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Ive now been buying cars from Motor auctions for 2 years and have picked up some bargains. I wont say that buying from auctions is perfect as I have ended up with bangers before.
I will say miss more than I will say so make sure you do research before you go.This is important as it will make it less likely for you to end up with a knacker.
Firstly find a auction house and find out what times and days they are on. I will tell you lots of people normally turn up just when the auction is finishing.Secondly turn up about an hour before the auction starts so you can have a good look round at the cars. I would even recommend turning up one time without your money so you can get the feel of the auction as I found them scarey the first time I went.
Take someone what knows about cars if at all possible.But not someone who just thinks he has, these people do more harm than good!!. You will need cash when you go, cheques are rarely excepted without them clearing first and credit cards are a total no no.
Before you go to, have a budget and car type in mind which you need to stick to 100 percent. The times Ive followed by heart instead of my wallet are the ones that have ended me in trouble.
Remember the cars in auctions are there for a reason. They are normally company cars with one owner and FSH (Full Service History) and these tend to be the best if they have been well looked after and driven. Dont touch it if they have parking dents, scuffy interiors etc as they wont have been looked after. I always look for main dealer part exchange vehicles which normally have a sticker on they windscreen to tell you this. This way you avoid touching cars that have been but into the auction from people in the car trade. These cars tend to have problems therefore they cannot sell them in the garages.They hope that no one will see the problem or it wont be found until the car is driven.
Cars that I always look for are ex police cars or ex private hire that have just come of fleet. Police cars are always well serviced and no expense is spared. However you will have to put right things like body dents/holes as well as a lot of work inside the cars interior. Ie replacement headcloth and holes in the dash board when the police radios been. I will say that police cars are always or very basic spec, but Ive seen a R reg Fiesta and P reg turbo diesel Escort go recently for under 1500 quid. No one wants Taxis but if your prepared for a little work and trips to the scrap yard you should pick up something like a N reg Mondeo/Primera or Cavalier for between £500 to £1000 but as long as you like black you will be okay!!.However if you buy the above be prepared to have problems selling them later on.
At the auction I go to with the car on the windscreen you find a list telling you about the car. It will say the tax and test on the car along with details if its been a police car /taxi or if ins on the list. On the list is the traders term for either stolen and recovered or an insurance claim against the car.Also you find a lot or financial repossession, which can make good buys as they only want whats owed on the vehicle.
I will say with bidding, dont rush in and take you time. If people see you are eager for the car they will trott your bid. Trotting is when the seller will bid against you to make the price better. Dont put the first bid on a car ever. If you see a car and its cannot make a bid of say £1000, if you offer the £1000 thats what you pay if no one else bids. What will happen if on one bids, is that someone offers a £100, people then start bidding against each other for the bargain, but if they stop at something like £650 youve saved £350.
BE CAREFUL when in the auction house and DONT take kids as it is a dangerous place.PEOPLE TREAT THEM AS A FAMILY DAY OUT.Would you let your kids run about on the motorway.Ive see people hit by cars by steping out backwards when they are marshalling cars.
Dont just sit in the stands to bit, make sure your they for when they start the car, if it needs jump leads to start you wont know if your sitting in the comfortable seats. Look for smoke when the engine starts and did the oil light go straight out.You normally get a few minutes with the car , lift the bonnet check for water on the dipstick(it will be creamy which means at the best a head gasket or maybe an engine). Check the oil filter lid for water again (AGAIN CREAMY but some cars do this when only used on short journeys. However if theys loads dont bother). Also when you have the lid off check for back pressure place your palm of you hand over the hole in the rocker cover for about 10 seconds , if you feel pressure being released when you remove its the engine is properly worn badly.I could go on for hours but im starting to get sick!!and im boring you now.
I wish you luck if you do go and rememeber to take a coat as auctions do get cold!!If you do get a warranty on the car it only lasts ONE HOUR.
My son attends a lot of auctions and being a mechanic has picked up loads of bargains Great op Cheers Elspeth
Diane22025 25.02.2001 13:15
Hi ,,no shes not back..but thanks for asking and trying to help ..Diane
Connoisseur_Haggler1 24.02.2001 23:07
woah! I may just be checking out a few auctions myself! Though I may need to find an expert to accompany me....may even see my own written-off car there IoI,I think Id enjoy the haggling and trotting! *****Essential and practical tips as ever!! ******