Car Auction Tips

June 9, 2007

Buying at a used car auction might get you a great deal, but you might also end up paying an overinflated price for a dud.  

Whether you are buying on ebay, yahoo, or at a government or police car auction the same logic and tips of the trade apply as would do to any auction.

Applied to auto auctions make sure you have your Kelley Blue Book, NADA guide, or Edmunds book so you have a rough idea of the value of the car you are inspecting.

Check out the hood, vin number, and make sure to run your VIN checks. You can get instant online reports through services like http://www.autocheck.com/?siteID=0 to make sure its above board and not hot.

Information about the title, any transfers, registration and renewal, specifications, brand, and name and address of owners is invaluable, and can be gathered from a variety of public and proprietary databases as part of this type of service. 

Check the VIN on the doors, dash, and under the hood match as if they don’t its an indication the car could have been stolen or wrecked, salvaged, junked or flooded or fire damaged.

Some unscrupulous sellers use a rebuilt title to sell a car but it devalues the car by up to 30%.

Other good ideas are to find an auction that specialises in the kind of car you  are looking for and allows you to closely examine or inspect all of the cars that they plan on auctioning prior to committing.

Where the auction is online check to make sure that you can bid and have the car checked once the auction is over. Most websites just act as a forum for an online car auction so that the buyer and seller close the deal and write the contract after the close of auction.

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