10,000 of thousands of vehicles are auctioned off at public auto auctions each month around the United States. Your best opportunity for buying a vehicle well below Kelly Blue Book suggested values is at public car auction, when you cut out the middleman you always have greater opportunity.
At a car auction, you have an opportunity to bid on vehicles of interest in direct competition with other bidders but you never have to negotiate with anyone which is one of the things that I love the most with respect to public auto auctions.
If you are considering buying a vehicle at a public car auction then there are some considerations that you should keep in mind, for one it is a buy “as is” environment. Buying cars at public auction is much different than buying a used car from a private dealer or a private seller.
Here are some simple steps that you can follow that should make the experience that much more rewarding.
1) Observe…..Knowledge is power, I strongly recommend that before you join in the bidding that you first visit at least a couple of live public auto auctions as an observer. Talk to the auction consultant; find out how the whole process works from initial registration onto to the bidding process and ultimately settlement should you win a bid.
2) Find out where you can access highly qualified “call out” mechanics near where the pre-auctions will be held. Pre-auction is where you will have the opportunity to properly inspect cars that you are interested in. I would strongly recommend that you use a mechanic at first unless you are very car savvy. Watch and learn what they look for, eventually you will be good to go it alone.
Should you decide to take advantage of the resource that you can access below, print out the list of 27 tips on inspecting vehicles, take this list with you to pre-auction and use it as a checklist as your mechanic or you inspect the vehicle to ensure that nothing is forgotten.
3) Finding public auto auctions: Online public auctions are OK however I prefer to bid on cars at live auction for several reasons the most important being the fact that I can’t properly inspect a vehicle over the internet.
Taking the auction houses word for it or observing photos of known problems isn’t enough for me, I can’t feel comfortable unless I can see and smell up close, there are several very critical items that you need to be present to identify such as checking fluids to name one.
You can find public auctions all around your area over the internet, you can get specific times, locations and contact numbers all in one place making the process of finding public auto auctions fairly straight forward.
There are numerous good choices in terms of public auction websites available where you can join for relatively small dollars, usually an under $50.00 one time membership fee would be applicable. For the time that this will save you it is more than worth the price considering how wide you catchment area will be.