Buying a car at auction

You’ve got to know what you’re doing at a car auction; one scratch of the nose and you could end up bidding for a brown Metro with aqua go-faster stripes. Not a good look. On the other hand, you could pick up a real bargain: good wheels at a good price. You just need to do your homework.

The key thing to remember is that because no test drives are possible, and some cars sold at auction come with no warranty of any kind, a lot of tat gets thrown into the ring. As a result, the chances of buying a heap are higher at auction than anywhere else. Here’s some smart tops:

  • Know what kind of car you want before you go. Research the rough value of that model and year.
  • Find out the auction house fees and if they’ve got any other terms and conditions you should know about.
  • Get there early to have a good look at your dream motor.
  • Give your car a thorough look inside and out. The catalogue gives details but it’s your responsibility to check the car for real.
  • When the car is driven into the auction hall, listen to the engine.
  • Set a strict budget before you go and stick to it – even if you miss out on your dream car. You’ll need cash later for servicing and repairs.
  • Have a plan B motor up your sleeve just in case you miss your first choice.
  • Don’t bid like you’re on TV, or like you’ve got a twitch. Raise your hand clearly.
  • Listen carefully to the auctioneer’s description, which sets out terms of payment (like premiums and so on). It may be boring but it’s legally binding.
Posted in Owning.

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