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Are the Cheapest Used Cars at Auction a Good Idea?

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/27/2017 Posted: 10/15/2015

When most people think of a car auction, the first thing that comes to mind is savings. They believe that they can find the cheapest used cars at auction and that they can often get them for pennies on the dollar. While this is often true, you still need to be quite careful when you are looking for vehicles at auction. Always choosing the absolute cheapest used cars might not be a good idea. Let’s take a closer look at auction buying and what you will need to do to make sure you are actually getting a good deal.

Better than Used Dealerships

Most car dealerships go through a dealer auction to find their vehicles. If you were to buy at the lot, you would be paying more for the vehicle than if you had cut out the middleman and simply went to an auction on your own.

You can buy through a public auction, which anyone can attend, or you can work with a third party to get access to vehicles that are in the dealer auctions. These tend to be a better option because you will often be bidding against dealers. They have no interest in the vehicle other than getting the best price possible. This means that when you bid against them, many will simply move on to the next vehicle in line. You can find some of the cheapest used cars using this method.

What’s the Damage?

This is the most important aspect of finding the cheapest used cars through an auction. Even though you can find some prices that seem very low, this doesn’t always mean it’s the right buy for you. Take the time to learn more about the vehicle so you know why it is at auction.

You might be able to find some vehicles that have little to no damage at all. However, you may find some vehicles that have severe damage that aren’t worth the price even if they are the cheapest used cars on the auction block.

If you want to find better quality vehicles, it is often a better idea to work with a third party auction company that can provide you with access to dealer auctions. Many of the vehicles at the dealer auctions are in decent shape, and they will need to have fewer repairs before they can get on the road again.

This is not the case with all of the vehicles, however. Whenever you are looking at the cars that are up at auction, take the time to learn as much about the vehicle as possible. It will save you from making a mistake.

What’s the Real Cost?

Sure, the cheapest used cars at an auction are tempting, but you have to make sure that you know what all of the costs will be in the end. The auction fees are usually not a problem, but you should factor them into your budget. Also, think about the repairs we mentioned earlier.

How much money will you be spending to get your vehicle back on the road? This needs to be a part of your budget. If the price of repairs is too high, you won’t really gain much from buying the cheapest used cars. Try to estimate the cost of the repairs and consider whether it is still worth it. Sometimes it will be and sometimes it won’t. It all depends on the vehicle and your budget.

Buying for Parts

However, you might be trying to find the cheapest used cars at auction so you can get replacement parts for a vehicle you already own. In those cases, buying cheap is generally a good idea.

However, you still need to make sure you know what type of damage the vehicle suffered. After all, you don’t want to buy a vehicle with parts that you need that are already damaged. As always, know what you are buying and whether it is worth it or not.

As you can see, finding the cheapest used cars is not always the best option. Sometimes, you will want to look at the vehicles that have a bit of a higher price in the auction, as they will have less damage and need far fewer repairs.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.

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