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How to Prepare for Attending a Public Car Auction

There are several things that you need to watch out for prior to attending a public car auction. If you wish to come away with desired results, it’s better to be prepared before participating in these live auctions. In fact, experts recommend that you should attend some of these auctions just for knowing what actually happens there and learn from everything that you observe. However, if you have little time for deciding on that, you may learn something from the knowledge I have gathered on ‘How to prepare for attending a Public Car Auction’ by being a regular part of these events.

Have realistic expectations

It is imperative that you have realistic expectations about the vehicles that are being sold at a public car auction. Depending upon the organization conducting the vehicle auctions, cars on offer might vary from ‘slightly more than junk’ to a ‘decent quality’ one. Government Auctions, mainly arranged by GSA (Government Services Administration), are amongst those few events that provide quality vehicles. The primary reason behind the better quality of their cars is that they are government surplus items. On the other hand, vehicles available at used car auctions conducted by insurance companies are mainly the ones involved in accidents. Most options available at these events draw little attention from regular car owners.

Watch for quality of cars

Quality of cars, which are being auctioned, needs to be your prime concern while shopping for one at a public car auction. These events sell vehicles ‘as they are’ and without any warranties, guarantees or buybacks. There are very little chances of your car getting returned or replaced, once it leaves the local auctions with you. Again, getting a reimbursement, whether partial or full, is quite difficult, if not impossible.

Attend Inspection Period

Public car auction generally comes along with a preliminary inspection period. Timing of these inspection periods varies with event organizers and hence, you should make sure to get your hands on the schedule to the earliest. Generally, they take place a day or two prior to the event or even hours before. Whatever be the case, do attend these inspections. Although you are not going to be allowed to drive the vehicle, sitting in it and starting the engine may give you enough information on the condition of the car that you have your eye on.

Use VIN for Car History

During inspection, you can also note down the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of the car that you plan to bid on in the public car auction. Vehicle Identification Number can be used in Carfax website for getting detailed information on the history of your selected car. The data recovered from the website will allow you to identify if the vehicle holds a clean title or not. The report includes ownership and service history, which can be helpful for making a decision on the car.

Get a Kelly Blue Book report

Some experts also advise for getting yourself a Kelly Blue Book report or some other price guide for cars. They can help you in finding the current trade-in value of most autos. Using their figures, you can easily work out your bid.

These are the things, which I find most car buyers opt for, before attending a public car auction. With most car auctions having an online presence, you should also check those out for knowing the available stock at this event and filtering your options.

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