Auto Auction Buying Guide
Have you decided to ditch the dealership and instead take the public auto auction route for your next vehicle purchase? Good for you! Live public car auctions can be a great way to save some money and get a quality vehicle — not to mention, they're also a cool event to experience. Plus, you won’t run into any high-pressure salesmen. It’s important to note, these local auto auctions for the public have the potential to be a tad difficult to navigate if you’re not prepared, as there is a certain amount of risk in purchasing via this route. That’s why we’ve put together this handy buying guide. Here’s a look at some helpful suggestions the next time you’re browsing the auto auction inventory at a local event in your area.
Check Car Info
Though this buying tip is fairly basic, it’s important to crosscheck information between the title and the actual car that interests you. We’d also recommend checking the vehicle identification number (VIN) and making sure that it’s consistent in other areas where the VIN is posted (i.e., inside the door, inside the trunk, etc.). If it’s different, that may be a sign that the car had to be partially rebuilt for whatever reason.
Check on Warranties
Are there warranties available for purchase with a vehicle? If so, how much do they cost? Warranties can offer peace of mind during the buying process. However, it’s worth noting that many public car auction vehicles sell “wholesale value.”
Check on Payment Options
Car auctions are buying opportunities, so you’ll have to fork over some money to acquire the vehicle you’re bidding on if you win. Be sure to check on all payment options and practices. Also be sure to ask about any other fees you’ll have to pay as well as taxes. It’d be a shame to submit the winning bid for a car that you can’t actually afford because of “extra” costs.
Clarify Auction Rules
While most auto auctions operate under a similar set of rules, there may be some areas where they differ from auction to auction. Regardless, it’s important to know all the rules and regulations, as well as what certain signs and symbols mean, to put yourself in the best bidding position when the car you’ve been eyeing is up for bid. For instance, many auto auctions will identify vehicles with green, red, yellow and blue lights, all of which stand for something. Do you know what they mean?
Do Your Homework
Normally, you can preview vehicles auctioned online, which is nice because it gives you ample opportunity to do your homework on the models you like before heading to the site (if the auction isn’t completed online). Pull a vehicle history report and read a Kelley Blue Book review to properly assess the value of the car as a way of better determining what you’re comfortable bidding on the car. This is beneficial in several ways: One, it allows you to make an educated decision on what you’re willing to invest in this vehicle. It also can help prevent you from getting caught in a “bidding war.” Just as how everyone tells you to know when to walk away at the casino, doing your homework and researching a vehicle can help you make a similar decision at a live auto auction.
For more information on used car auctions, and how to approach them, contact Capital Auto Auction today.