10 Tips for Car Buying (At An Auction)

One of the tangible ways to see a minor grow up is through the purchase of their very first car. Whether it be during their high school years or right before they are sent off to college or “the real world,” everyone could use some help their first time – especially if the care givers are not that knowledgeable themselves. There are so many factors in deciding what kind of car you want, what you’re willing to settle for, and what you absolutely do not want. Chances are, you are going to need help.

Car buying is one of the first big purchases we make. (photo by Axion23)

Car buying is one of the first big purchases we make. (photo by Axion23)

According to popular mechanics, the reason that auctions are becoming so popular for car buying is that it is fairly cheap. The problem is, many people get “duped” by the auctioneers. And as more first-time buyers are showing up at these auctions, the more likely it is that they will be duped. According to the link, as given here, there are two types of auctions: government auctions and public auctions. Both have a lot of risks.

Government auctions give the benefit of knowing exactly where the car has been. Although a full history of the car is given, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a safe haven. The car very well may have problems, and you wouldn’t know it – because you can’t test drive it. This is the same for public auctions, but nonetheless can be scary for a first-time buyer.

The article then goes on to say that public auctions have decreased in quality – now, they are shady, and one can never be too sure if the odometer was pushed backwards among other things.

Edmunds offers five tips on car buying from auctions, as listed below:

  1. Know the sellers, and refrain from independent dealers.
  2. Research the vehicles beforehand by use of vehicle history reports.
  3. Assess the previous owner – because how they treated the car will directly effect the car’s quality.
  4. If the vehicle is misrepresented, you can cancel the check or walk away.
  5. Build a relationship with an auctioneer – chances are they will be more inclined to help you out.

Another five tips are offered by carsdirect in this link. I will list the tips below, as well:

  1. The best option is government online car auctions.
  2. Another good option is to auction from a rental agency.
  3. Ensure that the VIN number on the car and the one you have been shown are the same.
  4. Look at the indemnity fees – you could end up paying more than you bargained for.
  5. Get an HPC check done on the car (which indemnity fees should cover) – which can uncover a lot of the past of the vehicle.

And just one more tip – go with someone who is knowledgeable. You should never go to an auction alone – sometimes we all need a second opinion to reassure us. A car is a big purchase – and most likely one of the first purchases you will ever make. You do not want to regret putting so much effort into your car! No matter how good the price was.

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