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How Can I Buy a Brand New Car on an Online Auction? 

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/17/2022 Posted: 10/17/2015

You may already know that you can buy used and salvage cars at an auction. Any individual can have access to these, and it can be a great way to save money. However, some online car auctions also offer brand new cars. So you may be able to buy a brand new car on an online auction.

Buying through an auction can save a great deal of money even on these new vehicles. However, only those who hold a dealer license can bid at these auctions. This is required by law in every state.


How to Get a Dealer License

Every state has some different rules about getting a dealer license. You will need to do some more research about your state specifically because the requirements to meet and forms to fill out are going to differ from state to state. There are, however, some steps that are common to every state.

  • Every state will offer two different licenses: a salesperson and a dealership. A salesperson license allows you to sell vehicles. But, if you want to buy new cars at auction, then you will need a dealership license.
  • To get a dealership license, you will need to provide a business address, proof of insurance, and a basic business plan.
  • Once you have all of this, then you will need to research what further steps need to be taken in your state. The easiest way to look this up is through your state’s DMV website. You should be able to find a section for licensing requirements. Another option would be to go to the local DMV to get the applications and find out more about the process.
  • Follow the steps required in your state. You will need to schedule a dealer license exam as well, and this test is usually performed on set dates. Once you have passed the exam and you pay the fees required, then you will have a dealer license.

If you plan on continuing with your dealership in the future, then you will need to renew your license every year.

Once you have your dealer license, then you can buy new cars through online auctions.


Buying through an Auction

Online and in-person actions have some features in common. For example, in both cases you will still be bidding against other people who want to buy those vehicles. However, the big difference is, since you will be buying online, you won’t have to deal with the high pressure of an auction environment. Beyond that, you will be able to buy more cars by bidding simultaneously, which is something you wouldn’t be able to do in person.

To help you get started, here are the steps you would need to take to buy at an online car auction:

  • Begin by finding the right online auction. It should offer extra features like shipping assistance. You should also make sure the auction house is legal and they only allow dealers to bid on new cars.
  • Begin going through the inventory listing. You can look at the cars and get details about them right from your computer. That makes it easier for you to compare them, shop around and find cars you truly are interested in.
  • Choose the vehicles you would like to buy. Likely, there will be more than one, and if you are buying inventory for a dealership, you will need to try to buy more than one simultaneously. Make absolutely sure you are interested in the vehicles and then set a max price you are willing to pay for them.
  • Begin bidding on them. But, be careful and make sure you do not go over the set price you are willing to pay. That likely means you will lose some auctions, but that is normal. Just move on to another vehicle you are interested in.

If, for some reason, you feel uncomfortable placing a bid, just spend some time on the auction site and watch how the bids go. This will give you more of an idea of what you can expect to spend and how fast the auctions work. If you spend some time just observing, then you will better prepare to start buying for yourself.


What About Non-Dealers?

Even though new car auctions limits is to people holding a dealer license, there are ways the average consumer can go around this limitation. If you have a friend or family member who has a dealer license, you can ask them to use it to get access to an online auction.

Another option, and one that is accessible to anyone, is to use a proxy bidding company. These are companies that hold a dealer license and can bid on your behalf in certain auctions. For a fee, these companies can advise you, bid for you within the budget you have set, and even assist you in arranging transportation for your new vehicle.

Online auctions can be advantageous for a number of reasons. They give you access to cars at a lower prices, and they help you get more inventory much more quickly. You won’t have to go to a physical auction and you won’t have to deal with a high-pressure environment. Instead, you can sit in the comfort of your own room or office and choose the cars you are interested in. An online auction will even give you the breathing room to actually choose the cars that interests you. And decide on a maximum price before you make any bids.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, and find more information on Buying With Us