Everything You Need to Know About Car Auctions


Getting the best value for your money by sidelining new cars for used ones at a car auction is definitely a big decision. However, buying through a car auction site is nothing like going to your local car dealer and bargaining with the salesman.

Therefore, before participating in a car auction, it is important to get your facts right and know everything about your wants and needs. Fortunately, this article will take you through everything you need to know about online and physical car auctions sites, choosing the car that suits your needs, knowing your rights, and finding the best car auction .

Buying a Car at a Car Auction

Getting the best value at a lower price is one of the biggest pros of buying your car from an auto auction. However, finding your way or getting started with the “how-tos” of car auctioning can be nerve-wracking.

Knowing your goal before going to vehicle auctions is important. Most people prefer buying their vehicle at a car auction simply because it costs less than the normal market price of the car. If you get your facts right and do your research, you can save up to 50% of the car’s market price.

Meanwhile, car auctions house the most exclusive and exotic cars. Therefore, you will have access to large inventories and a wide range of car types that can satisfy your needs and wants all in one place.

Buying your car at a vehicle auction also means a lower risk of depreciation. According to statistics[TH2] , new cars will likely depreciate by at least 30% of their original price in the first year, compared to used cars’ 10%.

Furthermore, buying from a car auction means a lower insurance cost for your vehicle. So, you don’t have to worry about raising your budget for insurance fees.

Categories of Car Auctions

Used car auctions fall into two broad categories:

  1. Government auctions: These feature the most exotic and luxurious cars used by the feds, police, government officials, and local authorities. These auctions are where government bodies sell off their well-maintained, exotic, and optimum mileage drives. Some cars at these auctions have also been confiscated from raids, crimes, or traffic violations.
  1. Public auctions: These auctions feature all other categories of used cars. They are generally available to the public, and their quality varies depending on the company. Inventory ranging from repossessed to wholesale, to high-end and classic, to vintage sports cars. Each bearing different damage classifications such as collision, fire, flood, theft and more.

How Does Bidding in a Car Auction Work?

The process and principles of bidding at a car auction generally depend on the form of the auction.

Physical Auctions

At physical auctions, you’ll want to arrive as early as possible. The auctioneer at the event will tell you everything you need to know about the sale and its processes.

Before bidding and bargaining begin, you’ll hear and know every detail, including the car history, MOT test result, mileage history, service history, and V5C registration and taxation logbook.

Make sure that you stand where the auctioneer can clearly see you, and when the bidding starts, raise your hand and make your bid as clear as possible.

Once the auctioneer confirms your bid, listen carefully for other bidders who might outbid you in case you want to raise your offer. At the end of the process, the vehicle will be sold to the highest bidder.

If you win the bid, you must sign for the car and obtain your invoice after making a deposit. You can also get insurance for your car and pay the tax on it before paying the balance.

Online Auctions

Bidding at an online auction is way less stressful than a physical one. At an online auction, all you do is make the bid from the convenience of your home. However, when participating in an online car auction, it is recommended to go for a company that provides delivery options.

To get started, register at the auction website. Ensure you complete the necessary verifications and pay all fees. Once you become a member, you can freely participate in all auctions.

Meanwhile, there should be a list with entries of items in the auction. The entries should include lots that include details of the car, starting price, pictures, and other important details. Also, ensure you inspect the condition and history of the car.

When the auction starts, ensure [TH3] you don’t rush or bid too quickly. Enter your price for the car and bid against other members present in the online auction until the counter or timer goes out. If your bid on a car is the highest, you’ve won the bid!

Tips for Buying a Car at an Auction

Stick to your budget: A car auction is always filled with high emotions, especially when someone outbids you. Therefore, don’t get carried away and bust your budget. Ensure you make proper plans on how to finance your auction exploits and stick to your budget.

Do your research and keep on top of the game: Before bidding, ensure you have a detailed plan on which type of car you want or need. Ensure you have a general knowledge of some essential details about the car. Also, do research about the price range of the car so that you can develop an effective bidding strategy.

Inspect the car: You might want to consider previewing the car in person before bidding, you may do so yourself if you’re familiar with what to look for or you can hire a third-party inspection service. This will help you easily spot any unmarked damage and help you get the best value for your budget.

Check the details thoroughly: Do not make the mistake of ignoring the vehicle listing before the start of the process. Ensure you check all paperwork, the VIN number, photos, and other available information to make sure there aren’t any red flags in its history.

Best Places to Buy a Used Car in the US

  1. A Better Bid

A Better Bid is an exclusive and open online car auction marketplace. It houses more than 300,000 vehicles, giving you the freedom to choose from a wide range of salvage and clean cars, motorcycles, trucks, boats, SUVs, and lots more.

A Better Bid is a registered member of the Copart Brokers. Therefore, you’ll get the best for the lowest price since they give their users direct auto auction access at wholesale prices meant for car dealers only.

Apart from this, they offer 24/7 multilingual customer care service for users worldwide via email, live chat, SMS, and phone. With A Better Bid, you get access to the best vehicle inventory all over North America, including but not limited to:

●                   California: Sacramento, San Jose, San Diego

●                   Nevada: Las Vegas

●                   Texas: San Antonio, Dallas, Houston

●                   New York: NYC

●                   Illinois: Chicago

●                   Colorado: Denver

●                   California: Los Angeles

●                   Florida: Miami, Orlando

  1. Bellingham Public Auto Auction

Located in Whatcom County, Washington, this auction house specializes in vehicles, heavy-duty equipment, and various miscellaneous items like junk cars.

  1. Classic Car Auction

Classic Car Auction is a long-standing auction company based in Palm Springs, California. The family-owned auction house spearheads two large classic car auctions that feature more than 500 luxurious and exotic classic cars every year.

The auction house boasts capable, expert professionals to provide the most reliable and stable car auction service.

  1. Fairway Auto Auction

Fairway Auto Auction is another fast-growing auction house in Edgerton, Wisconsin. They offer an enabling platform for a hassle-free car selling and auctioning service from their moderate inventory.

Meanwhile, they have capable professionals ready to satisfy your needs on weekdays with cheap and worthy rides.

  1. Hemmings

Hemmings is an old and reputable car auction directory and marketplace in the US. It started as a car publication website for enthusiasts and collectors in 1954. They provide classified ads for several types of cars, including vintage, exotic, collector, high-end, and private rides.


Choosing and buying your dream car at a car auction takes time and patience. This is because choosing or buying the wrong car can pose some inherent risk to you and your investment.

Therefore, take your time to research and plan things before participating in the bid. Follow your bidding strategy and stick to your budget. Lastly, don’t let “outbids” take advantage of you.

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