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Car Auctions Buyers Guide for Newbies January 22, 2019

auto auction buyers guide

From the car enthusiast to frugal deal-lover to the average Joe, car auctions possess a certain mystical appeal that causes us to dream of attending and being a part of the action. That same action can be daunting and even prevent us from checking "buy a car at a car auction" off our bucket list. There's no need to pass on your dreams of mastering the car auction landscape, though. Direct Connect Auto Transport, a leader in car shipping since 2001 and a whole crew of car lovers, has been there, done that. We've compiled the download you need to become a car auction pro, ASAP!

Auto Auction Car Buyer Tips

Understand Types Of Car Auctions. Unless you are a car dealer or connected to one, chances are you'll be attending public car auctions. Typically, when you buy a car at auction, you'll be required to put a deposit down to secure your purchase. Most car auctions will also require full payment on the next business day.

Do Your Homework. It's always a good idea to be prepared, and for the newbie attending a car auction, advance prep is the key to success. Car auction catalogs are typically available in advance of the event (online is a great way to access the lineup). Once you have your target vehicles in mind, you can start performing much-needed due diligence. Check out the automobiles in question for blue book value, title history, and accident history if that's available to you. If you see prices that are not in line with market value, look for reasons why this vehicle is much more expensive or much cheaper than the baseline. When questions exist or things just don't add up, research harder. Ask your mechanic, visit auto forums and keep digging until you are an expert-buyer!

Go IRL, If You Can. Most car auctions offer car buyers the option to bid in advance online or, in some cases, attend online. While this may be your only option, it is considerably better to attend the car auction in person - especially for the car auction novice. The value add of seeing the automobile in person is priceless. So, attend your car auction "in real life" if you can make the trip. (Oh, and, it's a lot more fun that way too!)

Take A Trial Run. For the newbie car auction buyer, it's a good idea to go on a test drive (pun intended) before making your first purchase. Attend a couple events to take in the atmosphere and get comfortable with how the experience goes down. The confidence and intel you gain from your trial run at the car auction will undoubtedly help you be more prepared for your car auction purchase in the future.

Set Your Limit. Once you've set your sights on a vehicle or narrowed it down to a few, it's time to set your budget. Most car auctions are cash-oriented and financing is rarely an option, so overspending can drain your bank accounts if you're not careful. After you've done all the homework to truly understand the vehicle's worth, you can back into your financial goals to see if they fit. Set your baseline bid goals and your top line limit - and then, of course, stick to it.

Trust Your Gut. As the old adage states, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. As a newbie to the car auction scene, it's good to be a smidge cynical in your approach. Your knowledge of the market and research should be your guide toward informed purchases. If your gut tells you that something doesn't ring true about the owner's description, don't ignore those inner voices.

Bring An Expert Along. Have a brother-in-law that works in the auto industry? On a beer-sharing basis with your mechanic? Bring them along to your first car auction adventure. Chances are they'll be thrilled to come along and their expertise might just help you land the perfect vehicle even if you're the new kid in town.

Master The Art Of The Auto Auction Bid

Of course, an integral part of the car auction buying experience is bidding. For those newbies who have never attended a car auction, or auction of any kind, there is a learning curve. By understanding how it works and following some best practices, you'll ensure a good car buying outcome at your first car auction. Here's what you need to know:

Stay focused - Avoid going to the auction with someone who might distract you from your task at hand. Don't spend time scrolling around Instagram on your phone and don't be late to the bidding.

Find a good spot - Choose your location with your view in mind. Will you be able to see the vehicles and other bidders in the room from where you're seated?

Be firm on your spending limits - Make sure you are aware of when to stop and develop a strategy of when to begin in advance of the first bid.

Research Your Car Shipping Options. If you are attending a car auction out-of-state, far from home or considering buying an inoperable vehicle, you'll need to weigh out car shipping options. While the car auction may offer an auto transport option, it may not be the highest quality and/or the most affordable choice. Direct Connect Auto Transport, the leader in auto transport since 2001, specializes in helping car buyers of all kinds bring their recently-purchased vehicles home.

Direct Connect Auto Transport specializes in shipping cars, trucks, SUVs and motorcycles from point A to B. Here's why automobile owners in-the-know, choose us:

  1. A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
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