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Tips for Buying a Car at an Auction Part 3

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 auctions are gambles. You only have your eyes to evaluate the car since you can’t test drive it, so make sure you’re being very observant. Don’t trust everything you see, though, because a lot of what you’re witnessing is just smoke and mirrors to make the car look better.

This article is a little bit more about the bidding process and should help you when you’ve decided you’re ready to throw down some cash.

“As Is” Means “As Is”

If you’ve purchased a car at a dealership, new or used, you’re probably aware of the so-many-miles guarantee or warranty. Basically, those promotions ensure your vehicle for any repairs to the mile limit specified on your newly purchased car. Almost every car from a dealership comes with one of these packages.

Cars sold at auction, however, do not come with such a guarantee. Cars at auction are sold “as is,” which means they have no solid backing from the seller or warranty for their engine. If you think there’s a serious, costly problem when you see the car, don’t bid! Here are a couple of signs that mean trouble in the engine and that you probably shouldn’t bid:

  1. Thick, dark exhaust smoke when driven.
  2. Puddles under the car when stopped.
  3. A hot, burning smell from the engine after use.
  4. Mismatched parts or body kits, which means that car has been rebuilt after an accident.

Before you bid, make use of your keen senses to look for these or other problems that means you do not want that car.

Observe Other Bidders

It would be wise to go to a car auction and just watch the whole event play out before going to one intent to bid. Call it due diligence or research, but it will mean that you’re better prepared for the event you intend to spend money on. This way, you’ll have an idea of the flow of the event and how everything operates.

You’ll probably also notice certain loud-mouth or big-spending bidders. This is good for you for a couple of reasons:

  1. If you find someone who is there to buy cars every week, you know he’s serious and you shouldn’t bid against him.
  2. If you see everyone bid on one car, you figure that car must be quality. What about that car lets everyone know it’s worth the money?
  3. Some bidders are just there to inflate the numbers. If you see someone bidding on every car but purchasing none, there is something fishy going on.

The last golden rule of car auctions is to not get caught up in the bidding or you’ll end up spending hundreds more than a car is worth. Know your limit!

ASAP Auctions

Our Car Auctions in Jacksonville FL are held frequently throughout the month. Contact us for our next auction time and location.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790