Buying a used car at auction could save you a lot of money, but a successful outcome is dependent on knowing the game and playing according to the rules. Potential consumers should always research, inspect, attend a practice auction, stick to their budget and educate themselves on auction day proceedings to ensure auction success.
Rule 1: Research
Buyers who do their research can save 10-25% on some cars, according to Pickles Auctions. Before you even attend an auction spend some time online, read newspapers, visit used car yards and dealerships. This will give you a feel for the types of vehicles that are suitable, and the market prices of these models. Test drives are also advisable.
Rule 2: Inspections.
When buying at auction, it's important to inspect vehicles in person prior to the sale. It's the best way to gauge the true condition of the car and narrow down your list of options. An inspection is also a great time to familiarise yourself with the premises and ask questions of the employees to assist in your decision making process.
Rule 3: Attend an Auction
Prior to participating in an auction, it may be wise to attend a few as an observer. This will help you understand the process and get a feel for vehicle prices in the market. If you know what to expect when you decide to participate, the process will be less daunting for first timers.
Rule 4: Set a Budget
Your research and inspection should help you decide what types of vehicles you like. Your financial situation will determine which cars you can afford. Auctions can be exciting and fast but don't let the atmosphere on the day sway you. Set the highest amount of cash you are willing to pay for your car and do not go above it. Auction houses have high stock turnover rates, so there is always next time. Patience is key.
Rule 5: Auction Day Procedures
On auction day, turn up early to the auction site and don't forget to register. Hold on to your allocated buyer number for use during bidding and get ready to have some fun. If you win a vehicle you may be required to pay a deposit immediately. Be sure to educate yourself on time frames for finalising payment in full, up times to collect your vehicle, and any additional paperwork requirements for taking ownership such as registration.
The auction game can be a great way to save thousands on used vehicles. So long as you do your research, make an inspection, understand the auction process and stick to your budget, you should be on your way to bagging a bargain.