Lot of new cars

The Online Auction – Should I Buy a Car I Can’t Test Drive? 

By Mike Richards Updated: 07/26/2022 Posted: 10/20/2015

Today’s car buyer is a savvy consumer. He or she knows that one car is much like another, that they’re pretty much all going to be built for a reasonable level of comfort, and as long as the car has the features they want at a price they’re happy with, a test drive isn’t likely going to make or break the deal.

Online Auctions

You might be surprised to know that you can buy a brand new car at auction, and that you can even do it online. Many auctions are dealer-only. Traditionally, what that meant was that you would have to find a friend or a family member with a dealer license who would bid on your behalf. Today, though, there are companies that hold dealer licenses who will bid on your behalf for a nominal fee.

Of course, you won’t be able to test drive the vehicle, or even start it up. But you can always go down to a local dealership and test drive the model you’re thinking of buying, if you’re looking for a new car. If you’re buying used, chances are you can find something that’s at least comparable on a lot somewhere to test drive.

You can also read reviews online that will give you all the information you need about the vehicle you’re thinking of buying. And if you’re just trading up, so to speak, a test drive might not be needed in any case. You can probably assume, for instance, that a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta is going to be pretty similar to a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta.

No Salespeople

If you’re the type of person who finds dealing with a salesperson so problematic that you’d rather not even go for a test drive, you might as well buy online and avoid the experience. Of course, you should keep in mind that a vehicle purchase is a big-ticket item, and that if you can do a test drive, you probably should. All the same, people buy cars every day from online auction sites, get great deals, and never have to deal with salespeople.

Practical and Easy

Practically everything is done online now, from ordering pizza to booking a doctor’s appointment to arranging a dinner date to – yes – buying a car. It’s fast, easy and stress-free, and with the prevalence of online auctions that can get you the car you want at low prices compared with what you’d spend at a dealership, why wouldn’t you buy a car online?

Not for Everyone

Now, having touted the benefits of online car auctions, we have to say that they’re not for everyone, in the same way that a physical car auction isn’t for everyone. If you hate being in a crowd, can’t stand the smell of exhaust, and are highly sensitive to noise, a “real life” car auction is the last place you want to be.

Online auctions aren’t nearly so overwhelming, but some people may still find even online car auctions a bit too stressful. If that’s the case, take heart. You can always use a proxy broker who will bid on your behalf for a reasonable fee, and who will even take care of shipping your car right to your door.

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