Car Auctions

Auctions are some of the best ways to buy or sell a car. Still, it is always wise to know what you are getting into so that you can be certain that you will be prepared for what lies ahead. Let's take a look at the basic auction process, some of the most important features to take into account as well as a handful of benefits and drawbacks associated with this approach. You can then use this knowledge to your advantage if you are hoping to get a great deal on a used vehicle.

The Basic Auction Setting

The layout of a typical car auction is actually very similar to other auctions such as those involving antiques, collectables and even large pieces of factory equipment. You will be able to present your vehicle to others and (hopefully) obtain a highly competitive price based off of the make, model and how well it performs. Unlike online auctions, live auctions enable visitors to be a very up-close-and-personal view of your car.

How the Process Works

Most auctions will take place for an entire day although some may be held over an entire weekend. Either way, you will be required to register in advance and (normally) pay a small listing fee. On the day of the event, you will arrive before the guests and be assigned a specific spot within the venue. You then simply wait for others to begin the bidding process. Once the biddings close, your car will be sold to the individual who has proposed the highest amount. Please note that in regards to an auction, you will be provided with a minimum amount that the car can be sold for. Should this minimum not be met, you are under no obligation to accept the sale.

The Benefits

The are several benefits associated with the typical car auction. As you might imagine, the biggest advantage is an ability to get a great deal for your car. There can be many times when you may even receive more money than its list value; particularly if your car is a collectable. Another distinct benefit of this process is that you will be able to avoid much of the haggling associated with a private sale or when negotiating with a dealer. Finally, there are many times when buyers will settle in cash as opposed to an electronic wire transfer.

The Drawbacks

Unfortunately, there are still times when you are not offered what you feel your car is worth. In other words, buyers might not be willing to pay any more than a minimum figure (although this is rarely the). Another possible pitfall in relation to the seller is that you could only be exposed to a small portion of the buying community; many now choose to participate in online bidding “wars” as opposed to attending a physical event. On a final note, the typical auction is only as useful as it is respected. If you do not choose wisely, you may find that you have registered for an event that attracts few followers and that the auction process itself is quite confusing. This can be avoided by performing research before committing to an event.

Putting it All Together

Now that we have taken a look at the basic variables to take into account before an auction, what actions do you need to perform ahead of time? First of all, get all of the necessary paperwork ready. Much like a traditional sale, this will include:

  • Your car title and registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • The bill of sale
  • A record of the repair history of your car

Then, be sure to clean the vehicle thoroughly. Never forget that as opposed to an online sale, buyers are likely to closely examine the engine, the undercarriage and the interior for any signs of wear and tear. So, presentation is the key to your success (or a lack thereof). Ultimately, auctions can be great ways to sell your car to an eager buyer. Keeping these tips in mind will enable you to put your best automotive “foot” forward at the right time.