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Is It Safe to Buy from Car Auction Websites? 

By Mike Richards Updated: 06/30/2022 Posted: 10/21/2015

The idea of online car auction sites can be quite intimidating for some, as they do not know if the sites are legitimate or not. They see low prices and they feel as if there is no way that these sites could be auctioning off and actually selling the vehicles for such low prices.

Instead of doing their research, they simply shrug it off and go back to their traditional method of buying vehicles. These people could be missing some very good deals, though. However, there can be some elements of danger when it comes to these sites if they aren’t careful.


Is the Auction Website Real?

While the vast majority of the sites out there will be real and have actual deals for you, some of the sites could be trying to get personal information or will actually have fake auctions, meaning you will never see your money again.

You need to check into the background and reputation of the auction house. How long have they been in business? Do they have good reviews and ratings? What have people complained about with the auction house? A little research will let you know whether you are dealing with a good site or not.


What’s Wrong With the Car?

Once you find some quality online car auction sites, you will then be able to start looking at the inventory they have on the auction block. This is one of the most important factors in getting a good deal. Depending on the type of auction, there will be a number of different types of vehicles available. Some will be new vehicles, used vehicles, and nearly new vehicles. Some of the vehicles will come with salvage titles, which are generally the cheapest option.

Salvage titles can be good buys as long as you are careful. You need to know the type and the extent of the damage so you can determine whether it will be worth it to make the repairs you need to get the vehicle a rebuilt title, insured, registered, and on the road again.

In many cases, you will be able to get the vehicle at a low enough price that the cost of repairs is still lower than if you were to get an equivalent car from a used car dealer. That’s not always the case, though, so you will want to run the numbers to make sure they are in your favor.

Also, consider that the bidding can get out of control if you are not careful. You have to stick to your budget and know how much you are comfortable spending on a vehicle.

As much as you might like the vehicle, do not get to the point where you are bidding too high. This could push you over your budget, and you will not be able to reap the savings that are available through an auction.

As long as you are willing to put in the time and research into the vehicles that interest you so you know exactly what you are getting, then online car auction sites could be a good option for you. Never simply buy a vehicle that you like without doing research, or you may be sorely disappointed.

In the end, these auctions can be a good and safe way to buy vehicles, but it really depends on the amount of work you are willing to do to make sure you are buying through a good auction house.

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