More and more people are turning to auctions to get the car they desire, mostly since the banks have introduced strict rules about eligibility and credit granting in the aftermath of the global economic crisis. The group of people that were once able to buy a car on credit has narrowed down. Consequently, they have embraced an affordable alternative - the acquisition of vehicles at the auctions.
Since this requires some bidding skills and competitive spirit, one should get properly acquainted with the secrets of the trade. This entails the knowledge on how to get the best price and dodge the traps of overspending on certain items. We have compiled a selection of our best saving tips to guide you during your first visit to a car auction.
Types of car selling events Government and public auctions are the two basic types of vehicle auctions. Their most common trait is that there’s no possibility to inspect the car prior to making an offer. This demands some careful planning beforehand and ensuring the car checks all your boxes.
The slight advantage of government auctions is that the offered items usually come with the honest background information. Still, public auctions are on the rise, and the organisers with good reputation are working hard to maintain the fair game.
Too much confidence can burden your budget It’s a long way from a rookie to a seasoned mechanic, so don’t get carried away if you’re lacking proper knowledge and expertise to make the best assessment. The car that look cheap are often a trouble. This means that you may burden your budget later on with additional repairs and investments.
This is certainly not what you hoped for, but if by any chance it happens that smaller repairs are necessary, leave it to the professionals to take care of it. To avoid such problems in the future, visit a few car and truck auctions and mingle, get new contacts and ask for advice from the pros.
Take a good look of it As we have previously mentioned, no test drive is allowed before the bidding, so we should rely on our sharp observation skills to make an estimate. Make sure to thoroughly examine the car inside and out.
These are the weak spots to look out for:
• rusty edges and corners
• signs of repainting
• missing parts
• worn-out brake disks
• rough sheet metal sections
• other common issues
Steer clear of the cars with suspicious concealments
Whenever there’s a cover-up, there’s a reason for doubt. Firstly, avoid the cars that feature more than two paint coats. It’s acceptable for the car to have paint cover over some small scratches if the mechanical system is in a pristine condition. Still, several layers of paint could be hiding a more serious damage. Another alarming issue you need to pay attention to should be all sorts of funny smells coming from the exterior or the interior of a desired vehicle.
How VIN matters Before placing a certain car on your list of favourites, take time to jot down the vehicle identification number (VIN) located on the base of a windshield. Then, compare the VIN numbers you may find in other places, such as front of the engine block, trunk lid sticker, dashboard or driver’s doorpost. If they’re not a match, the car was probably rebuilt after an accident and may have plenty of hidden weaknesses.
Observe the bidders Take a good look of your fellow bidders at the auction. The ones that visit every lot may serve to blow up the price of the offered items. Learn the rules of the game and get to know the players before embarking on a serious bidding adventure.
The key to paying less is making the good assessment on your own. Employ our handy advice and leave with a decent and affordable ride.
All images courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons.