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How You Can Get Your Next Car from a Dealers Auto Auction

By Auto Auction Mall Team Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 07/08/2018

Purchasing a car takes a lot of time, patience, and money. However, consumers throughout the US and in other countries have discovered a new way. They can purchase used cars, salvage cars, and even like-new vehicles for pennies compared to dealers. So, what’s the secret? A dealers auto auction is the answer to your question.

You are likely used to buying a car by heading out to the local car dealership and haggling with the salesman. You then go inside and find out that you have a mountain of paperwork waiting for you. A dealers auto auction is nothing like this. They may surprise you, especially the auctions that happen online. Not only will you be able to select the car you want, but the entire transaction is done right in front of your eyes on the computer. On top of that, you never have to visit a dealership.

If you are wondering just how you can get involved and participate in an online dealers auto auction, all you need to do is keep on reading below. We will go over what is takes to be part of these auctions, what types of vehicles are available, and how you can find the perfect car to meet your needs. Before you know it, you will know exactly why purchasing a used car from a dealer auto auction is better than purchasing one from a traditional dealer or even a private seller.

Are Dealers Auto Auctions Only Open to Automotive Dealers?

You are  wondering just how you can participate in a dealers auto auction. Typically, they are only available to dealers who have a license to participate in them. Okay, so many a dealers auto auction requires that you have a dealer license here in the United State. However, there are some ways around this. Let’s take a look at how you can get involved in a dealers auto auction online and get access to thousands of cars.

Dealer Auctions That Take Place in Person

No matter where you live, there is likely a dealers auto auction taking place daily, weekly or even monthly. These are much more common than you think. However, the public does not often know about them because they typically require you to have a dealer’s license. They are not open to the public and have restricted access.

While most people would be turned off by this and simply move on, there are ways around it. If you wanted to get licensed as an automotive dealer in your state, you would need to look into the requirements, meet them, and apply. However, that is not  as easy as it sounds. In fact, it can be quite time-consuming. Most people do not have time to do this and are simply unwilling to deal with the hassle.

On the other hand, you could work with a dealer who has an active license. You could have them bid for you to purchase a car. You would need to establish ground rules for them and allow them to act on your behalf.

Dealer Auctions are Closed to the Public

Doesn’t sound like something you can or want to do? Not a problem. A majority of these types of dealers auto auctions are closed to the public. You will not be able to attend unless you take one of the steps above. However, there are auto auctions that do allow members of the public to join and this is where you can score big. These auctions are often put on by local customs and law enforcement agencies that need to clear out their inventory. Another common type of auction open to the public are public government auctions.

Whether you decide to attend one of these public access auctions, or you choose to circumvent the license by getting a license of your own or working with a third party, do make sure that you have read up on how to bid on cars. You do not want to make any bids that you are not willing to stick with. Also, you want to keep your costs as low as possible too. Prior to bidding on a car, you should take a moment to visually inspect it. You should grab the VIN number to run a vehicle history report too.

So What Can You Do?

Before you think that you can’t take part in a dealers auto auction, there is another way to gain access without a license and without having to find  a local law enforcement auction. You can gain access to hundreds and thousands of different cars through online car auctions. These online auctions offer you access to cars and deals you couldn’t get anywhere else.

Top 5 Online Car Auction Websites

Top 5Dealers Auto AuctionWebsite
1eBay Motorswww.eBay.com
2Salvage Bidwww.SalvageBid.com
3Auto Auction Mallwww.AutoAuctionMall.com
4Copartwww.Copart.com
5IAAIwww.IAAI.com

2 of the Biggest Dealer Auction Houses That Are Only Available to Car Dealers in the US

  1. ADESA
  2. Manheim

Perhaps you know someone who has a car dealer license and bids through these two websites. If that’s the case, then you are ready to do some bidding. If you are not, then the five top online car auctions are an ideal place to start.

Online Dealer Auto Auction Sites That Allow Public Access

Websites that allow the public to take part in a dealers auto auctions work like other auctions sites, such as eBay. Prior to using the website and making any bids, you will need to create an account and place a deposit on your account.

You may be wondering just how these sites can give the public access to auctions, especially when other places require you to have a dealer’s license. The answer is quite simple . These websites are able to list vehicles for sale to the public from dealer-only auction sites such as ADESA and Manheim. In addition, these websites  have access to many different auction specialists throughout the US and other countries. This allows them to list cars for sale that you, the consumer, can purchase.

Are Online Dealers Auto Auctions the Best Way to Purchase a Used Car?

Dealers Auto Auctions

A dealers auto auction that is open to the public is one of the best ways to purchase a like-new, used, or salvage title vehicle. These websites open up the possibility of getting the car you want for less money than at a dealer or private seller. Below, we will explain the three main benefits of buying your next car at a dealers auto auction.

First, you will have the benefit of convenience. It is true that time is money. Each minute of your time has a price on it. If you spend too much time hopping from dealer auction to dealer auction, you are essentially wasting your time, especially if you do not have the license to bid. When you use an online dealers auto auto auction, you will be able to shop cars from the comfort of your own home. Yep, that means you can buy a car in your pajamas if you want to.

The second benefit is that you have a wide selection to choose from. You will not be limited in the types of vehicle, colors, and models available. Of course, there will be some limitations. But you will find that you have more options than at the local dealer lot. At an online dealers auto auction, you will be able to browse vehicles in and outside your area. This means you’ll have access to a lot more cars.

Further Reading

The third benefit is that the cars on these online auction sites are extremely affordable. Car auctions are one of the best ways for you to save hundreds and thousands of dollars on a vehicle. In fact, many of the vehicles you see on these sites are in good working condition and cost only a few hundred bucks. One thing you may not know is that local dealers and used car lots often stock up their lots with cars that they obtain from online auctions.

How You Can Get Started with Online Dealer Auctions

An online dealers auto auction is very convenient. You can get a quality vehicle for lower than you would if you were to just walk onto a used car dealer lot in your town. The convenience factor alone is enough to make you want to take a peek at the inventory, But, how can you get started? Is it free? Are there any catches? Let’s take a look.

Sign Up for An Account on an Online Car Auction Site

When you locate an online dealers auto auction site you want to use, you will first need to sign up to access their full inventory and bidding options. Many of the sites will allow you to take a peek at the inventory before you do sign up. However, to reveal the full inventory, you will need an account.

This is an easy process. Typically, it only requires you to create a username and password and enter in some basic information.

Keep in mind that many online car auction sites  require you to make a deposit to bid. However, you do not always have to make a deposit to view the inventory. Just keep in mind that before you can bid, you will need to have money on your account. Fortunately, the deposit amount does not have to be the amount you want to spend on a car. Most online car auctions only require a 10% deposit. Therefore, if you wanted to spend $2,000 on a car max, your deposit would be $200.

Browse the Inventory at Online Dealer Auto Auctions

Once you have setup an account, you will be able to view ALL the vehicles the site has available for auction. You may notice that some vehicles are on auction all of the time and then the site may offer special live auctions where you have to physically be online to participate.

Once you get into the core of the site, you will be able to select the year vehicle you are after, the make, model, and much more.

Types of Vehicles Available to an Online Dealers Auto Auction

Online dealer auctions are a godsend to many because of the sheer volume and availability of cars is incredible. You will find that there are thousands of choices available. The choice is yours to make. While there are many different cars to choose from, there are three main categories.

Used Cars: What This Means at an Online Dealers Auto Auction

Much of the inventory at an online dealers auto auction will be made up of used cars. This is good because it means that you will have a lot of cheap options. These used cars can be on the auction site for a number of reasons. They may be overstock at a dealership, a trade-in, a repossessed vehicle, and so on.

Salvage Cars: What This Means at an Online Dealers Auto Auction

While used cars make up the majority of the cars offered on online dealer auctions, you will find that some of the inventory is made up of salvage titles. These are vehicles that the owner’s insurance policy has paid off at least 75% or higher of the vehicle’s value. We will talk more about what that means further down in the article, so keep your eyes peeled. If you are after a true bargain, then a salvage vehicle is the best choice.

Like-New Cars: What This Means at an Online Dealers Auto Auction

What about the like-new options available at online dealer auctions? Like-new means they have low mileage and have changed owners at least once in their lifetime. These cars are often repossessed vehicles, or are former rental vehicles and so on. There is a more restricted selection with these, so it is important to keep an open mind. For example, you may find the brand and model of car you want, but your color options may be limited.

Are There Other Types of Vehicles Available at an Online Dealers Auto Auction?

Yes. While the three types of cars above are the most popular, you will find many cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans. You will come across other types of vehicles on online dealer auctions as well. Some of these other vehicles include all-terrain vehicles, heavy-duty equipment, and even boats.

Bill of Sale – What Does That Means at an Online Dealer Auto Auction?

As you browse the inventory, you are likely going to come across cars with the label “Bill of Sale.” This is something to watch out for because it means that these cars do not have any type of certificate of title. The bill of sale is the only documentation that will establish the ownership of the vehicle.

Stay away from these vehicles, even though the price may be low. The reason is that you will be required to obtain a certificate of title before you can take possession. This is a complex process that can be slow and expensive for you, so it is better to avoid it.

Tips to Help You Find the Right Car in an Online Dealers Auction

As we have mentioned, you can find almost any vehicle on an online dealers auto auction site. Although this is a positive thing, it can make the process of narrowing down a vehicle pretty difficult, especially when you see all of the choices in front of you. So, how do you go about choosing the right car? Let’s break it down.

Narrowing Down Your Choices at an Online Dealer Auction

Prior to looking at the different choices of vehicles available, you want to set a realistic budget. If you can afford $2,000 comfortably, stick to that range. You can get a decent car for that price and there is no reason to strap yourself.

Once you have a budget in mind, you can enter it into the tools on the online dealer auction site. Many of these sites allow you to put in a minimum and maximum price range.

One thing you want to keep in mind is that the budget you set is not going to be the final price of the car. Factor in the cost of transporting the vehicle, taxes, any fees, and registration, and so on.  Also, leave some room in your budget because you may need to make some repairs on the vehicle as well.

Tips for Bidding at Online Dealer Auction Sites

Prior to bidding on any vehicles, make sure that you have a clear budget in mind. It is easy to get carried away. This may lead you to then spend more than you want to. One of the good things about an online dealers auction site is that if you find a vehicle that you love but it is out of your price range, you can almost bet that there is a more affordable version of it – all you need to do is take a look.

With a clear budget in mind, you also need to make sure that you are an informed bidder before you make your first bid. You will find that many of the cars have a VIN number displayed on them and you can use that VIN number to obtain a vehicle history report. Since these are not live auctions, you will have the time to take a look at the vehicle history report to determine if the vehicle is right for you.

How to Make a Payment for the Car(s) You Won at Online Dealer Auctions

Once you have bid, you will eventually find out if you won. If you did win, you can do a happy dance – you are the proud owner of a car. You will then need to complete payment for the vehicle you won. Remember that deposit you had to make? This is where it comes handy. The deposit amount will be directly applied to the purchase price of the car. You will need to pay the difference within the  time frame stated on the website.

It is important to take a moment and learn what type of payment methods your online auction accepts. Often, you will need a certified payment, such as a wire transfer of a certified bank check.

As we mentioned briefly above, you will need to make payment in a timely manner. Many online dealers auto auction sites provide you with two to three days to complete payment. The deposit that you placed on the account is immediately applied to the balance. If you do not make payment within a couple of days or within the stated time frame, you will be charged a late fee. The amount can vary, but should be stated clearly on the website. Continued non-payment for a winning bid will result in forfeiture of your deposit and additional charges with re-listing the car.

How to Arrange the Delivery of a Car from an Online Dealer Auto Auction

Once your payment is completed, you will then need to make arrangements to have your vehicle delivered. This is an easy process. In many cases, an auction specialist will work with you on setting up delivery of your vehicle. They will help determine the best method and let you know what options are available within your budget.

Of course, you have the option to arrange for transportation yourself and have the vehicle delivered right to your home. But you need to keep in mind that you will NOT be allowed to pick the vehicle up.

Typically, the best way is to work with the auction specialist. They work closely with auto shippers throughout the US and you will be able to get you some of the best deals.

Salvage Cars: Let’s Get into What They Really Are

We talked briefly about salvage cars and how they are one of the main types of cars offered at online dealer auctions. Which cars are salvage is noted clearly on the car’s profile on the website.

Many people think that the word “salvage” means they need to avoid it because the car is broken, does not run, and so on. The truth about these cars is that they are often the opposite of what you may think. Salvage vehicles present you with one the best opportunities to get an incredible deal on a car.

What is the Definition of a Salvage Car?

Salvage vehicles are vehicles that the owner’s insurance has paid out 75% or more of the vehicle’s value. A write-off of a vehicle can happen for a number of different reasons. For example, the vehicle could have been damaged in an accident and totaled or the vehicle could have suffered damage from hail, flooding, or fire. But, these are not the only reasons, so do not let that scare you.

To give you one example, a vehicle that is stolen is written off and labeled as a salvage vehicle. Once the vehicle is recovered, even if there is nothing wrong with it, it still carries a salvage title. Sometimes, insurance companies will write-off a vehicle in the event that they decide to settle a claim. Just because a vehicle has a salvage title does not mean that it is a beater box.

The point here is that you do not want to avoid salvage cars just because of the word “salvage.” Take some time to look into its vehicle history and see why it was deemed a salvage.

Re-Tilting a Vehicle Rebuilt from Salvage

One of the difficulties that you will run into with a salvage vehicle, no matter its condition, will be registering it. A salvage title is issued to all vehicles that are deemed salvage. No matter what county or state you live in, you cannot drive them on the road. In fact, it is illegal to do so. Because of this, you will need to do all necessary repairs to the vehicle and then apply at the local DMV for a rebuilt salvage title.

Before you do this, there are two things you want to keep in mind. First, each state has its own set of rules about rebuilding a salvage vehicle. So, it is important that you do your research and check all applicable laws to make sure you are in compliance.

Second, any vehicle deemed a salvage vehicle, will ALWAYS be a salvage vehicle, even if you repair it and it is in good working condition.

Can You Get Insurance for a Salvage Car You Purchased from a Dealer Auction?

After you have retitled a vehicle that was labeled as salvage, you need to secure insurance for it. Otherwise, you won’t be able to drive it on the road and register it with the DMV. This is required before the car is considered legal on the road.

Insuring a salvage title can be quite complex. To secure insurance on your car, you will need to work closely with the insurer you wish to go with and shop all of your available rates and options.

Basic liability coverage is fairly easy to obtain for your salvage vehicle and you may not run into any issues. However, things can become more difficult when you want comprehensive or collision coverage. Do note that an insurer who has previously covered and paid out on the salvage vehicle will not do so in the future.

So What Can You Do?

However, do not count yourself out just yet. If you already have a car insured by an insurer in your state, then they may be willing to insure your salvage vehicle as well. They may have an interest in doing it, especially if you have always paid your policy on time and have made no claims against your policy.

There are options out there for you. You should explore them and try to find someone who is ready to insure you. Prior to looking for comprehensive insurance, you should ask yourself if it is really worth the cost. Some people are happy driving with basic insurance and do not see the need to spend more to have comprehensive. If you end up agreeing with this, then you will find that obtaining basic insurance is much easier.

International Buyers: How You Can Use Online Car Dealer Auctions

Consumers in the US are not the only ones who want to use online car dealer options to secure a car. There are many international buyers who use these sites. With the amount of money you can save on these online auction cars, who wouldn’t want to participate?

Private Individuals and Import Business Dealers Can Use Online Car Dealer Auctions

If you live outside of the US and you are a private individual or a business import dealer, you can capitalize on the opportunity to seize a car at an affordable price. You will have access to all of the vehicles available on the auction site. You can purchase one, two, or however many you want.

One of the reasons why international customers want to purchase vehicles in the US and have them shipped to their country is because it is much cheaper to repair the car outside of the US. So, they get a real steal when they purchase their vehicle online.

Need More Help?Check out our FAQs sectionAccess FAQs

Rules and Regulations for Importing Cars from the US

There are many benefits of shopping car auctions. Foreign individuals have found it to be a wonderful way to obtain a car for a low price. But before you just jump in and make a purchase of a US car and have it shipped internationally, there are some rules and regulations that you need to take into consideration first.

In general, there are some rules and regulations that are common across the world. You should familiarize yourself with these. You will need to review the regulations and rules that your country has in place for purchasing and receiving new, used, and salvage vehicles. Not every country will allow you to have one shipped, so learn about the process before you make a bid. For example, some countries have restrictions on the age of a vehicle that is being imported. Do check this out and make sure the vehicle is not too old to import.

In addition, some countries may not allow you to import salvage vehicles or they may have strict restrictions about it. Other countries will not allow any type of vehicle that has visible damage to the exterior. Always familiarize yourself with these rules before you bid on a US vehicle.

Understanding Taxes and Import Duties

One of the biggest obstacles you face when you import a car from the US into another country is import taxes and duties. Each country has their own set of rules. In general, these rules will outline the different duties and taxes in place for importing new, used, or salvage vehicles.

It is wise to take time and learn what your country’s taxes and duties are before you bid on a vehicle. This way, you know what to expect at all times. Find out if your country uses the CIF model for calculating import taxes and duties. CIF stands for Cost, Insurance, Freight. It is a numerical representation of the value of the vehicle plus the cost of shipping insurance and the cost of shipping.

If you live in a country that uses CIF, you want to keep your shipping costs as low as possible. Fortunately, when you choose a shipping company, they can work with you to ensure that an international freight is affordable and fits within your budget.

Research any additional fees authorities may charge you when the vehicle arrives at the destination. Some countries will charge different fees based on the size, type, and condition of the vehicle.

Try a Dealers Auto Auction Online Today

Dealers Auto Auction

As you can see from the information above, shopping for and purchasing a vehicle at a dealer auto auction online is worth it. You can choose from many different types of vehicles. As you explore your options, do make note of your budget and then consider all of the options that are available to you from like-new to salvage and used cars.

You will find that the convenience and comfort of shopping for a vehicle at home makes using an online dealer auction worth it in many different ways. The information we gave you will help you sign up for an account, know what to look for, and help you place your first bid. Today, you are on your way to be the owner of a vehicle from an online dealer auction.

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