Last article, we talked about the different kinds of auctions where you can find cars. To quickly review, government auctions have good quality cars but lots of competition, and public car auctions are gambles and not to be trusted.
This article we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of evaluating and buying a car at an auction. These are also useful tips to remember when shopping for car at a dealership, too.
Use Your Eyes…
Like we mentioned in the last article, you can’t drive a car you’re bidding on at an auction. This means you have to evaluate the car you’re looking at by looks alone. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the car drive up to the platform, which means you’ll also get to listen to how the engine runs and pay attention for any distinctive clunks. If you can, run your hands along the car and feel for scratches and bumps, or use your nose and check for any distinctive smells.
When you’re using your eyes alone, you want to keep an eye out for telltale signs of repairs such as bumps in the sheet metal, puddles under the vehicle, paint overspray, and a lot of other nuances that means a car needs work.
…But Don’t Trust Your Eyes
Paint, polish, and Bondo are cheap. Making a car look like it’s in good condition is a lot easier than actually fixing a car. A lot of what you’ll see is smoke and mirrors, that’s why you should always have some professional experience in cars before buying a vehicle from an auction. Remember the golden rule in sales: nothing is as good as it looks.
This is mostly for public auctions. Government auctions are much more trustworthy and respectable, so seeing really is believing at those types of auctions.
Know Car Values Before you Bid
If you’re bidding on a car at an auction, make sure you know the value before you bid. If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly be bidding on an auction car at retail price!
Get to know car resources such as Kelly Blue Book, found at http://www.kbb.com/, which give you a fair value for various makes, models and years. If you can get a list of the cars at an auction before, you can look up their value ahead of time so you know when you’re getting good value and when you’re wasting your money.
Check in to our next article where we’ll have even more tips for buying a car at an auction.
ASAP Auctions is held frequently in the Jacksonville & St Augusine area. Contact us for our next auction time and location.