What is Salvage title?

Key Car Facts to Know Before Bidding in a Dealer Auction Online

By Mike Richards Updated: 06/21/2022 Posted: 07/25/2017

Online dealer auctions are becoming a preferred way for auto buyers to purchase used, salvage, and like-new vehicles. The reasons are obvious. In addition to offering unparalleled choice and convenience, a dealer auction online is an opportunity for savings. Also, most auto buyers find that they’re able to save thousands of dollars.

In order for those savings to be worth it, though, you’ve got to make a smart purchase. For this reason, it’s important to examine the history of any vehicle upon which you’d like to bid. Only by doing this can you ensure that the deal you’re getting is in actuality a deal. What key facts do you want to know about a vehicle? Let’s take a look…


Is the Sale of the Car Legal?

Used and salvaged cars available in online dealer auto auctions are almost always thoroughly vetted. However, there may be some exceptions. When examining a vehicle history report for a vehicle, examine the vehicle’s title history. You want to ensure that the car is legal to be sold. Again, this should pretty much always be the case, but it never hurts to check.


Has the Car been Repossessed?

Vehicle repossessions are often a good indicator of what state a vehicle might be in. For example, if a vehicle has been repossessed multiple times,  the car may not be well maintained over its lifespan. Conversely, if a vehicle is a recent model and was repossessed quickly, it’s likely that the car is in almost like-new condition.


How Many Owners Has the Car Had?

You know the saying about too many cooks spoiling the broth, right? Well, keep that in mind as you look at a vehicle’s history. If a car has had a number of different owners over its lifespan, then the chance it has been mistreated is higher. This isn’t necessarily the case, but it’s one thing that should be taken into consideration.


Were There Lapses in Registration?

When a vehicle’s registration hasn’t been kept current, this is often an indication that the car has not been well maintained. Think about it this way…

If someone couldn’t afford (or be bothered to) keep up with their registration, how likely is it that they kept up with ongoing maintenance?


Where Has the Car Been Housed?

Where a vehicle has lived can often give you an idea of problems you might encounter. If the vehicle has lived in places where there’s a lot of rain or snow, there may be deep-seated water damage. Conversely, if the car has been in a dry and arid climate, then it’s likely in fairly good condition.


Consult Your Auction Specialist for Sound Advice

All of the above are great facts to pay attention to when selecting cars to bid upon in online dealer auto auctions. But, when you really want sound advice, turn to your auction specialist. He or she has a deep understanding of the auction market, and can often point you in the right direction toward vehicles that will meet your needs and budget.