Beginner’s Tips for Surving Car Auctions

What do you know about car auctions? If you’re picturing a motoring version of Bargain Hunt then unfortunately you’re mistaken: there are no experts to guide you – but thankfully no red or blue anoraks to wear either.

That’s why The Insider is stepping in to guide you with some straightforward tips on how to get a good deal at car auctions in Northern Ireland. If they pay off, you don’t need to thank me: just send me a cheque in the mail.

It’s not just for trade…

A recent survey by Manheim Auctions revealed that 85 per cent of motorists don’t even think about visiting car auctions: many believe it would be too intimidating; while others think they are only for trade customers.

On the contrary: many sales are actually held in the evenings so people can come along after work: and you can prepare ahead of time by visiting the car auction’s website so you know what to expect.

There is money to be saved…

In fact, there’s a lot of money to save. Imagine you’re a Ford dealership and you’ve found yourself landed with a car from another car maker because of a part exchange: clearly you’d want to get rid of that vehicle as quickly as possible. To do this, dealers will typically turn to car auctions in Northern Ireland to get rid of part exchange models and even old stock. As such, you could potentially save hundreds.

Be prepared…

Before you get to the car auction make sure you know exactly what car you want to buy and how much you think it is worth after scouting prices with dealers online. You can see how these vehicles traditionally fair at car auctions to assess how much you should bid.

Check the vehicle…

Make sure you arrive at the auction house early and carry out checks on the vehicles you’re interested in. Treat it just like any other used car purchase where you’d want to check under the bonnet and for any excessive wear and tear.

View the small print…

Check the terms and conditions carefully at each auction house so you understand exactly what its fees are. Some auction houses will require a deposit for the vehicle and the full balance within a 48hr period. Also ask yourself – how much is my car worth?

Factor in all costs…

Don’t overlook the extra costs of the vehicle such as car insurance. Factor these costs into your budget when you make a bid.

Set a budget…

Make sure you know what the vehicle is worth and what you can afford: and don’t go above this level. Whatever your budget is, stick to it: and don’t get swept along by the auction atmosphere. Make sure you’re clear when bidding too: and don’t make any uncharacteristic movements that could be perceived as a bid.

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