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How to make the most of a public auto auction

Public car auctions and auto auctions are great places to pick up deals on used cars. Automotive auctions occasionally get a bit of a bad reputation because of the hussle and bussle and the tendency to meet a lot of aggressive traders trying to get the best deals. However, if you follow some simple steps that this article outlines, you should give yourself a good chance of surviving.

Before the auction

All good auction houses will publish a list of the cars that they are preparing for the auction at least a week before the actual date of the auction. Get hold of this list and find yourself some time to go through it carefully to find out which cars, bikes, vans or boats you are going to be interested in. Most of these lists will just give basic information about the car and its year. However, some lists are a lot more detailed with pictures, so you can get a basic idea of the condition and information relating to MOT, tax, mileage, known problems, number of owners, estimated auction price etc. These are the better auctions to go to and are much more professional in terms of their customer services and after sale team. Do your research on any of the cars that you may be interesting in bidding on. Take note of current market prices and anything which affects the price significantly like special models or service history etc.

On the day

Make sure you arrive early on the day as this will give you enough time to have a look around all of the cars before the auction starts. Check and compare the condition of the cars against your own research and make sure that the auction spirit does not carry you away! Many cars in the auction may have been in accident. So, make sure that you are aware of everything if you begin to indulge in damaged car sales. Make notes of what you think you should be paying for a car in this condition and then, taking into account the fees, you may have to pay the auction house as a buyer, set yourself a limit. There is nothing worse than going over your limit in an auction and then having to deal with a car which is really not worth what you paid for it.

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