The idea of buying a car at a steep discount appeals to many, and this is why car auctions are becoming increasingly popular. With more and more consumers looking to buy cars for cheap, interest at auctions is on the rise and so is the competition. There are plenty are perfectly good commuters cars at car auctions, but when you buy a car at an auction you must accept the risks before you venture into the auction pit. Here are valuable auction tips to increase your chances of buying a reliable car:
Cars at Government Auctions
If you want to buy a vehicle with a known history, you chances are much greater at a government auction. Generally, police departments will sell their retired cruisers at a county auction. The maintenance records and odometers readings are always up-to-date. Still, you must take time to inspect the vehicle in and out before you bid. After all, you cannot test drive any of these vehicles before you bid.
Do Not Overbid
The competition is fierce at a government auction. Taxi companies, government employees, dealers and international brokers are all bidding on these cars. Many times, a government vehicle can actually sell for well above retail. If you do not do your homework on values before bidding, you may end up overbidding.
Know What You Are Getting
You need to understand that most cars sold at a public auction are older trade-ins or repos. The reason the cars are sold at auction is because they have high mileage or are not in good condition. With this being said, there are some diamonds in the rough, you just have to use all of your senses and be honest when you see telltale signs of repairs.
Check the VIN
You should always write down the VIN from the windshield and compare it to the VIN in the trunk and door. If any of the stickers do not match, you could be in for problems. This is also a sign that the vehicle has been involved in a major accident.
Observe the Crowd
Auctions are full of experienced bidders who know exactly what they are doing. By observing the crowd, you can see which cars are in demand and which bidders like to bid prices up. It is wise to attend more than one auction before you even start bidding.
You can never put all of your eggs in one basket at an auction. Make sure to be ready to walk away when the price goes above your budget, and do not get pulled into a bidding war. If you are careful, realistic, and you do your homework, you may just find your next commuter car.