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9 Tips for Buying Used Car at a Public Car Auction

30 March 2020 | 0 comments | Posted by Emily Bartels in Petrol heads

Car auction tips

Events like car auctions are an excellent option for people looking to buy a used car at a discount price. The used car market is huge in the present era, and many people want to buy a used car. Doing so helps them get more value for their money. One can get a used car at a price one by a third of the cost of a new car.

Moreover, spending a few dollars on the repair of a used car office you service over the years. However, it is not easy to buy a used car, especially in an auction. A buyer needs to check many things to get the right vehicle that can serve him/her for years.

Let us review some tips to find a used car and get value for your hard-earned money.

Visit the right auction

There are two types of car auctions, online and offline, like Brisbane car auctions. There is a large variety of car models available in the online auctions. However, the prices may be higher than the offline auctions. It is best to check out both the online and offline auctions to know which is the most suitable as per your requirements.

Moreover, some require you to pay an entry fee while others are free. Also, some car auctions have a wide range of vehicles why some have limited auctions of cars.

Visual inspection

Every used car buyer needs to conduct a visual inspection of the vehicle. Check the paint of the car, the body of the car, doors, roof, bonnet, and lights of the vehicle.

Also, check the paint of the vehicle, whether it is original or repainted. Used car sellers repaint their vehicle to make it look like a new car and attract the buyer.

A sparkling used car does not mean it will work as good as it seems. A buyer should conduct a thorough visual inspection of the vehicle and look for any dents or imperfections in the body. Dents are usually a sign of an accident.

Check the VIN

The VIN is written at the base of the windshield of a car. Check the VIN at the bottom of the windscreen and other places like door and trunk lid stickers. If the VINs on these places don't match, the car may have been involved in some major accidents.

Observe other bidders

A buyer should observe action on all the cars in the auction. Some people are fake bidders, whose job is to pump up the prices and encourage the real bidders to bid on high rates. If you suspect such fake bidders in any auction, it is best to stay away from them. Visit a few auctions before actually participating in anyone to buy a used car.

Watch before bidding

When you find a good local used car auction, you should visit there several times to watch the action before making a bid. You need to know how fast the vehicles move across the auction. Large auctions have multiple lines of cars in continuous motion. You need to see how other buyers are bidding and listen to the cadence of auctioneer's delivery.

Risk assessment

Check the website of the auction to find out what insurance is included with the car if any. Some use a "stoplight" device, online as well as at the auction itself:
  • Greenlight: the vehicle has no documented faults, and arbitration is required to deal with undiscovered technical issues.
  • Yellow light: Automobiles have known issues that are not subject to arbitration.
  • Red light: Car sold as it is. You're out of luck if the engine blows up.

Inspect and check

Usually, you can check the cars before bidding, but most auctions do not allow for a test drive. All you can do is sit inside the car, start it and maybe put it in gear. Online, most auctions have a "health ranking" or a detailed list of imperfections and mechanical malfunctions— a 1 to 5 scale with five being new and 3 being regular wear and tear. Nonetheless, make sure you have a vehicle inspection report for any car that you have a strong interest in purchasing.

Bring a Mechanic or friend with you

It is essential to bring with you a friend who knows well about cars, or even a mechanic. But whoever you bring along, tell them what to buy and how you want to pay. The purpose of bringing them along is to stop you from being too excited and making a quick decision.

Set a maximum bid range for you

If you have found some good cars worth buying, search on pricing guides such as Edmunds.com or Kelley Blue Book for the trade-in value of specific vehicles. Fix this price in the head and don't go beyond this mark. If you get a car of your choice within this range, its good, otherwise leave the auction as others bid above your range.

Final words

These are some tips to buy a used car at a public car auction. A buyer needs to inspect a car thoroughly if the auction allows doing so and also check whether the bidders are real or fake. Also, it is essential to choose a legitimate vehicle auction to protect yourself from fraud and fraudulent bidding. Following these tips can help buyers to buy a car at a public car auction.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is vehicle management.

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