What is Salvage title?

Are Vehicle Auctions Worth My Time?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/23/2019 Posted: 10/16/2015

Have you been thinking about getting a vehicle? If so, you are probably hoping to save as much money as possible. Vehicle auctions have the potential to be a great option for those who are looking for a new car or truck, but it is important that you understand how to make sure you are going through the best auctions and making the most of them.

Types of Vehicle Auctions

There are different types of vehicle auctions. Some are open to everyone, and others are only open to dealers. It’s important to know the difference, as well as how you might be able to get in on the dealer auctions.

First, there are public car auctions, which are open to anyone. Also, most of the government and police auctions are open to the public. These can be a good option for those who want the true auction experience, attend a physical location, see the vehicles and place bids. However, many who are new to auctions find that these are more problematic simply because they can be confusing and frustrating.

Online auctions, which tend to be open to most people are becoming increasingly popular. People love the idea of buying just about everything they could possibly want on the web, and that includes vehicles at auction. There are a number of different online auctions available, but you should always research the auction house to determine its legitimacy before you participate.

Insurance and salvage auctions, as well as wholesale car auctions, tend to be open only to dealers. They go to these auctions to buy vehicles that they can include in their inventories and then resell. Most of the time, individual buyers are not allowed into these dealer auctions.

However, there is a way around this. You can work with a third party dealer that will provide you with access to these auctions. They will take care of the bidding for you and purchase the vehicle. It’s a great way to see some inventory that you might not have been able to find otherwise.

Know the Vehicle and How to Bid

No matter the type of vehicle auctions you choose, you will always want to research the vehicles you are considering before bidding. You should be able to get some history of the vehicle through the description. It may have a VIN number attached as well. You can use this number to learn more about the history of the car. Look at the title as well. Some of the vehicles sold at auction will have a clean title, but you will find that most will have salvage titles.

A salvage title usually means that the insurance company or the owner decides that the cost of repairing the vehicle is greater than the value of the vehicle. This is not something you need to avoid necessarily. In fact, you can find some great salvage cars at vehicle auctions that may only need some slight repairs before you can get them onto the road again.

Even those that need more extensive work will generally be a good option, as you can save money on the initial cost of purchasing the vehicle. You can then take the rest of money in your budget and pay for the repairs.

Some people are still scared away by the idea of buying a salvage car at auction. If you don’t do your research on the car to know what’s wrong with it, then it could be a bad decision. Just make sure that you know what the vehicle really offers and make smart bids to ensure you are getting a vehicle that you can work with and actually repair. Use your instincts. If buying feels wrong, then do not do it.

Bid wisely. If you are bidding directly against another person for a vehicle, there’s a tendency to try to outdo the other person so you can win. This is a bad idea, as it can push the price of the vehicle up to the point where it doesn’t make sense to buy it, as you could find better deals elsewhere. It’s in your best interest to keep your emotion out of the bidding. If you don’t, you could end up with an overpriced vehicle that still needs repairs.

One of the benefits of working with a company that can take care of your bidding for you is that you can let them know how much you want to spend. They will not bid higher than that amount, so you know that you will never be spending more than you are comfortable with.

Make Smart Purchases

Now that you know more about the various types of auctions and the things that you will need to look for when going through vehicle auctions, it should be a bit easier to find auctions and vehicles that will work for you. As always, research will go a long way into helping you make the right decision.

Find information on Rebuilt Title Laws for Each US State. Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.