Buyer Tips

Before an Auto Dealer Auction, Choose the Right Vehicle

By Mike Richards Updated: 07/23/2017 Posted: 04/28/2017

While auto auctions hold a lot of promise there are certain steps you need to take beforehand to make sure they completely live up to their potential.

Get Your Budget in Order

This is a pretty obvious step you need to handle before you ever begin trying to make a purchase from an auto dealer auction. Nonetheless, it’s worth bringing up here.

For one thing, you need a rock-solid budget, not one that you’ll consider abandoning the moment you lay eyes on a vehicle with all the bells and whistles.

Review your finances and figure out how much you could absolutely spend without hurting your financial situation. What’s the upper limit you can part with?

It might help to have an accountability partner here. If you don’t have a spouse, tell a friend about your plans to purchase from an auto dealer auction and have them ask you later how much you spent. This added level of social proof can help you stick to your budget.

Figure Out What Kind of Vehicle You Need

Many people aren’t too particular about the type of vehicle they get from an auto dealer auction, but, for others, it’s vital that their choice meets certain requirements.

Just like with your budget, you need to get to the bottom of this before you begin placing bids at an auto dealer auction.

You might need cargo space, a truck bed, lots of power, a smaller size, etc. However, one thing that most people should think about is gas mileage. Far too many car owners underestimate how much they drive every month. They purchase a vehicle and quickly find out when their budget starts to feel the strain.

Try to Get a Test Drive

With an auto dealer auction, you can’t get in the vehicle you’re looking at and take it for a quick spin.

If you’ve done the above, though, what you can do is figure out which vehicle will make the most sense for your needs. Then, you can go to a traditional dealership and take a test drive.

We’d recommend actually test driving at least three different vehicles. Doing so will give you a much better idea about what your options are.

This will go a long way toward helping you with your decision. You don’t want to spend good money on a car only to find out you hate its handling once it’s too late to do anything about it.

Speak to Your Insurance Company

Finally, when you have a good idea about the type of vehicle you’re planning to bid on, speak to your insurance company. They’ll give you feedback about the types of premiums you can expect from any potential purchase.

If you’re planning to buy a salvage car, this is even more important as your insurance company may have certain reservations about issuing you a policy for that type of vehicle.

Auto dealer auctions are a fantastic way to increase the range of automobiles you can consider and lower the price you pay. Just be sure you follow the above steps before you begin bidding so you get the result you want.