Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Car At Auction


Auctions are the fastest of fast tracks. If you are bidding in a car auction you should know exactly what you want. A clear understanding of your requirement for a car will help you recognize a car’s strength and faults, it will help you know the exact worth of a car, and will ensure that you stop bidding after the price crosses the amount the car is worth to you. Majorly auctions attract people because there are rare cars to be had that are not found anywhere else.

With full knowledge and awareness, a car purchased during auction can be a good deal, as in an auction you avoid dealer markups or overly ambitious owners.

Government Auctions

Government auctions are held on request of government officials when they get rid of 30 to 40 police cruisers and want to sell all of them.

Mostly, the cars up for sale during government auctions are in good condition. Still, knowing the vehicle history of the car before purchase is necessary. In such auctions, all vehicles have known histories. Information on how they were maintained, used and fixed, details of mileage is virtually always honest.

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It will help you know what you are actually getting. Since you don’t get to drive the car before you bid on it, it is essential for a buyer to have sharp, trained, cynical, suspicious eye during bidding.

Usually, there is a high competition at government auctions. Taxi companies turn up with the intention of buying the cruisers for expanding their fleets. Whereas, the government employees try to purchase the car they have used for years.

Public Auctions

Over the years the quality of cars in public auctions has grown shadier. You should only consider buying a car from the public auction if you are exceptional in mechanical inclination and training. If you can’t fix a car avoid purchasing it from public auction.

Compared to government auctions the cars in public auction offer worst trade-ins or very rough repos.

Cars in public auctions are those that wouldn’t sell at wholesale dealer auctions. It’s common to find cars with odometer fraud or flood-damaged cars in public auctions.

To be sure about the quality of a car, always check the vehicle history report before final deal. Here, you can check the vehicle history report on a single click.

We came up with some interesting tips that will help you in making your auction car buying experience enjoyable.

  • Don’t bluff yourself
  • Use your eyes
  • Don’t believe in everything you see
  • Don’t Let the Superficial Scare You
  • Check the VIN
  • Pull the Dipsticks
  • Know Car Values Before You Bid
  • Check “As Is” condition
  • Observe Other Bidders
  • Don’t Get Caught Up in the Bidding

Don’t bluff yourself

Don’t make false promises to yourself. If you are not able to fix the mechanical challenges that may arise in the future, accept it. Don’t bring an unnecessary expense home.

Use Your Eyes

Cars at auctions are purely sold on visual inspection. So, keep your eyes open and look for any signs of repair on the vehicle, scored brake discs, an uneven stance, and many other details. Wherever needed, use your nose, hands, and legs to inspect the cars. If a car smells musty, the carpet is wet or you find water stains on seats or in interior fabric, run away!!

Don’t Believe in Everything You See

Nothing is as good as it looks. Most cars up for sale in auctions are polished and painted to look attractive. It is advised not to go purely by the looks. Check the vehicle properly!!

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Don’t Let the Superficial Scare You

Mostly in government auctions, a mechanically sound vehicle is weather painted so it attracts the buyer in its function as well as look. Many times to hide the dent a sticker is placed.  As a buyer check each and everything which looks suspicious.

Check the VIN

For any car you are considering, write down the vehicle identification number. VIN can be seen at the base of windshield, door and trunk lid stickers. If the number doesn’t match, it might be a red sign. This can happen if a car has had a major accident and been rebuilt. You can check the VIN at here on a single click.  

Pull the Dipsticks

If you pull out the oil or transmission fluid dipstick of a well-maintained car the lubricant should be clean and clear.  

Know Car Values Before You Bid

For any used car purchase, it’s essential to look for car value. The general idea about the worth of used cars will bring surety in your decision. Also, take your time to research the local prices. Remember, if you don’t know about car values, don’t try and fake it.

Check “As Is” condition

Vehicles sold in an auction are always in “as is” condition. “As Is” means no, warranties, guarantees or any legal recourse. So, always bid keeping these points in mind.

Observe Other Bidders

Observing other bidders is important. Take your time, go to a few auctions before actually participating in one yourself. Some bidders are active in every lot, they do it only to pump up the price. So, get to know the players well.

Don’t Get Caught Up in the Bidding

Remember, don’t get stuck on one vehicle. As a buyer, you should always be ready to walk away.

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