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A Complete Guide To Buying A Car At Auction

This is a collaborative post

So, it’s time to buy a new car and you’re considering all of the options available to find the best deal? People often brush past the idea of buying a car at auction as they fear they will be ripped off or spend too much money, but this doesn’t have to be the case. A car auction is a great way to get a good deal and save money on a car.

Car auctions take place across the country regularly, with over 12,000 cars being sold at auction each week in the UK. This isn’t just for traders, private buyers also purchase cars at auction, the key is to be prepared and do your homework beforehand…

How to prepare for a car auction

Most car auctions have an online catalogue so that you are able to view the car before the day. Here you will be able to see clear images of the cars, their service history and the condition they’re in according to the auction house. If you find a car you’re interested in then make sure you look around online and see what price the same car in a similar condition is selling for in other places. You can also look at online car auctions to compare the prices of the vehicles. Car.co.uk are an online car auction site where you can view cars on auction and do your own research on the best prices.

It is also important to set a budget before you go as you can easily get swept up in the excitement on the day and spend more than you wanted to. Write down a fixed price of what you want to pay for the vehicles you have in mind and possibly give yourself a little leeway in-case you have competition and have to bid higher, but do not go over your budgeted maximum price.

Another thing to consider before going to the auction is having a few different vehicles in mind. As you are not going to buy a brand-new car directly, chances are you won’t find exactly what you’re looking for. Therefore, it’s important to be open-minded and keep your options open.

What happens at a car auction?

Once the day finally comes you’ll have to be prepared when you visit the car auction. Most auction houses display the vehicles an hour or so before they go up for auction, this gives you time to see the car before you try to buy. So, make sure you arrive early to take a good look at the vehicles you’re interested in, and possibly others you may not have considered online. If you have a basic knowledge of cars then you can do the simple checks yourself such as inspecting the engine, tyres, bodywork and the electrics, so you know the car is in the appropriate condition.

Once the auction begins, each car will be driven into the auction hall where the auctioneer will give a description of the car before bidding begins. It is essential to listen to the auctioneer and their description of the car is a legally binding selling statement, some key phrases to look out for are:

– ‘Sold as seen’
This means that the vehicle will be sold with any of the faults that it has and the auction house will not accept complaints about the condition of the vehicle once it has been sold.

– ‘No major mechanical faults’
This indicates that the vehicle should have no major mechanical faults, such as those with the gearbox, engine, suspension and drivetrain.

– ‘Specified faults’
If the vehicle has specific faults, the auctioneer will read them out in list form.

What happens next?

If you were the highest bidder on the vehicle and won the auction, you will be asked to pay between a 10%-20% deposit on the vehicle which is paid to the rostrum clerk. Once this has been done you will be sent to the cashier’s office where all of the paperwork and final payment will be taken.

Be sure that you have the relevant tax and insurance before taking the vehicle on the road. Many auction houses offer special insurance services for the day so you are able to drive away safely and legally.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

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