While car prices ar still high from the pandemic, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money. You can save money by buying your car at an auto auction. Navigating the auto auction world used to be just for dealers, but now the public can bid on an SCA auto auction from all over the United States.
To bid and buy like a professional, keep reading for some bidding guidelines to help you make your way through the process:
Understanding Auto Auctions
The auto auction has been around for decades, and dealerships primarily used them to move out used car inventory that they couldn’t sell.The first auto auctions were dealer only, so no public buyers were allowed to buy cars from the auctions. Since then, insurance companies, finance companies, municipalities, governments, individuals, and dealerships have used auto auctions to sell their vehicles. You can find anything from cars and boats to RVs and heavy equipment up for bid.
While there are still some closed auctions that require you to hold a dealer license to attend, many are online auctions that are open to the public. An online auction means you never need to leave your couch to make a bid on the car of your dreams from anywhere in the United States.
Autos found at the auction include high-mileage or wrecked vehicles, repossessed cars and trucks, older police cars and government trucks, and salvaged vehicles that are good for parts for other cars.
Some higher-end auctions feature classic cars, hotrods, vintage trucks, and other expensive vehicles, either restored or ready for restoration.
Before The Auction
Before you start bidding, there are several things that are important to do if you want to get the best deal on your new vehicle. All of these steps help give you the information you need to make an informed bid on the right vehicle.
Start with thorough research about the kind of car you want. Before you even bid on a vehicle, find out everything you can about it, including its market value, common problems with the model, and maintenance costs. Websites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds offer a lot of information, including the car’s value.
You can also check online wanted ads to determine what people ask for the same vehicle type and average mileage. Online owners’ groups can give you insight into annoyances like squeaky brakes, electric parts failures, and other frequent complaints.
When you’re not there in person, it can be hard to inspect the vehicle, but you can look over all of the photos of the car or truck before bidding to get an idea of its overall body and engine condition. The listing will include any significant issues. If you’re unsure, check the auction website for information on their approved inspectors, and pay someone to take a look at the vehicle for you.
Understand the Auction Process
Before you bid, check out the auction’s terms and conditions. You don’t want any surprises after you win an auction. Know the payment methods accepted, the time frame for car pick-up after winning, and any additional fees they may charge.
During The Auction
It can get very exciting during the auction, so before your adrenaline starts to take over, make sure that you have the following under control:
Set a Budget
It’s easy to get carried away in the heat of bidding. Determine your budget beforehand and stick to it. Remember to account for potential repairs, insurance, and transportation costs. If the price goes too high, back out of the bidding process; there are always other cars available. There are hundreds of auctions to choose from that will have the vehicle you want.
Don’t jump in with the first bid. Give yourself time to get a feel for the auction and figure out your competition. You may be bidding on a popular car that a dealership wants, which can increase the auction price.
After The Auction
After you win an auction, all that’s left is finishing the deal.
Arrange for Transportation
If you win the bid, you need to arrange transportation for your new vehicle. Some auction houses might offer delivery services for an additional fee. You can find out prices before you bid by looking at the auction website and finding their list of recommended transport companies. You can call them and get an estimate on transport costs.
Do this before you bid so you can add the cost to your budget. Don’t forget to find out when you need the vehicle picked up before the auction adds storage charges to your deal.
Complete the Paperwork
After winning, you need to complete the sale and title paperwork to finalize the purchase. Ensure that you understand what’s needed to avoid delays or potential legal issues.
The auto auction is filled with possibilities if you’re a bargain hunter, car collector, DIY mechanic, or even if you just need a new ride. Some people buy used cars, fix them up, sell them, and make a little money on the side. You can get a good deal without being a mechanic too though. You just need to remember to do your research, stay in your budget, and look over the car’s condition. Stick with these tips and get the best deal when bidding on an auto auction car.