Car Auctions: What Precautions to Take


Car auctions are a sure and easy way to get good vehicles with competitive prices. It is advisable to consider the government car auction, because the risks are very low and the whole transaction is covered by the law, however, before participating in a car auction, you should go through some steps ahead.

The first step is obviously having a look on the prices (you can use the NADA guide), compare the prices offered with respect to the actual condition of the vehicle, if you don’t do so, you might buy a car for more than it’s really worth. In the second step, make sure the entire Vehicle Identification Numbers match up, examine the car itself and see if there are any signs of past accident, you can call for an expert or use a specialized book to do it yourself.

Another fact that you should be aware of is a huge amount among the offered vehicles in the government auctions are repossessed or seized, so prior to seal any deal, examine the history of the car, make sure it was not rebuilt or altered in any given way, this history is available upon request in any auction, so be wise and do your homework. Normally, before the auction day, a special inspection day is scheduled and informed officially, it is recommended to attend that inspection so you can check physically the vehicle, otherwise, point someone else to do the job in your behalf.

With that said, I always advise people who are asking me what to look at during car inspection, to hire an expert. Reading a book that will teach you how to do it is a second option because the eye-testing of the used cars is something that you cannot acquire by reading books, it comes with practice and long years’ experience. One hour with a qualified mechanic will cost you some pennies compared to the price of ending up with a non-reliable car.

Generally, you should keep in mind the following guidelines in order to help you to make a wise choice in any auction:

1 – Government auctions are better than private auctions

2 – Check and compare the offered prices.

3 – Ask for the history of the vehicle.

4 – Hire a professional to do the necessary inspection of the vehicle, the cost will be around 100$.

5 – Give yourself time to be familiar with the biding process, participate without purchasing in the first four auctions.

6 – Observe your environment: pay attention to people who are biding in each auction, some of them are doing so in order to rise up the prices.


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