Friday 23rd November 2012
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Most motorists have wondered at some point what it's like buying a car from an auctions. Let's be honest there's a good chance your local used car dealer has built up his stock via this method. The first step for those who have never been to a car auction is to go along to one and find out how it all works without the pressure of buying one. Buying cars at auctions is a whole new experience; it can be challenging, risky, exciting, rewarding and convenient, especially if there is a local auction nearby.

Procedures of buying cars at auctions

Before buying cars at auctions, it is wise to bear in mind what type of car you are looking to buy, but to maintain a degree of flexibility. Car auctions are not like buying cars privately or from a dealership. Basically, what you see is what your get!

On the day of the action arrive early, collect their catalogue if they have one and register yourself. Always have some form of payment ready such as cash, or a debit or credit card. By now, you should have an idea how much you want to pay for an auctioned car, also bear in mind the additional auction fees. Sometimes these are deducted from the seller upon sale but, it's worth checking first.

Buying a car at an auction can be noisy and hectic, so if you are planning on bidding you will need to listen very carefully at the auctioneer, and to the sound of the car running for that matter.

Arriving early will give you the opportunity to browse through the hundreds of cars, some auctions allow you to turn the engine on before when parked in the lot which is quite handy. Each car will be labelled with a number and description. Explanations can be vague or in detail, and they will often say:

• No major faults with the transmission, engine, brakes, etc. - this is a healthy risk
• Some minor faults such as CD doesn't work or glove compartment won't open - this is a healthy risk
• Sold as seen, which describes nothing - this is very risky.
• An engineer has checked the car and gives a report - this is a healthy risk

TIP: Buying cars at auctions always carries a degree of risk, it is wise to have surplus cash to fix any arising mechanical issues.

One of the risks is the fact of why the car is there in the first place and not sold privately. Used car dealers will normally have mechanics on hand so if there is a problem they will be quick to fix it. The question is do you? are you a mechanic? if so, then you've just reduced the risk to buy.

Ofcourse these are just observations we have made but as ever we are ALWAYS interested in your views and comments. Please send us your feedback below, so we can publish them here.