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Buyer Tips

5 Things First-Time Buyers Need to Know About Car Auctions

By Odet Garcia Updated: 05/08/2022 Posted: 08/30/2019

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about car auctions. And of course, you may be curious to know about how they work. Because let’s be honest, they are a great place to land amazing deals on used or salvage cars. However, there are several things you’ll need to know about them, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.

Car auctions are a good option if you want to save money on a used car. Plus, the process is simple. But if you’ve decided to buy for the first time, you need to know what to expect. So, we have prepared a list of five things that first-time buyers need to know about car auctions.

You Need to Have Your Budget Ready

One of the most important things when buying used cars at auctions is your budget. Every cent you spend is key in order to get the most advantages. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that car auctions charge fees. So, before you buy your car at an auction, make sure you know all the fees that you’ll need to pay. This way, you will include them in your budget beforehand. 

The second thing regarding budget, is that you’ll also need to include repairs money. Take into account that car auctions have used or salvage cars. Usually, these cars are slightly damaged or have dents and scratches. You can get a great deal on your car if you include repairs in your budget. This way, you buy a car that need minor repairs and have them fixed or tuned however you like. 

Have a Clear Knowledge About the Car you Want

Research, research, research. This is vital when buying at car auctions. Before diving in to find your car, do a thorough research. It’s very important that you have a clear knowledge about how the process works. Read everything about the car auction that you’re looking to buy at. Registration, buying power, and fees, are the basic things you need to know about as a first-time buyer. Most online car auctions have all the information of interest on their websites.

Additionally, have a clear knowledge about the car you want to buy. Do your research on its fuel economy, price range, spare parts, etc. The more you know about the car, the more mistakes you’ll avoid. Having a research well done will let you make your budget right and avoid surprises regarding fees or auction house charges.

Further Reading

  1. How to Choose the Right Used Hyundai for Sale 
  2. Your Guide to Buy Used Cars on an Online Auto Auction Site 
  3. Used Ford Car for Sale: How to Choose the Right One 
  4. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars 

Know the “As Is” Condition of Car Auctions

Something you need to know about car auctions is their “As is” condition. This means that you agree to buy the car in whatever condition it is currently in. Accepting this condition is to legally accept that no repairs will be done by the auction company. This is why it’s important that you include repair costs to your budget.

Check the Vehicle History Report

Have at hand all the information about the car you choose. Many of the cars sold at car auctions can look perfect on the outside but have damage on the inside. This is why it’s very important that you check the vehicle history report. This report will indicate if the car has been involved in any accident, or any other relevant information about previous owners and activity.

You can also include in your research to check the car’s price. There are various sites like Kelley Blue Book where you can kind this information. Online car auction sites like Auto Auction Mall will give you a limited amount of VIN check downloads for free when you register as a buyer.

Ask All the Questions you Have Before the Auction

Finally, ask absolutely every question you have before bidding at any auction. If you have your research done, and your budget is ready but you still have questions, ask them. Car auctions have agents that can answer every question before you buy. You can also check their website for the FAQs and see if you have all the information covered.