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5 Things to Know About an Auto Dealer Auction

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 05/05/2017

If you read details about an auto dealer auction at certain insurance websites, you would think that any auto dealer auction is “where unsalable cars go to die” and yet that is pure nonsense. More than nine million vehicles are sold in U.S. auctions every year alone, and it is highly unlikely that these are all cars that no one wants or which are the proverbial “lemons”. In fact, if you go into any auto dealer auction with a few solid facts, you can then avoid any of the potential risks that auction buying might involve.

Let’s consider five key things to know about an auto dealer auction:

  • You don’t need to be a licensed auto dealer – No matter what you are told or might hear, the Internet has now made it possible for reputable firms to work as licensed dealer buyers for their clients. Clients create an account, make a deposit, and then work with an agent in the firm to find the cars they would like to acquire. The agency then does the bidding, paperwork and arranges shipping if needed. You don’t need to become a dealer just to bid. You simply create an account with your agency and then look at the listings on their website.
  • You won’t need to pay cash – Working with reputable agencies like the one described above means you just register your appropriate payment method (it could be your credit card or any other register-friendly account). If you win, the agency charges your account and when the payment clears, you get your new car or truck.
  • You can get complete vehicle information – Again, you may have others warn you that an online auto dealer auction leaves you in the dark about a lot of issues. For example, you might hear things about the condition of the car being vague, the VIN unavailable, and the mileage a mystery. The good news is that the reputable, online auto dealer auction sites will give you status of the car (drivable or not), the condition of the title (clean or salvage), the precise mileage, the VIN, and the current location. They will often provide many photos and even more.
  • You can find amazing deals – Banks repossess cars all of the time and that means you can often pay pennies on the dollar for exotics, luxury or brand new cars with low mileage. If you are patient and take the time to look at the many listings, you are sure to find some surprising deals.
  • You won’t have to drive across the country – When you participate in an auto dealer auction through your agency, they will have plenty of shipping resources with affordable prices. Discuss them before bidding to be sure they are affordable, and you may find that your car can be delivered to your town or even your doorstep.

These are important points to know when deciding whether to use a dealer auction or head to a local dealership for your next vehicle.