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Bidding For Repossessed Cars at Auction

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Author: Ray Chaudry

When attending a car auction, there are certain techniques which can be implemented to ensure you get the bargain repossessed car that you have been looking for:

1. Take a Trial Run

Bidding at auction is not necessarily straightforward for a first timer. We advise going on a trial run by attending the auction to observe and see how it works. This will give you an idea of how much time you have to view the cars, registering and getting the catalogue and most importantly how the bidding process is carried out.

2. Look for Quiet Auctions

Auctions attended by a large number of people are often the hardest to pick up a bargain. It doesn't take a genius to see a bargain and the more experienced car traders will be looking to snap up those cars too. British Car Auctions and Manheim Car Auctions are both well known auctions all over the UK selling repossessed cars, so attending these would be the best option for the inexperienced. We would advise to check the auction times and go for a weekday which will tend to be quieter. Buying right at the end of the year is also recommended as car dealers tend to slow down on their buying during this period, so the auctions tend to be quieter.

3. Check the Car

We advise taking a mechanic with you or someone who knows about cars. Check the car you are interested in properly but remember that time is limited and you probably won't get as good a chance to check the car as bca-auctionthoroughly as possible. Look for any signs that the car has been in an accident, our guide for buying repossessed cars at auction will help you. When they bring the car forward look for any signs of smoke when the engine is started, or listen for any abnormal noises.

4. Look Like a Car Dealer

This may sound trivial but always remember that genuine car dealers are extremely experienced and attend auctions regularly. They see the same faces and so can recognise a new one. Often they can use tactics of bidding with no intention of buying in order to get newcomers to keep increasing bids and end up paying more. There is no need to attend dressed up looking like Del Boy but then its always important to know that its rare to see a car dealer in an expensive suit either so try and find some middle ground.

5. Bidding

This is the most important part of the process. We would advise standing in the trough with the other car dealers, rather than the stand seats where the private buyers usually sit. When bidding, raise your catalogue for your first bid to get the auctioneers attention, a nod will be sufficient for further bids. If you attend the auction with someone else, make sure you don't accidentally start bidding against each other, this happens more often than you would imagine, so its best to decide on one person for bidding.

6. Have a Maximum Price and Stick to it

When attending auctions, it is very easy to become interested in other cars and forget the one you went for. Make sure you stick to the car you like and also stick to the maximum price you set yourself. Anyone can win an auction, you just have to keep bidding, the secret is knowing when to stop, after all there will be more auctions so don't feel upset if you are outbid, the nxt auction is only a few days away.

7. Fees

Remember that when you buy any repossession car, auctioneer fees will also need to be added to the price. These are usually set at 3% of the sale value and are payable upon purchase. Car auctioneers usually don't accept credit cards but debit cards are allowed. Inform your bank beforehand that a large payment may be leaving your account on that particular day. This will save you hassle while the bank authorises the transaction. Cash is the preferred method of payment but there is usually a cash limit of around 10,000 due to money laundering laws.

8. Remember There Are No Refunds

Its important to remember when buying repossessed cars at auction, that there are no comebacks if there is a problem, so although you may be able to pick up a bargain, its important to follow these steps and not end up buying a lemon.

For further free information on repossessed cars and car repossession visit

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