Home > Types of Auction > Buying a Car at An Auction

Buying a Car at An Auction

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 24 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Auction Car Auction Dealer Auction Ebay

If you know what you’re doing you can pick up a bargain at a car auction – but the real emphasis is on the last part – you really have to know what you’re doing, since vehicles are sold as-is. The best vehicles appear at dealer auctions, rather than those open to the public, though. So where can an ordinary person find a good car at auction? It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the answer’s on eBay. They’ve had a vehicle auction arm for several years, and with due care you can find a real deal.

How Car Auctions Work

The auction process is the same as anything else on eBay. You place a bid, and can keep on bidding, hoping you win the vehicle at the end of the auction. That’s simple enough, but a car isn’t a book or a dress. Photographs and a description alone aren’t going to tell the whole story.

You can search cars for auction by make or model, or you can refine the search by looking for vehicles within a radius of your own address – you decide how far. This is an important factor, unless you really want to travel to the other end of the country for a vehicle.

What To Look For When Buying a Car at Auction

The great advantage of searching listings close to home is that you can easily inspect a vehicle that catches your attention. A cardinal rule is never bid on a car you haven’t examined – preferably with a mechanic, unless you’re very able in that field yourself. Test drive it, so you can not only get a feel for the vehicle and whether it suits you, but also its handling and faults on the road.

If you’re searching for a vehicle to buy, you’d do best to contact the seller early in the auction, to allow plenty of time for viewing. Take care to view the documents pertaining to the car too – the service record, if available, and the registration certificate, to be sure the seller really is the owner (the last thing you want is to spend money only to discover the vehicle’s stolen; if that’s the case you’ll receive no compensation).

The more thorough you are in your examination, the less likely you are to end up either scammed or with a lemon. Beware, too, of any signs that the person selling the car is a dealer. Check his feedback; if many of the entries concern car sales, then you’re looking at a dealer. Also check the feedback for buyer satisfaction, as an indication of the seller’s general honesty.

If You Win The Auction

The people at eBay prefer buyers to pay via Paypal. Generally that’s a good idea, for the protections it offers a purchaser. But when you’re buying a car from someone, it might not be the best solution.

You might well do better to pay cash when you pick up the car. However, don’t just hand over the money. Inspect the vehicle again (and check the VIN – unscrupulous people have switched cars before!) before you pay

.The problem is that this method of payment negates your protections through eBay. However, an in-person inspection can save you a lot of problems later, so it becomes six of one and half a dozen of the other.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • RhodieBoy
    Re: Consumer Law and Auction Goods
    06 March 2019 Hi, We sold a few items including used TV at a local auction this evening, and upon going to collect the cash…
    6 March 2019
  • Jade
    Re: Selling Collectibles
    I’m selling Aston Drake porcelain dolls mint condition authentication certificates and original packaging and also Franklin mint heirloom…
    14 January 2019
  • Nannie 2
    Re: Consumer Law and Auction Goods
    I have been purchasing items from an auction house for some time and selling the items on with the profits going to a charity I…
    5 January 2019
  • rigamortice
    Re: Auction House Commissions
    After a family bereavement I have a very lot of goods to sell. Thank you for the outrageous information about tax payable on second…
    29 November 2018
  • ExploreAuctions
    Re: Consumer Law and Auction Goods
    Gwendo - Your Question:What are my options on dealing with this matter.Our Response:You would ha
    3 September 2018
  • Gwendo
    Re: Consumer Law and Auction Goods
    What are my options on dealing with this matter.
    31 August 2018
  • Gwendo
    Re: Consumer Law and Auction Goods
    I just won a 6×3m gazebo on an online auction and it was advertised as "6×3m garden gazebo in black. But when I unpacked it was…
    31 August 2018
  • Geoff
    Re: How to Bid at an Auction
    I left AutoBids on the Saleroom with a UK auctioneer both of which were sold in the room at the value of the bids that I submitted. The…
    30 August 2018
  • Petetheheat
    Re: Consumer Law and Auction Goods
    Won an auction for a caravan on well known auction site, but seller refused to honour sale and sold to a third party who had not…
    21 August 2018
  • Lar
    Re: Auction House Commissions
    Recently went to an auction at an auctioneers, I won the bid. The bid was £20 how much should the bill be? Bearing in mind the…
    1 August 2018