How to Buy a Car at Auction Online and Get the Best Deal
In the quest to get the perfect car for the best price many people are now turning to car auctions. One of the best places to get information about car auctions and also to participate in the auctions themselves is online. There are many sites that auction cars for sale. The internet has become the place for people to go to check out the best deals that they would never find in a brick and mortar dealership. However, there are different strategies to follow when it comes to getting the best deal. Here are eight tips to keep in mind when it comes to shopping for the best car deal at auction.
8 - Know the Difference Between Government and Public Auctions
These are the two basic types of auctions. Government auctions sell cars that have known histories. You will know how the car was maintained and by whom, perhaps it was a police cruiser or a government pickup truck, for example. There are many bargains to be had here, and government cars are some of the best cars to buy at auction. Unfortunately, the competition is fierce from dealers looking to resell the cars. At a public auction, you must be cautious of quality and be ready to do work to fix whatever car you buy. Good cars are getting harder to find but if you have the mechanical skills you can still find bargains here.
7 - Develop a Trained Eye
There is no chance to test drive cars that are sold at auctions, and this is obviously true for online auction sites. You need to know what to look for when spotting a questionable car. Look for signs of overuse of paint, rust spots, scored brake discs, etc.
6 - Check the VIN Number
If an auction site doesn't release the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of the car you want to bid on this is a red flag that there's something wrong. You should always be able to see if the VIN numbers on the windshield and doors match each other. If they don't then the car may have been rebuilt and you should stay away from it at all costs.
5 - Know the Value Before You Bid
This may seem like common sense, but it is a step in how to buy a car at auction that is often overlooked. If you know what a car is worth, then you know if you are getting a great deal. You also know if you are paying too much. This is the most important step to getting the best deal at an online car auction.
4 - Remember That "As Is" Means "As Is"
The chances of running into a lemon are even greater today than they were a few years ago. In order to get the best deal, you have to protect yourself from parting with your hard earned money over a car that isn't worth it. It is strongly suggested that you have a good mechanical aptitude if you bid on a car that is listed "as is" because it almost certainly will need work before it can pass inspection and become street legal. If you don't have the skill yourself, make sure you had extra money set aside and factored in before you bid.
3 - Be Willing To Walk Away
Don't get too caught up in a bidding war with anyone. This is what auction formats of all types count on in order to get the most money for their items. They are betting that you will become emotionally attached to an item to such an extent that you will be willing to spend far more than it is realistically worth. Don't be one of those people. As soon as the price has reached beyond what you know is a bargain for you, let it go. This is easier said than done but will allow you to save money for a better car deal later on.
2 - Find an Auction Online That Lets You Attend in Person
Buying a car from an online auction site is a great option but being able to use the internet to find an auction that takes place offline is also a worthy strategy for finding the best deal. Some auctions even allow on-site inspections and if this is an option that is available at the auction you want to attend you should take it.
Seeing the mood of the crowd and getting a feel for how an auction goes if you've never been to one can also be an invaluable experience.
1 - Find a Site That Sells Newer Model Cars
This is the number-one overall rule to getting the best deal at an online car auction. With most of the problems being in cars that are several years or even decades old, this will weed out most of the cars that aren't good quality. It isn't a foolproof method by any means as even newer model cars can have issues but it does reduce your chances of purchasing a car that isn't dependable when buying a car from the auction.
These are just some of the ways that you can buy a car at auction online and get the best deal. If you follow them, you will come out on top and save money when you are buying cars at auction.