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How to Buy a New Car at Auction Without Going to the Lot

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/09/2022 Posted: 10/21/2015

If you’ve never been to a new car auction in person, it’s typically nothing like what you’ve been led to believe by movies and television. In fact, it’s usually louder, more chaotic, and more confusing than anything you’ve ever experienced before in your life.

However, car auctions are one of the best ways – if not the best way – to get a new or used vehicle at a truly impressive price. These incredible savings can be enough for people to face the stress of attending a car auction. However, there’s a better way to do this without sacrificing the chance to get low prices for cars. Especially on new cars.

Here’s how to buy new cars at auction without ever actually stepping onto the lot.


The Advent of Online Car Auction Sites

Car auctions that were primarily located in the “real” world have since branched out into providing online access to their inventories as well. These online auction sites allow users to bid directly on cars destined for the block or even buy cars outright without having to bid. Users with the winning bids usually have the option of picking the car up themselves if it’s feasible. Or shipping the car to a certain location for an additional cost.


The Old Way of Doing Things

For the most part, auctions open to the public – including online car auctions – are primarily driven by used car sales and auctions. Cars coming off lease being liquidated by dealerships are one source of these used cars, as are vehicles that were impounded or seized through law enforcement actions or those that were totaled in accidents and declared as salvage cars in need of rebuilding.

However, there are several online car auctions that include new vehicles as well, or are even offer new cars exclusively. The vast majority of these new car auctions are for industry insiders. Though, individuals or companies with dealer’s licenses. This has made it difficult for normal car shoppers to access new cars at wholesale prices.

It used to be that you could only get into a dealer auction in person if you knew someone who had a dealer’s license and they were willing to let you tag along with them. It also used to be that you could only gain access to dealer auction websites if you went through the account of someone with a valid license, like a friend or family member. This was great for people with connections in the industry, but left the rest of us out.


Opening Auctions Up for the Rest of Us

This is no longer the case, though. For some of these auctions, you can go through specific companies that maintain their own dealer’s licenses for the purpose of acting as a go-between for individuals without such a license. These third-party companies will place bids on your behalf as your proxy. All you need to do is supply them with a source of cash and tell them which car you want and how much you want to pay for it. They will do their best to win it for you.

This represents a true revolution in the way online auctions are run. Especially those intended to be exclusive dealer-only events. Now, there are truly no bars to anyone who wishes to bid on a brand new car in the hope of getting it for a fraction of the price they would have to pay at the dealership.

Combined with transport services provided by these third-party companies that can have your newly-purchased car delivered right to your door, there’s no reason not to use an online auction to buy your new car.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.