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It’s no secret that you can get more car for your money by being eagle-eyed when scouring the classified ads. However, the classifieds are still full of peril and risk. You might end up going to view a car that is nothing like the one in the advert, you might have to deal with a seller who is so stupid the notion of a ‘pull’ sign on a door always, without fails, results in them pushing it. You know, the kind of idiot you just don’t want to deal with. Ever.
So what are the other options? Well, you could just stand in the middle of the A14 and wave money at passing cars that take your fancy. Though neither we, nor the boys in the blue would suggest this. You could buy from ‘that’ online auction site, you know, the one that has become a digital hub for scammers, liars and degenerates up and down the country. Or, you could put your shoes on, venture outside and go to an actual, real life auction. And you should, because they’re fun.
The automotive auction has been around for as long as the car itself. Its main purpose is to serve the seller. It offers a fast, no hassle way of getting rid of old stock. But for us, and by that we mean the buyer, it’s still a great way to buy a car.
Years ago, auctions were shunned by the general public, as the idea of going up against salty, battle-worn people from ‘the trade’ was a bit intimidating. Now, however, that’s not the case. As we hinted at a paragraph or two ago, it’s online where the true horror resides. Online car-selling services are full of horrid scammers who lie and cheap to get your money. In a physical auction, there is none of that. It’s just you, your fellow bidders and the car.
And here’s what people forget about auctions: you’re not buying blind. Do your research and you can get an auction catalogue, you can have a look around the car before the bidding starts, and you can do it all with a bacon butty in hand and no pushy seller leaning over your shoulder every step of the way.
Yes, when you buy at an auction, you do so on the basis that the car is sold as seen. But take your time, have a good look over the car and read up on the paperwork, and the risk should be minimised. Plus, you have to remember that there is nothing wrong with most of these cars other than age. Dealers normally have an age cut off for cars they will retail. As such, a car could be low mileage, mint and well look-after, but if it’s a year too old, it’ll go to auction rather than being put on the dealer’s sales pitch.
For mere mortals like us, however, these cars are great buys. And they’re cheap by comparison, by some 20% on average, if not more. The trick is to drink in the auction world at your own pace, get acclimatised and then go for it. If you do that, you’ll love it.
And if you’re still unsure, well, just watch our video for some handy tips on how to win at the auctions.