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8 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Attending a Live Car Auction Near Me

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 05/13/2022

If you’ve ever attended a used car auction and felt lost throughout the process, you can probably relate to this blog post. 


A used car auction is a delicate process that requires a lot of research, diligence, patience, and attention to detail. If you’re a newbie, it’s easy to get confused. But not to worry, just like everything else, being an expert in this field can be learned.


There are different types of auctions – from government auctions to dealer’s auctions to public auctions – even charity auctions. All these auctions have their processes and you have to do your due diligence to successfully maneuver the process.  


car auctioneer

Attend Car Auction Near Me


Many used car dealers get their cars from auctions at cheap prices, carry out repairs, and put them up for sale at dealerships all over the world.. Buyers then go to these dealerships and purchase these vehicles at a higher rate – and the dealers smile at the bank to cash their high margin profits. 


This is an okay process for those who have a lot of money to spend on a vehicle – but what of those on a budget? 


The good news is that you too can become an auction expert and own a vehicle on a budget. The only requirement is for you to understand the process to avoid losing money and or your vehicle. 


It’s not entirely risk-free as there are stringent terms and conditions to adhere to. However, You don’t have to make the same mistakes though which is why we’ve put together this guide to help you excel when next you walk into an auction. 


Note this guide can be used for both physical auctions and online auctions. 


Before Attending a Car Auction Near Me

1. Researching the Auction House

Run thorough research on the auction house you will be purchasing from. Different auction houses have their unique procedures and protocols. Get as much information on how the company works, their fees, payment procedures, etc. having this information beforehand will help you avoid issues in the future. 


Buy Car Online

Research Car Auction Near Me


2. Set a Budget Before Hand

Set your budget before walking into an auction. Without a budget, you may end up overbidding for a vehicle not worth the price. You also need to set your bid cap – the max you will be bidding for a vehicle. It’s one thing to create a budget and another to stick to it – it is also okay to be flexible where necessary. 


When budgeting, allow room for repairs and maintenance costs, auction house fees, transportation, shipping – if exporting. Make sure your budget can accommodate all fees to avoid losing your vehicle. 


3. Evaluate the Vehicle Before Purchased

One of the things to do in the early stage of your buying process is to look out for the features of the car you want to purchase. Evaluate the car to make sure it meets your needs and taste. You don’t want to end up paying for a vehicle you won’t enjoy. 


Check the vehicle listing and get as much information as possible. Look out for the drivetrain, safety features, infotainment, engine, fuel economy, interior, exterior, etc. Your car should fit your taste and needs – outside your home, your car is likely where you will spend the time most.  


Car Auction Near Me


4. Inspect the Vehicle

Before making your purchase you have to request the vehicle history report or carry out a physical inspection. A vehicle history report has comprehensive information on the vehicle. Such information includes previous owners,  title, odometer, damage history, maintenance records, etc. You can get your vehicle history report from sites like Carfax or Autocheck for a few dollars. 


If you want a more detailed report on the current status of the vehicle and you have a lot more money to spend – get a physical inspection. You can save money by inspecting the car yourself if you have knowledge about cars. If not, request the services of a professional mechanic or an inspection service company. Either way, an inspection is the only way to know the current condition of the car, and the level of repairs you should be prepared for. 


During the inspection process, be sure to inspect the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Look out for damages, and wear and pay close attention to the tires. An inspection company should be able to give you a comprehensive report on the vehicle. 


5. Know the Value of the Vehicle

Knowing the exact value of the car you want to purchase gives you an upper hand during the auction. Knowing how much the vehicle is worth determines how much you’d budget and your max bid. The auction bid price always differs but having fair knowledge of how much the car you’re looking to purchase will make the process much more seamless. 


You can negotiate better without making losses. Websites like Edmunds, or Kelly Blue Book provide information about the price of the vehicle. You can use these sites to research the value of the vehicle you want to purchase. 


6. Auction House Payment Procedure 

There are different auction companies and they all have different payment plans and procedures. Before placing your bid be sure of how you will make payments to avoid issues. 


For example, in an auction house that receives only cash payments and you try to pay using a cheque – you’ll end up delaying or hindering the entire purchase. Auto Auction Mall accepts deposits via credit or debit cards and full payment via wire transfer only. Know the payment method that fits the auction house you plan to use. 


toy car calculator money

Car Auction Near Me Payment Procedure


7. Long-Term Cost of the Vehicle

When buying a vehicle, many buyers only think of the initial cost of the vehicle – like purchase price, fees and charges, transportation, etc. however, the cost of the vehicle extends beyond just the purchase price. 


You also need to determine the long-term cost of the vehicle, you need to think about maintenance, repairs, fuel, insurance, depreciation, etc. You can use Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator to give you a breakdown of your projected cost over a period of 5 years. 

8. Understanding Car Titles 

Another factor to consider which is often overlooked especially if you’re buying to export is the vehicle’s title. You need to consider this important factor if you’re looking to export the vehicle. They are different titles within the different states – some titles are exportable and others aren’t.

You need to have knowledge of these to beagle to filter your purchase. You can run a VIN check to know which title the vehicle you want to purchase has. 


Further Reading

  1. 5 Sites you Need to Check Before Buying a Used Car 
  2. What Should I Check For When Buying a Car
  3. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars
  4. How to Get the Best Vehicle History Report on Auction Cars for Sale 


Final Words!

Arming yourself with the right information before walking into an auction will make the process seamless and stress-free. With the advent of technology, many auction houses are moving from the traditional way of auctioning cars to online auctions.

With online auctions, you can bid for vehicles from anywhere in the world and have them shipped to your location. 


Auto Auction Mall is one of many companies that allow you to bid from anywhere in the world. Take advantage of Auto Auction Mall’s learning center and access information and resources to help you become an expert in buying used cars from an auction. 

If you are wondering how to make your first purchase, Auto Auction Mall is your best bet. With an inventory of over 150k vehicles which are updated daily, you have many options to choose from. 

You can attend the live auction from the comfort of your home or office – hassle-free! 


Auction specialists are always ready to help you get started. 

If you haven’t figured out your budget yet, dont fret – you’re covered!

Sit back and enjoy the process as Auto Auction Mall specialists land deals that saves you money 



To get started, Sign up here!