Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Buying a Used Car at an Auction

The basis of a used car auction is pretty easy to understand: Companies, organizations, government branches, and car dealerships all take bulk amounts of cars they want to get rid of, and auction them off to the highest bidding customer.

Of course, one of the best known car auctions is eBay. You can bid on vehicles across the globe, and steal them away for a fraction of what they would cost at a dealership.

Most cars found at auctions are the result of people wanting to get rid of them fast - which usually means they are willing to sacrifice some profit for you to take them away quickly.

The downside - it's not like buying one at a dealership. You might not be able to get a test drive or thoroughly inspect the car before making a bid. You should at least get to take a look at the car and make sure it runs though, most places will have no problem allowing that.

When purchasing a used car at a car auction, you'll need to bring multiple forms of identification - one of which should be your drivers license. Also, you'll be paying right then and there, so you'll need the money on you to pay for the car and walk away. It's not like a dealership where you can use their in-house financing services.

Since you won't have a lot of time to look over the car, it helps to be knowledgeable about automobiles and mechanics. If you're not, be sure to bring someone along who is. If possible, run a Carfax on the car in question before buying. This ensures the car was never in an accident, flooded, or rebuilt.

Finally, make sure you don't get into a bidding war. Too many people get "into the moment" and pay much more money than they ever would if they had time to think it over.

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