Get A License To Buy Cars At Auctions?

If you want a dealer license for car auctions, you have to fill out an application, meet all local and state requirements, and pay a fee.

Can You Pay Cash At Car Auctions?

Yes, you can. If you want to pay with cash, a debit card, or a bank draft, you must have the funds in your account. Also be aware that once you have placed the highest offer, you may be required to pay a deposit.


The unfamiliar may find auctions intimidating. They obviously aren't for everyone because of the irrational bidding and the leap of faith required to purchase a car you may not have physically seen.

However, consumers looking for a unique item or a fantastic value could find a lot to like at these events. Used-car sellers frequently buy and sell vehicles at wholesale auctions, but the general public is not allowed to attend those events.

Regular automobile purchasers have fewer choices, which can be further limited depending on what they want to buy. Hope you find it useful.

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About The Authors

Hilda Workman

Hilda Workman - Hilda Workman is a licensed financial advisor with years of expertise in the industry. She has assisted a range of clients, from sole proprietors to large corporations, in reaching their financial objectives. She is informed about many different financial subjects, including tax preparation, investment planning and also in fashion. She believes that the best things are those that are imperfect.

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