buying a used car
Buyer Tips

Where is the Best Place to Buy Used Cars?

By Mike Richards Posted: 08/09/2019

Where is the best place to buy used cars? If you are in the market to buy a new set of wheels, you will soon find that there are several options available to you. Whether you are buying new or used vehicles, you either go to the dealer, search online or in specialized magazines for a private seller or you go to an auction. Every one of these options has its pros and cons, but one of them stands out as the best: car auctions.

Buying from a Dealership

The traditional and most common way of buying a used car has always been to go down to your local dealership. In fact, for most people, this may seem to be the only viable option. At your local dealership, you can inspect the cars that catch your eye and even take them for a test drive. You can then negotiate with the dealer for a good price.

Few people, however, look forward to this experience. In fact, many buyers leave the dealership with the uneasy feeling that they didn’t get the best deal they could. Haggling is an experience that most people don’t have to go through very often. When buying a used car from a dealer, it’s expected. And who would win in that situation: you, the ordinary buyer with little to no negotiating experience, or a dealer who negotiates and haggles for a living?

Promotion sign “Take me home today” at the dealership lot.

Further Reading

On top of that, the dealer always has an enormous advantage over you: they typically know a lot more about cars in general, and about the car, the negotiation is about in particular, than you. This makes it a lot easier for you to be driven into paying a lot more than the car is worth or even getting a car that is far from being in the best condition, or that does not really suit your needs.

Furthermore, when you go to your local dealership, your choice is pretty much limited to whatever the dealer has in stock. If none of the vehicles suit you, you will need to drive to another dealership, and so on. The choices are limited, and the process is complicated and time-consuming and inconvenient. It’s no wonder, then, that buying cars at local dealerships is a method that has been losing popularity these days.

Inconveniences of Buying Directly from Private Sellers

For Sale Sign in Windshield

An alternative to buying at your local dealership is to go through magazine and newspaper listings. This nowadays is not really much of an option since most listings have moved online and it is more convenient to go through car adverts online.

So why not find a private seller through online car adverts in local classifieds or on Craigslist? In theory, you’d be spared some of the inconveniences that we have seen are associated with car dealerships. However, you will still struggle with the variety problem. If your choices were limited at the car dealership, how much more limited won’t they be if you try buying from a private seller?

Moreover, when buying from a private seller, you need to be extra careful. There are fewer guarantees that you will be buying a car in good condition. And, worse of all, you need to make sure you are not exposing yourself to danger when meeting someone you’ve never met and you’ve only contacted through the internet.

What all of this means is that buying a used car from a private seller can actually be a lot more trouble than it’s worth. It’s time, then, to consider a better alternative: car auctions.

Car Auctions

Wholesale Auction

Car auctions are just like any other auctions. A variety of lots go up for auction, there is bidding going on, and the highest bidder gets the item. At first sight, there’s not much to it. But, as you will see as you read the rest of this article, there are car auctions of different types, and the benefits you can get from buying at a car auction by far surpass any that you may get from other methods.

The main advantage that you get from buying a used car at an auto auction is the low price. Cars sold at auction go for prices far lower than their counterparts sold at your local dealership. Another advantage is that you will get a much more extensive selection of vehicles to choose from. Furthermore, you won’t need to bother haggling with a dealer. Finally, if you are dealing with a reputable auction, you won’t need to worry about the dangers we mentioned before regarding private sellers.

Different Types of Car Auction

But there are different types of car auction, and each brings its own set of advantages, in addition to the ones we have just seen. Public auctions are open to the general public. Anyone can enter and bid. The vehicles are used, and many are salvage cars, but the prices are unbeatable.

In contrast, dealer auctions are closed to the general public. Typically, you need a dealer license to get in. The quality of the vehicles sold at these auctions is much higher because this is where dealers get their stock. Because of that, the prices will be higher than at public auctions, but still much lower than at the dealership. That’s because the price you pay at the dealership will include the dealer’s markup.

Online Car Auctions

Buy Car Online

But we’ve saved the best for the end. The best kind of auction, the one with the most advantages, is the online car auction. Unlike in-person auctions, you don’t even need to leave your own home to check the cars and bid on them. You get everything you need online: photos, information, the car’s history, and so on.

As for the selection of vehicles available, it far surpasses what you get anywhere else. An online car auction like Auto Auction Mall, for example, has literally hundreds of thousands of listings for you to choose from. You are sure to find a vehicle that suits you among such a large selection. And, as is typical of auctions, the prices will be very low.

And there’s another great advantage. Remember the closed dealer auctions? Well, with some online car auctions, they become a lot less restricted for you. That’s because some platforms like Auto Auction Mall will lend you their dealer license.

You will get to browse and choose vehicles from dealer auctions, and Auto Auction Mall can then bid on your behalf. You set the budget and are entirely in control. Throughout the whole process, you will benefit from the excellent customer support, provided by experts that can guide you every step of the way. In the end, Auto Auction Mall can take care of the paperwork and even arrange shipping, if that’s what you need.

With all these advantages, it’s clear that a reputable online car auction like Auto Auction Mall is by far the best place to buy your next car.