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Buyer Tips Used Cars

Car Auction Checklist: What You Need to Have Ready

By Odet Garcia Updated: 11/23/2020 Posted: 10/15/2019

We know that attending a car auction can be very exciting. But we also know that it can be somewhat confusing. Especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. You can get carried away by the excitement of driving away with a new set of wheels, or by the different shiny cars you can look at. This is why we’ve gathered a list of things that you need to have ready for a car auction. With this car auction checklist you’ll be ready to make a smart buy.

Do Your Research

Doing a thorough research before buying a car at an auction will help you be prepared. This means that it will help you avoid surprises and extra costs. You should research everything about the different auction sites and how the general auction process works.

car auction checklist

You should also have research ready about the car you want. A good place to start is by knowing exactly what you need. For example, if you have a long commute, or if you just need a family car. This information will help you know which type of car to look for. And having this ready will avoid you to be overwhelmed with all the options.

Don’t forget to include the value of the car in your research. There are resources like Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds, that you can use to see the market value of the car you have in mind. This information will give you an idea of how much you should spend on the cost of the car.

Have a Structured Budget

A very common mistake for car buyers is not having a well-structured budget. This usually leads to extra costs, and of course, negative experiences. Car auctions can help you save a lot of money, but only if you have a budget that includes everything you need.

Here is a list of the things you should include in your budget:

  • Cost of the car you need
  • Auction house fees
  • Total shipping cost including all fees
  • Amount of money you would need to spend on car repairs
  • Extra amount for incidentals

Further Reading

  1. How to Choose the Right Used Hyundai for Sale
  2. Your Guide to Buy Used Cars on an Online Auto Auction Site
  3. Used Ford Car for Sale: How to Choose the Right One
  4. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars

Know The Auction Requirements And Conditions

Every auction site will have some requirements for you to be able to participate. Usually, you will need a dealer license before you can make a bid in any dealer-only auction. However, there are auction sites that can represent you in an auction. This means that they can lend you their license your you to participate as a buyer. In these cases, you will have to create an account in these auction sites. To do this you will generally be asked to provide your full name, phone number, and email address.

dealer vehicle

Once you’ve created your account, auction sites require that you make a security deposit in order to be able to place a bid. This security deposit is refundable, and you can also use it to pay the balance of the car you’re buying.

“As-Is” Condition

This is an important condition that you need to keep in mind. Auction sites sell used cars with an “As-Is” condition. This means that you agree to buy the car in the state that it is, without any changes or repairs. Any repairs that need to be done to the car are the buyer’s responsibility. This is why we advise that you include repair costs in your budget.

Car Auction Checklist

With this checklist in mind you should be ready to buy the perfect car for you. Here is a summarized list of the points you need to have ready.

Finally, it’s all about being organized with everything you need. You’ll be a car auction expert with this checklist.