There are a number of ways of buying cars –you can go to a showroom, a dealer, a private owner, a second hand car selling agency or a car auction. Car auctions are fast picking up as popular places for picking up good vehicles that do not cost the earth. You can also end up buying the car of your dreams at an unbelievably low price through a car auction. Buying at car auctions is not really tough, but it is definitely trickier than buying through a reputed dealer or used car agency. At the same time, you can always undertake some extra effort to buy a car at an auction since the cheap prices more than make up for it. The steps that you need to carry out in order to buy a car at a car auction are:
· Locate a car auction first. Car auctions are held both by government agencies as well as private parties. In order to locate a car auction in your area, you can start checking your local newspapers regularly, since this is the place where most car auctions are advertised. You can also locate car auctions through websites that provide this kind of information. While government held car auctions might not throw up a lot of variety, especially in small towns, they are better than private auctions because they are more honest and cheap.
· Once you are aware of the car auctions being held, get your hands on their catalogues and select a number of biddable vehicles. Do not stick to a particular make or model, since an auction is not a car brand showroom and what you want might take ages to show up in one.
· After you have short listed the cars that you want to bid for, get an idea of their market values. It is advised that you do this only after you have all the required details about the car—the make, model, mileage, accessories and the VIN history.
· Based on these details, you can either find the approximate market values of these prices from dealers, mechanics or from publications that provide this kind of information. The internet is also a good source. If you get your price quote from a dealer, then remember to reduce twenty per cent from the price since this would constitute the dealer’s cut.
· Get the VIN history of the car. There are a number of online services that provide complete vehicle histories—accidents, ownerships, claims and other details which can crucially influence the price of a car. Many people selling at auctions might not want to divulge these details. In case of seized or repossessed cars, the auctioning party might not be even aware of the vehicle’s history. Many auction agencies will provide you a vehicle’s VIN history, but the best course to take is to run an independent VIN check before bidding on a vehicle.
· Set a maximum amount for yourself before you start bidding. Based on all the information that you have gained about the car and its market price, set yourself a maximum bidding amount so that you do not exceed practical limits when caught up in bidding frenzy. Do not exceed this amount no matter what. Remember that there will be other auctions and you might get a better deal at another one.