(806) 244-4453 Fax

Are Car Auctions Worth It? This Guide Can Help You Decide!

Friday, April 12th, 2019
are car auctions good

There are several ways to get a car these days. You could go to a dealership, find private sales, get a hand-me-down, and even buy online and have a car shipped directly to your house. Another option is to go to a car auction. Most people see this is a last resort, so it is okay to be a little skeptical.

You should be cautious no matter which option you choose when buying a car because this is a big purchase. But, as long as you know what you’re getting into, the risks are lower than you think. The question you may be asking now is if car auctions are worth it. Take a look at this guide to see the pros and cons of this method of finding a vehicle.



The prices are lower

Car auctions can offer new, used, or classic cars for much lower than the market price. They are a great way to snag a car and save big. You could save up to 30% as long as you do your research and have an understanding of the vehicle’s value.

You’ll find a wider range of options

It’s possible to find all kinds of vehicles at an auction. Depending on the auction house you go to, you could see anything from mini-vans to commercial semi-trucks to government sedans. There’s no shortage of cars, so keep your eyes peeled and you may find the perfect fit.

There are repossessed and retired government vehicles

After a government vehicle has reached a certain number of miles, it is often turned over to an auction house. Attending a car auction with these vehicles is a great way to find something with low miles for a great price. Another good deal is bidding on a repossessed car. More often than not, the institutions will be looking to sell these fast, so prices will be low.

All the info is online

Most auction houses will provide an online inventory so bidders can see what they have beforehand. They also provide information on the items, so you can get a good idea of the car’s condition. Be careful, though. The description may not cover everything, so be sure to closely inspect what you’re bidding on, if possible.


Cars are sold “as is”

When it comes to car auctions, what you see is what you get. There won’t be any after-purchase car check-ups. Any problems that arise are entirely in your hands to fix. This is why it’s important to have some knowledge of machinery or to bring someone else that is good with cars.

There can be extra costs

Always keep in mind that when you buy at a car auction, you will pay more than just the sticker price. Any damage that keeps the car from being street legal will need to be repaired as soon as possible. If the car is unregistered, you may also have to pay the costs of inspections, registration, and certificates.

How to avoid scams at car auctions

Some car auctions are not legitimate, but there are ways you can protect yourself. Here is a list of some red flags to watch for and ways to avoid them.

Illegal cars: Always check the VIN number of the car you’re interested in buying. If the tag has been replaced, or the VIN doesn’t match, don’t buy the car. There’s a chance it has been in an accident or is being sold illegally. Sometimes, this issue is caused simply because a door has been replaced so try to do some research before giving up on the car.

Faulty vehicles: Looks can be deceiving. Don’t immediately trust the condition of a car that’s being presented. Be sure to inspect it carefully for any evidence that damage is being covered up.

Hiding information: Ask to see the vehicle’s history report before the sale date. It’s the best way to protect yourself from scams. This is especially important if the vehicles do not come from a government source or fleet.

Bidding wars: It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when the action starts. Before you dive into an auction, set a firm budget for yourself. Watch for “price pumpers” who may be trying to bait people into a bidding war. Know your limits and don’t go overboard.

Tips for attending car auctions

  1. Research the vehicles for sale before the day of the auction. Many auction houses provide a catalog of the items available on their website or at their location. This can give you valuable information such as a vehicle’s history and condition.
  2. Get to the auction early. This can be helpful because you can view the vehicles for sale and find a good spot to bid from. You can also do more research after getting a closer look at the cars.
  3. Know the rules of the auction before it begins. This includes the terms of the auction house and the way that different types of auctions work.
  4. Bid only as much as you know you can spend. Do not let others bid you up and stick to your budget.

Auctions in the Texas Panhandle

In the end, the pros of car auctions outweigh the cons by a landslide. With the tips above in mind, buying a car will be a breeze. To learn more about how to bid at a car auction, contact the experts at High Plains Auctioneers today. You can call us at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by email for more information about Buying or Selling at auction. Don’t forget to check out our Upcoming Auctions to see what we have available!