Buyer Tips

Easy Tips on How Bids at Car Auctions Actually Work

By Odet Garcia Updated: 03/12/2021 Posted: 10/23/2020

Car auctions have gained much popularity nowadays. Buyers have the opportunity to land great deals on a used car in very good condition. However, not everyone has knowledge about car auctions or how they work. Sometimes there’s a bit of confusion when it comes to pricing or the process in general. Since you have to place a bid on the car you’d like to buy, we think it’s important to go over how the bidding process works. Stick around as we show you in this article how bids at car auctions work.

Placing Bids at Car Auctions

Throughout this article, we’ll focus on buying used cars at online car auctions. We’ve talked about the two types of auctions before: public and dealer auctions. Dealer auctions give you the opportunity to find a used car and save up to 70% of the market price. This is pretty appealing, especially for buyers on a tight budget. Nonetheless, some buyers don’t have experience with auctions and may be overwhelmed by the bidding process.

bids at car auctions

Research is crucial before placing bids at car auctions. It will allow you to take care of your budget and find a used car that won’t be faulty. Part of this research must be understanding how the process of placing bids at car auctions work. We’ll go over the steps you should follow to place your bid and know what you’re doing.

Further Reading

  1. Your Guide to Buy Used Cars on an Online Auto Auction Site 
  2. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars 
  3. How You Can Get Your Next Car from a Dealers Auto Auction 
  4. White Paper: Market Report for New and Used Cars Abroad 

Registration and Deposit

Most online car auction platforms require that you register for an account. This account will give you access to exclusive major dealer auctions. You won’t need to have a dealer license to access. This is what makes these auctions a great choice, they will lend their license for you to bid. The registration process is usually very easy, you’ll just have to provide your full name, email address, and phone number. 

Once you’ve registered, you’ll have to make a deposit to your account. Most platforms require you deposit 10% of the value of the car you want to buy. Also, you can use this deposit as part of the payment for your vehicle.

Choosing a Used Car

The process of choosing the used car you will eventually buy requires extensive research. It is crucial that you know everything about the vehicle and make sure it is a smart purchase. Once you’re sure about your options you can start the bidding process. Make sure that you also download the vehicle’s History Report for each vehicle you like. This will help you know if the car was involved in any accident or if it has any kind of damage.

Placing Your Bids

The first thing you need to understand is that vehicles’ prices may vary in car auctions. Since these cars are sold through an auction process, prices change based on the bids placed during the auction. The majority of car auctions have an option called Buy Now, which is a final price that you can pay if you don’t want to bid. There’s also a Pre-Bid price which is also a starting price for the vehicle.

Ultimately, you will be assigned with an Auction Specialist that can guide you through the process. You will work with the specialist to decide your bidding price once the auction starts. This will also increase the chances of winning the auction and getting a great deal price for the used car you want.