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Buying a Car at Auction: Pros and Cons


Pros and cons of buying a car at auction

Buying a car at auction could be one of the smartest purchases you make. Sure, it’s nice to have a brand new car, but why not get a good deal and pocket or invest some of that money you save?

Cars can go to auction for a number of reasons including: being impounded by the police or government, repossession by the bank, surplus by a car dealership, bankruptcy, estate liquidation, etc.

In this article we’re going to outline some of the pros and cons of purchasing your next car via online or live auction.

Pros of Buying a Car at Auction

Buy a car way below market price – Not everyone has the time or patience to deal with car auctions, so there are many opportunities to buy a car at a great price. And if the auction’s starting bid is 1 cent with no reserve (like our online auctions), the chances of getting a good deal are much higher. Even with the buyer’s premium, tax, and shipping fee (if you’re an out of town buyer), oftentimes you can still get a car for cheap.

Don’t have to deal with pushy salespeople – I don’t know about you, but I like to shop for a car without a chatty salesperson who works on commission in my ear asking a bunch of questions. (No offense, if you’re a car salesperson!)

In a previous post about getting the best car deals at online auction, we talk about other advantages including bidding in the comfort of your own home (if it’s an online auction) and less competition.

Cons of Buying a Car at Auction

Purchasing the car in “As Is” condition – It helps to bring someone who is car savvy with you on inspection day to assess the condition of the car.

Requires more research – If the auction company doesn’t know the history of the car or doesn’t provide a Carfax report, you will need to get this information on your own. You should also be aware if the car has a clean or salvage title.

You may be responsible for smog and past due registration fees (if any) – If it’s not stated in the description, ask the auction company if you are responsible for getting the car smogged and/or paying for past due registration fees.

If you’re currently in the market for a car, check out our current estate vehicles auction closing on October 2nd with quite a few cars including classic cars, a Corvette, several Cadillacs, a boat, trailers, and much more.