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Car Auctions

Where Do Cars That You Buy at Auction Come from?

By Mike Richards Updated: 10/08/2018 Posted: 09/28/2018

There are several ways you can buy a car. Dealerships and used car lots are the most obvious choices. However, some people prefer to look in the classifieds and buy directly from the seller. Another option that is becoming more popular is to purchase cars at auction.

Many people still visit auctions in person. But no method compares to online auctions. The National Auto Auction Association provides a lot of info on the experience of buying a car at auction. They detail what a complicated process it can be. But buying online is a simpler process. However, it also has its pros and cons.

The Advantage of Larger Numbers

There are thousands of cars of all kinds and conditions on online auction sites, with new vehicles added every day. The selection is much broader than you’ll find at any single car auction.

Although the buyer has a lot more to choose from, the condition of the cars can vary a lot. You need to be aware of this fact. Not having the option to inspect the car in person before and after the auction may lead to issues. That’s why it’s important that you learn as much as possible about the car before bidding on it.

Car exporting

Many cars that end up at auction, particularly new ones, are cars dealers weren’t able to sell. After some time on the lot, dealers sell them at auction to move them quickly. Sometimes these cars suffer damage from severe weather. In any case, you can buy good quality new cars at a lower price at auction than at the car lot.

Another way that a used car may get to auction is by being traded in for a new one. They may also be repossessed when the original owner can’t meet their payments. Banks then sell these cars at auction. There are also ex-lease or rental cars. Companies may retire these cars due to high mileage. Many of these cars still have a lot of years left on them.

Further Reading

Another type of car that you find at a public auction were totaled by insurance companies. Once the insurance company pays the owner the value of their coverage, the car then becomes their property and they sell them at auction.

When a Salvage Vehicle May Be a Good Idea

A totaled car gets a salvage title. These are cars that have suffered so much damage that repairing them will cost more than they are worth. Buying a salvage car is not always a good idea. This especially so if you don’t have any help inspecting the cars or you don’t buy from a reputable auction or broker. But these cars are among the cheapest cars at auction, and there are many exceptions to the rule.

People from countries around the world have found out the value they get when they buy a salvage vehicle in the U.S. In many countries, there is no difference between a salvage car and one that was not damaged. So, it is easier to get them back on the road. Also, car repairs may be cheaper in many countries than they are in the U.S. They can come out ahead when they buy a cheap car with a salvage title.

Sometimes new or used cars are hit by hail and suffer thousands of dollars in damage. This damage may result in a big reduction in price, even if the car is still in good condition. Dealers may take these cars to auction to sell them to the right customers and to move them quickly.

Should I Buy a Salvage Car?

If you can do repairs, a salvage cars may be a good idea even if you live in the U.S. This is especially true if most of the damage to the car is cosmetic and not structural. You can do the work at a fraction of the cost a body shop would charge.

Also, the amount of the damage needed to total the car varies from state to state. That means that different salvage cars have varying degrees of damage.

Although you may be able to buy and repair a salvage car cheaply, you may have problems getting insurance. This is due to the unclear  total value of a salvage car. In many cases, drivers have to settle for liability coverage and can’t get better protection. But this coverage is enough if you’re looking for a low-cost car to drive around.

Other companies, such as leasing companies, franchise dealers, fleet companies, and banks also sell cars at auction.

A Bigger Audience for Car Auctions

The internet has opened up many auctions to the general public, both in the United States and around the globe. Car brokers with dealer licenses can give ordinary buyers access to cars that otherwise only dealers could buy. As a result, the car auction industry has grown in size and popularity, making it an excellent resource.

Another pro is that you can get a car from  any area in the country or even export it to another country. No matter where the cars are, you can place them for sale at an auction from anywhere.

Find information on Rebuilt Title Laws for Each US State. Explore our Vehicle Auctions here.

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