Buying a Car at a Car Auction

BCA’s top 10 tips for buying a car at auction:
  • Don’t buy on your first visit – sample the atmosphere and get used to the pace.
  • Do your homework – know what you want before you go to an auction and have an idea what the car you are after is worth.
  • Terms and conditions – each auction house has its own terms and conditions explaining how you can buy, what the fees are etc.  Familiarise yourself with these so that you don’t get surprised later on.
  • Don’t rush – arrive early and take time to examine the vehicle that interests you.
  • Do ask questions – ask auction staff, they will be happy to help.
  • Check the car – it’s up to you to check the car’s condition, so examine it prior to entering the auction hall. And listen to the engine running as it is driven into the auction hall.
  • Budget – set a limit and stick to it. Save some funds for a post sale service and any minor repairs that might be needed.
  • Be flexible – if you miss your first choice, don’t give up and don’t throw the budget out the window just because you like the colour of the car you’re bidding on!
  • Auctioneer’s description – this is legally binding, so listen carefully. The terms and conditions will explain all the terminology used.
  • Bid clearly – don’t wink or tap your nose, simply raise your hand or the catalogue.
  • 30 May 2008 Staff

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