5 Tips to Consider When Buying Auction Cars for Sale

By Mike Richards Updated: 12/04/2018 Posted: 05/04/2017

If you are interested in getting a vehicle for the same sort of pricing that your typical dealership enjoys, you know it means using an auto auction. However, not all auction cars for sale are available to you. Public auctions are open to all, as are some government auctions. There are also those premium auctions you see on TV, like the world-famous Barrett-Jackson luxury car auctions. However, there is one segment of auction cars for sale that not everyone can use, and it is this segment where some of the most amazing deals can be found.

These are dealer auctions, and to even discover inventory usually means being a licensed dealer. Fortunately, the “everything online” world has enabled regular consumers to both see and bid on auction cars for sale through high quality, online licensed dealers. Using their services, you can make your maximum bid, purchase a vehicle and even get it delivered.

Before you even consider auction cars for sale, though, take these five tips to heart as they can really help you get the best possible results:

  1. Do a bit of research – The Internet and your dealer auction site should make it super easy to do full research on the cars of interest. Your site should offer the VIN, year, title status, mileage and images of the vehicle. If it is damaged, a reputable site will give some basic details. Use this to understand what you should be paying (as someone with access to a dealer’s license) for that car.
  2. Run the VIN report – There are multiple websites that give you the full history of a car if you have the VIN and will pay for the report. This can tell you if the car was in a flood, disaster, major accident, stolen and taken for a joy ride and more. It is well worth the expense and can steer you towards the right vehicle.
  3. Budget and then stick to it – Though you are at a much lower risk for crazy bidding wars when you bid on auction cars for sale in dealer auctions, you can still forget that you have a budget. The desire to “win” and the human instinct to really set your heart on something can both work against you with a dealer auction. Work out how much you can afford or want to pay, and limit your bidding to that amount.
  4. Don’t ignore damage – While this is not as easy as a real-world auction setting, the best sites will post good photo galleries of the vehicles they can bid on for you. Examine and scrutinize images to look for any obvious damages, and don’t downplay any comments like “front end damage” or other similar language. Be sure you are fully aware of conditions.
  5. Don’t expect protection – An auction is a buyer beware venture. This means you just cannot ignore your personal level of risk tolerance. If you do not know anything about repairs, do not buy a car likely to demand them. If you need a reputable vehicle, be sure you choose something you can rely on.

These five tips can help you get the very best auction cars for your needs and your budget.