Buying cars at auction can be incredibly exciting – but how does it all work, and what do you do if you want to bid on a vehicle that’s part of a larger auction with other items?

Here’s what you need to know.

Buying Cars at Auction: How it Works

When a car is offered up at an auction, you can view it and learn about it just like you would any other item. You can read about the vehicle and its history to determine whether it’s something you’d like to bid on. Examine it closely and look for things that are important to you, besides the bells and whistles – and if you’re not sure what makes the car a good buy, bring someone who is. You might look at whether:

  • It has original paint, and if not, whether it’s in the same color
  • It has the correct engine
  • It leaks, smokes or makes noise that it shouldn’t

You can ask questions about the car, too. The people in charge of the auction will be able to provide you with as much information as they have.

If you’re interested in buying the vehicle, register for the auction as early as possible. Make sure you’ve set a limit for yourself; figure out how much you’re willing to pay for the car and be prepared to stick to it.

When the car comes up for bidding, be ready. (You can follow these 5 auction tips for beginners if you’re not sure what to do.)

Going to your first auction? Here’s what you need to know.

Tips for Buying a Car at Auction

Before you bid on anything at auction, give yourself a pre-set limit on how much you’re willing to spend. That way, you can stop bidding if it goes outside your price range.

Because people bid quickly, be ready to dive right in. If you don’t, you could miss your opportunity entirely.

What Happens After You Buy a Car at Auction?

When you buy a car at auction, you have to pay for it on the same day of the sale with cash or a check with verified funds.

The auction company will take care of the title and charge a dealer admin fee for it. After you complete your portion of the paperwork, you’ll get your title from the DMV, which usually takes less than 30 days. You can also purchase a temporary tag for the vehicle, which is good for up to 30 days – but if you choose not to tag the vehicle, you’ll have to have it towed to your home location from the auction site.

Are You Thinking About Buying Cars at Auction?

Check out our upcoming auctions to see if we’re offering vehicles that you’d be interested in bidding on. If you have questions about selling your items or you’d like to learn more about estate sales and other services, call us at 904-806-4274 today.