Automotive Auctions - What's the buzz about?

By Lendell Oliver

Government and Police agencies and even banks and investment houses repossess and confiscate thousands of vehicles each year. The majority of these vehicles end up at public auction where anyone can bid on them. Buying from an automotive auction can be a great way to save money and at the same time be a fun experience.

Because of these auctions, individuals who may not be able to afford a car have a fighting chance of owning one. The auctions have provided these people the small window of opportunity since many of the cars sold at automotive auctions are sold for as little as 10-20% of their true market value.

But one must always remember that at seized automotive auctions, it is basically every man for himself. It is therefore important to arm yourself with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify a good deal when you see one and to avoid those cars that have not been well maintained.

In addition, be sure of the final price you will be paying when bidding on a vehicle. There are often buyer' premiums and other sometimes hidden fees that you may be paying as the winning bidder. You don't want to be sticker-shocked so do your due diligence ahead of time by understanding the rules of the game. Different auctions sometimes have different rules.

The buyer's premium is dependent on the type of car and the auction. The premium could be as high as 5-10% in some seized vehicle automotive auctions. Don't get caught in a bidding war before knowing all of the associated fees.

Also...When you go to an automotive auction, it would be wise to bring along your little black book. Know how condition, options and mileage, etc. effect the value of a vehicle. Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds Used Car Prices are great resources for this purpose.

These resources are invaluable at automotive auctions when you need a quick answer regarding a particular vehicle. These books normally contain vehicle makes, models, options, and the price of the vehicle if it is in poor, fair or good or excellent condition. This will give you the confidence you need to make an intelligent bid.

Also remember when attending an automotive auction that is common practice nowadays to show a bank draft in addition to having a certified check. Also, show up at the auction early. Not only will you be able to examine the cars before the bidding begins but you will also have time to consider your options. Your patience will pay great dividends in the end. - 29952

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