Thinking of buying another family car, but also want to save some bucks? Try car auctions. Participating in used car auctions is not usually the best way to find a car of your dream. However, you can still come across something satisfying and meaningful from the event if you do your homework first. As a mum who does not have an interest in auto, you probably think the task is quite daunting. Worry not! Here are a few pieces of advice on how to buy a car at auction you might want to consider.
Choose the Right Auction
Take your time and research on suitable car auctions before you make any move. You can either choose government auctions, ex-fleet auctions or repossessed vehicle auctions. Government auctions feature vehicles from governmental agencies, councils and state departments. The good thing about government auctions is that you can find good deals on well-maintained vehicles. Ex-fleet auctions feature cars from businesses or car rental companies. You can also try auctions that have repossessed vehicles. These are vehicles sold by financial institutions and leasing companies when clients default on their payments.
Keep Some Money for Repairs
You will most likely encounter problems after buying a car from auction. These problems range from high mileage to mechanical malfunctions and bad accident history. You should always set aside some money to address such issues. Vehicles such as sedans require repairs ranging from $400 to more than $800. Trucks, SUVs and vans might go as high as $2,000.
You can research online on the vehicles that have the lowest cost of repairs before you make the final decision. Models such as Honda, Ford and Mercedes cost a lot less to repair, regardless of how long they have been around. Always choose something that does not cost a fortune to repair and maintain. Also, do not forget to include towing costs, especially if you will not be in a position to drive the vehicle from the auction venue.
You need to come to the used vehicle auctions venue prepared and ready to bid. Arrive early and find a strategic place to sit. Registration lines can be very long, and you might miss the chance to inspect the car you want up close. In case you don’t know anything about cars or anxious about the new experience, let someone knowledgeable accompany you. This could be a friend, car dealer or even your husband. Always have a checklist of the things to consider and carry your car auction guidebook and pricing catalogue.
Do Not Bid First
Most sellers at auctions have a minimum amount they will accept. In most cases, the auctioneer will mention an offering higher than this amount. Avoid bidding immediately the auctioneer mentions his offer. Two to three minutes of silence without bids will force him to lower the opening amount. And when you bid, always use odd numbers. A majority of bidders prefer even numbers with a couple of zeros at the end. This can create a lot of confusion if your bid matches another person’s bid. An odd number might help you win the offering, even if it by one dollar.
Know When to Walk Away
You must know your limits when bidding. Avoid getting into bidding wars with other people at the auction. Bidding wars can make you spend more than you planned, especially if the vehicle is a popular make or model. To avoid bidding wars, come up with a comprehensive budget. The budget should reflect the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the vehicle. This includes the buying price, auctioneers costs, licensing and insurance. Come up with a maximum budget and don’t let your emotions lead you to bid wars.
Bidding at an auction as a beginner and a mum is usually challenging. However, with a few car auction tips, you can find success in this new experience. Choose the right auction, prepare adequately and always be patient when bidding.