4 Best Tips for Finding a Commuter Car at an Auto Dealer Auction

By Mike Richards Updated: 06/08/2018 Posted: 04/21/2017

Here’s a surprising figure: “over ten million cars are bought and sold at auctions” each year. In public auctions and auto dealer auction settings, this vast quantity of vehicles trades hands, yet the buying public is not in on the immense savings that an auto dealer auction offers. After all, these are the places where dealers buy vehicles before marking them up to the prices necessary for them to make a hefty profit. If you could somehow cut out the proverbial middleman (or woman) and just get your car from an auto dealer auction, it would save you a lot of cash.

Fortunately, you can, and it just might be the smartest way to find your “other”, “second” or “commuter” car. Today, there are reputable websites that allow the average buyer to browse online through hundreds of thousands of vehicles making their way through auto dealer auctions at any given moment. Working as the buying agent, and as a fully licensed dealer, the website then does the bidding, buying and paperwork you need.

The Pricing at an Auto Dealer Auction

Whether you are thinking of getting yourself into a new car (for example, sedan Toyota Prius hybrid) or you want to use an auction to find a reliable, affordable commute vehicle, there are some important tips that will ensure you get the right price, condition, and ride.

  • Conduct online research – Here’s the thing – auto dealers use MSRPs and market values to price cars. People trying to sell used cars may do the same thing, and so you can go online and get a very realistic idea of the price that you would pay if you just purchased through one of these typical venues. Then, you can go to the dealer auction website and look at the “buy now” and opening bids on the vehicles of your choice. This will let you know if your specific make or model is selling at a good price suitable for a second car.
  • Get the facts – Another tip you must follow is to be sure you work with a site that supplies you with the accurate details about the car. If you can’t get the VIN, mileage, MPG, engine type (four-cylinder or other ), condition of the title and any notes about issues with the vehicle (is it currently drivable?), look at another site.
  • Shipping? – This is a huge issue. Let’s say you live in Florida and you have found a fantastic car in Minnesota. How do you intend to retrieve it? A good dealer auction site will often be able to coordinate shipping with you – even if you are an international buyer.
  • Images – Before you allow your agent to buy or bid for you, do a virtual kicking of the tires by requesting images. Better sites already have galleries connected to individual vehicles. If yours is not showing any images, ask for a good array to understand the actual condition of the car.

Why pay full price or even a dealer’s asking price if you can just as easily buy a reliable commuter car at the lowest price possible through an auction.