Car auctions are places that make for a lot of great bargains and greater excitement. While it is true that there are high chances of landing a good bargain in a car auction, it is equally true that you might find yourself sitting with a dead duck at the end of the day. There are a whole lot of things that need to be checked first before you start bidding for your favorite car at an auction. Paying attention to the points below will help you succeed at auto auctions.
· Before you start bidding for a car in an auto auction, it is advised that you attend a few auctions as an audience. Car auctions are known to get fast and furious, and attending a couple of auctions beforehand will get you prepared for handling auctions and understanding how they move. In case you are really short of time, then you can give these auctions a miss as long as you attend the mock auction being held before the actual auction starts. Remember that all auctioning agencies do not hold mock auctions.
· Sign up with a car history checking service. There are a large number of online companies that can provide you with an automobile’s history if you just provide it with the car’s VIN #. Most of these companies do charge a minimal signing up or monthly fee, but this is well worth it because they also provide you with pertinent information about a vehicle including its real make, model, color, title problems, accident history, damage and odometer readings etcetera. Since these things can greatly determine the price of a used car, it is prudent to get all this information before bidding on a car. Do not rely on free histories or vehicle history reports provided by the auction agency because they are generally bare bone checks most of the time.
· Apart from getting a membership to a car history web site, you will also need to arm yourself with one of the three used car price guides—the Kelley Blue Book, the NADA guide or the Edmund’s Guide. These books are like bibles in the used car world because they provide you with the actual market value of a used car. You should always base your bidding amount for a vehicle on the prices provided in these books. You can also check out their websites for instant market value quotes if you carry your Blackberry or pocket PC along with you to the auction.
· Most auction houses do not accept checks. However, most allow you to pay through credit cards, cash or bank drafts. Therefore, it is important that you maintain enough credit on your card or enough cash in your bank account to pay for your auction car in case you manage to win the bid. Remember that you will also be required to pay a buyer’s premium of at least five to ten per cent and incorporate this in your calculations when you determine the amount of money that you have to keep on your card before you start bidding in an auction.