Things You Should Know When Auctioning for a Car

The ongoing economic crisis, among other things, resulted in tightening of credit rules and eligibility. This naturally caused a decrease in number of people who are able to buy cars on credit and in return increased interest in buying cars at auctions. A cash payment usually means getting a better price, but increased interest means more competition, and in order to get the best price and be pleased with the purchase different pitfalls need to be avoided. Therefore, here are things you should know when auctioning for a car.

Types of auctions

There are two types of car auctions, a government one and a public one. What they have in common is that you cannot test a car before you bid on it, which means you have to be careful and make sure that is the car that fits your criteria and the bidding competition grows bigger every day. In case of government auctions, cars usually have a known background with honest data presented, while at public auctions it is often not the case. Miles Exempt, with shiny appearance and rotten inside are unfortunately not isolated cases anymore.  

Do not pretend to be someone you are not

If it seems that a car needs only a little repair, but you do not have either knowledge or means to do it yourself, do not lie to yourself that you will learn and be able to do it in no time. What looks simple and cheap often turns out in a lot of work and a lot of investment, making the purchase a bad one meaning loss of money, or even worse loss money and vehicle if it turns out unrepairable.

Observe everything carefully

Since test drives are not an option on either of car auction types, your eyes are what you have to rely on.  Make sure you check both exterior and interior in detail. Repaint spots, rusty corners, scored brake disks, not completely smooth sheet metal surfaces, missing parts and wet floors are just some of the common issues that need to be paid attention to in order to score good deals at car auctions.

There is much more than meets the eye

Paint covers are sometimes there to cover some minor scratches, while the mechanical part of the car is in perfect shape.  On the other hand, they sometimes cover some serious damages, especially when public auctions are in question. More than two paint layers usually mean stay away, just as any strange smell coming either from the outside or inside of a car does.


Check VIN in several locations, dashboard, driver side doorpost and front of the engine block, for example. All of them need to match. In case they do not, some serious repairs had been done to the car, usually due to crashes. You can use VIN to check the entire history of a car, from its origin, true age to all service repairs it has undergone and the number of previous owners it had. A price to pay for this service is well worth considering the amount of crucial information on a car that you will receive.

Once again, being careful and taking your time at the car auction is required in order to get a good deal. If you are uncertain about some things, make sure you take someone more experienced to help you, especially when mechanics are concerned. Happy bidding.

Carsurfer Admin

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