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How To Avoid Landing With A Lemon At An Auto Auction

Car auctions are no doubt great places for buying used vehicles at affordable prices. However, one always need to be cautious while buying a used vehicle, either from an auction or from a private seller because there are always chances of used cars turning out to be bad deals. While there is no sure shot guarantee that you will be able to get a good purchase if you follow a certain procedure, you can definitely avoid chances of landing with a lemon at an auto auction by following these tips.

Go To The Preview: The preview is the event where car auction agencies let potential buyers examine the vehicles on sale. While almost no auction house allows test drives, you get to examine a vehicle physically and start it. Do not let this opportunity to check a car go by because buying a used car without checking it out physically is akin to foolishness.

Take A Mechanic Along: Most of us really do not know how to judge how long our car’s parts are going to last just by looking at them. We also do not know the difference between real and fake spares and can never tell if a car has undergone body work once it has been properly painted and covered up. But a mechanic can easily tell you all this and more about the true condition of an auction car, so it is an extremely wise idea to spend some money on taking a mechanic along with you to an auction preview and get the real picture of an auction car. You might end up getting surprised by the amount of information that might be hidden from you.

Get a Vehicle History Check: While a mechanic can actually give you an idea about the physical condition of a vehicle, he or she cannot tell you whether a car is stolen, has had its odometer tampered or carries a disputed title. But a car history check can tell you all this and much more. There are a number of online services that will give you pertinent details about a car’s history including odometer reading, accident history and title problems for a small sum of money. It is advised that you sign up with one of these services before you start prospecting for a used car and check the VIN# history of every vehicle that you consider for purchase. You might find this history throwing up facts that will directly influence your decision to buy or not to buy.

Check For Current Prices: Knowing about the current market value of the used car that you are planning to bid on in an auction will give you a logical base for determining your maximum bidding amount. Paying much more than what a used car is worth at an auction is the same as landing with a lemon, so make sure that you carry a used car price guide like the Kelley Blue Book, the Edmund’s Guide or the NADA Guide. These books mention the value of used cars based on make, model and years of use. Using the guide price as a base, you can add or subtract from its value depending upon odometer mileage, physical condition, accident history, accessories and repair that you will need to undertake when you buy the car.

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