Sunday, February 08, 2009

Auto Auction: What You Really Need To Know!

If you are planning to buy a car at an auction, you are likely to buy a car 'in its present condition'. This means that if in case you have discovered later on that the car you have bought has certain defects, no one will be held accountable for the expenses you made for the repairs (unless the contract gives a special condition or if the manufacturer warranty is still valid). Thus, it is your responsibility to know exactly what you are buying so that you will not regret your purchase if you encounter any problem.

First things first: do not expect perfection. No matter how much the final price is, expect the possibility that the car needs some repairs or some parts need to be replaced. To avoid frustration, include in your budget the amount that may cost you on possible repairs. Inspect the car's condition before bidding for it. It is wise to come early before the auction starts so that you have enough time to make your car selections. Make a shortlist and inspect them one by one.

Check the papers of the car you want to buy including the mileage, repair record, VIN, and safety ranking. Test drive if the auction house permits it.

Beforehand, do some research on the current market value of the car you are interested in. This will give you a clear idea on how much you will have to set aside on each car you see at the auction site.

The highest bid price you should set for each car of your choice must include the possible repair costs you may have. For example, the current market value of the car is $2,000 and the possible repair cost is at about $400, bid at the maximum of $2,000 minus the repair cost, minus the extra fee you have to pay at the end of the bidding.

Bring an expert if you can so that you can get an impartial assessment on the condition of the car you are interested in.

Things happen very quickly in a car auction so be attentive. A car can be sold within 30 seconds. And before you know it, there are no more available cars for you to bid on. Again, stay within your budget. You should not pay more than the actual market value of the car.

Remember, you can get great deals at a car auction but make sure that you know exactly what to expect in order to increase your chances of getting the best for your money.


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