While auto auctions are undoubtedly one of the best places for buying used cars, one always needs to be cautious when buying from auctions. This is because you are buying a used car no matter what. On the other hand, there are always a number of people who want to earn money by fooling the customer. With title laundering and car related fraud being an undeniable reality, it is a good move to check everything personally before buying a car from a used car auction. While a VIN history is a great help in giving one details about a car’s condition, make sure that you also physically inspect any car that you are interested in buying. Some of the main things that you can detect by carefully inspecting a car at an auction are:
Accident History/Wreckage: A large number of cars being sold in public auctions turn out to be vehicles that have been picked up from junk yards after having been totally written off , repaired and given a new title. On the other hand, a large number of owners try to sell off accident damaged cars before the accident is documented in the car’s history in order to get a good resale value. An extremely common giveaway of accident history or wreckage is new paint, splashes of paint near windows and doors or a more than usual thickness of paint. Damaged tire rims or tires with uneven wear may also be a result of an auto accident. On top of this, more than usual denting and scratching is a sign of a badly maintained and run car, one that has been used by a reckless driver. In case a car has been picked up from a junkyard and then salvaged, then chances are that the VIN numbers on different parts may not match. This is also common in stolen vehicles.
Flood and Fire Damage: With the constant number of floods and fires that have been raging the country of late, the market is full of cars that have been destroyed badly by floods and fire but salvaged for sale and given a new title. One thing that should really make you suspicious is new soft furnishings in a car. After all, have you ever seen anybody changing the original seat cover or carpet in car for no reason at all—except maybe when it has been destroyed beyond repair? Another sign of checking for this is by looking under the carpet for signs of rusting or gutting. An all-over new paint job is another thing that should make you think twice.
Poor Vehicle Condition: A vehicle that has not been maintained properly can run a deep hole through your pocket with regular repair and maintenance bills. So make sure that you check everything ranging from the power train to the brakes for proper functioning. Power windows, sun roofs, ACs and brakes that do not function properly can end up costing a lot of money, so don’t forget to check all this before you plan to bid on any vehicle.