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How to Prepare for Your First Dealer Auction

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 06/30/2017

Buying a car is always exciting. There’s definitely a lot to look forward to.

Of course, if you’re buying through a dealer auction, you have that much more to be excited about. These auctions mean you could end up with an amazing automobile without having to pay nearly as much as you otherwise would.

Nonetheless, before jumping into a dealer auction feet first, make sure you do the following.

Start with Your Budget

This always sounds like such easy advice, but it’s very easy to stray from said budget the moment you find a vehicle that really grabs your fancy.

That’s why, before you look at a single vehicle at a dealer auction, you need to get very clear about how much you’ll allow yourself to spend. Go through your finances with a fine-tooth comb to make sure you know what your absolute limit is.

Then, do not stray from it. For a lot of people, it helps to tell someone about their plans to have them keep you accountable. Think about doing the same.

Know the Car You Want

Is all you want something with four wheels that can get you around? That’s fine. You’ll definitely find one at a dealer auction.

However, other people have something a bit more substantial in mind, which means they need to think this through before getting anywhere near a vehicle with their credit card. Don’t join the long list of people who have purchased vehicles only to be disappointed later when they realized they forgot a major consideration.

Furthermore, think about your future plans, too, and what kind of vehicle they’ll require. For example, are you planning on adding to your family? Moving somewhere where it snows? Making a purchase that will need a truck bed to get it around?

Just like with your budget, invest in thinking this through before heading to a dealer auction.

Factor in Transportation Fees

Speaking of how much you’ll have to pay for your vehicle, don’t forget about what it will cost to actually get your new purchase in the driveway.

Online auto auctions have become extremely popular, which means you can buy vehicles from all over the country. While this is a huge advantage, it could mean forgetting about the fact that buying one of these cars makes it impossible to simply drive it home once the paperwork is done. Keep this in mind. It can also be possible to import these cars to countries all over the world.

Don’t Run from Salvaged Vehicles

While it’s true that salvaged vehicles will need to be repaired before you can legally drive them, that’s hardly any reason to completely avoid them.

Instead, do some research (yes, more research) to see how much the required repairs will cost. Depending on what you’re looking for in a vehicle, this approach could save you thousands of dollars on the perfect ride.

The fact that most people never think about this means that many auctions feature all kinds of very promising salvaged vehicles for rock-bottom prices.

As you can see, preparing for an auto dealer auction doesn’t need to be a Herculean challenge, but it can net you a very appealing result.