Step by Step for Buying an Car at an Auction

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Step by Step for Buying an Car at an Auction

Purchasing a car from an auction makes it possible for you to own rare cars that you cannot find anywhere else. You also get the chance to purchase peacefully without having to deal with over ambitious sellers or dealer markups. However, buying an auto at an auction is not a walk in the park. Several things can go wrong only for you to regret after you close the deal.

In the back of your mind, you think you have it all planned. From knowing the strength of the car, identifying the faults, knowing how much the car is worth, and when to stop bidding. However, when the auction day finally comes, you can easily get overwhelmed and forget what you knew. With the following tips, you will find buying an auto at an auction is easy and enjoyable.

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Familiarize yourself with the Auction Catalog

The model may be famous but you need to know certain features such as the history of the car. You need to know whether the car has been re-bodied, whether the numbers match, it has complete ownership trail as well as knowing if the car is a tribute or recreation. Reading the catalog also helps you determine whether the vehicle is out of place. For instance, a VW Beetle might be either cheap or wrongly placed at a muscle-car auction.

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Make a Physical Appearance

It is possible to place your bid on phone or online, which saves you a lot of time. However, it makes more sense to examine the car physically before placing your bid. It can save you surprises once your bid goes through.

Early Registration

An auto auction is bound to have several bidders competing to take home the car you have eyed. To increase your chances of winning, ensure you have registered early and provided evidence that you have enough cash to buy the car. To confirm your ability to purchase the car, you will need to provide either a bank statement or credit card. Then you will be expected to sign a buyer’s premium disclosure, which is the fee added to the winning bid.

On the auction day, be early or else you will find a long line leading to decreased chances of getting your dream car. At the sign-in, make sure you get a list of the cars available and mark the ones you are interested in cross the block.

Close Examine Each Car

If you are not conversant with car details, you can tag along with an expert. Close examining the cars helps determine whether the car is original and whether it has the right color. With an expert by your side, it will be easy to look beyond the shine details. For instance, he will help you understand VIN codes, the status of the engine, whether the car smokes upon starting, any possible leaks, or the production of annoying sounds.

Check the authenticity of the paint and if the owner is available, be sure to ask the right questions. If possible, check the documents being well aware that there is a possibility that cars that are too good to be true might also be in the auction.


The secret to increasing your winning chances is by sitting where the ring men can see you. Choose a strategic position where they can spot you easily. At other times, you might consider staying at the back but do not rely on this too much as the ring men might interpret it negatively. There are certain rules that you need to follow when bidding.

• Do not bid higher than you had planned

• Avoiding tagging along with a college buddy or a new girlfriend

• If you win the bid, avoid as much as possible staring at the TV screen because someone from the IRS might recognize your face.



This is the last step in buying an auto at an auction. Instead of driving the car yourself and getting stuck in remote areas and incurring huge repair bills, consider using the services of shippers. The reputable ones will transport your vehicle in closed containers. Also, remember there is a sales tax. You have to deal with it. The sales tax, however, is not applicable in all states.


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