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How to buy cars at auction

You’ve attended a few vintage car auctions and thought it was time to experience what it’s like to buy a car.

Auctions can be a great place to buy and for a number of reasons:

First, you can often find cars at auction that you can’t find elsewhere. Special cars, cars with a long history and many top collectibles are auctioned off more than cars sold in the standard human market or even at the majors. Top class car dealer.

Second, the auctions have a large number of cars on offer at once, giving you a breadth and depth of classic car offerings more than you can find by searching. on websites.

A third reason to buy in an auction is that it can be very exciting. The process of bidding and hoping to be the last and win the bid can be as exciting as a nerve.

Finally, you can sometimes find a great deal in an auction, especially if it’s the wrong car in a wrong auction, such as a 1977 Porsche Euro Carrera at an auction. price mainly selling muscle cars.

But there are a few things to consider before buying at auction, which can be a successful adventure if you do your homework – and a disaster if you don’t.

Here’s a list of tips to consider when buying at auction.

Before you bid:

1. First and foremost, I would never recommend buying at an auction if you have never attended a vintage car auction before. There’s a lot to know and first-time auctioneers are easily excitable and bid for a car more than it’s worth.

2. Pre-register for the auction. Information and various forms are often available through the auction company’s website. Not only will you need to purchase the bidder’s number, but you will also need to provide proof that you can pay for your purchases. Pre-registration can save time and sometimes even money (some auction companies charge less for bidders’ pre-registration). Doing so also gives you more time to look at the vehicle or vehicles you are considering instead of waiting in a long line to register at the auction site.

3. Make sure an auction is the correct place to buy the vehicle you are considering. If you’re looking for an MGB, Porsche 944 or other classic cars, buying through an auction is unlikely to be the place to find the best car at the best price. More popular vintage cars can sell for much more than they’re worth at antique car auctions, so if you’re looking for a more popular car, consider advertising on and other classified sites. As a general rule, cars priced under $20,000 are generally not the right cars to buy at an auction.

4. When thinking of buying in an auction, be sure to research the cars before the auction. Visit the auction site and read each section of the description carefully. While reading, look for what you don’t see in the description as well as what you see. If the catalog doesn’t explicitly state that it’s a vehicle with the right numbering, chances are it’s not. However, this is not always the case. If in doubt ask; Usually people assume that a car is not an example of the right number because they don’t do their research first, and such cars can end up being a bargain.

5. Do more research on the car beyond the description from the auction company. If you are looking at, for example, an Alfa Romeo race car and a short description, visit the Alfa community and find out the rest of the story. My friend Lars saw a 1957 Alfa Giulietta Spider-Man race car at an RM auction many years ago and we discovered that it was a factory-made competition car. This data was not in the description and he ended up stealing it at auction for less than half its value.

6. Determine the value of the car or vehicles you are considering buying. Use online tools like Hagerty price guides and Sports Car Market’s Platinum Database and search for similar models for sale on, eBay and Craigslist.
After figuring out the value of the car, set a maximum price you’re willing to pay. When doing this, don’t forget to factor in auction fees, sales taxes, shipping fees, and the cost of attending the auction as these can add up quickly.

In the auction:

1. When you go to the auction, bring a friend who collects cars. Ask the person to look at the car and ask them to point out any flaws they see.

2. If you know an expert on the particular vehicle in question, see if you can invite them to auction and inspect the vehicle. Having a few people do this and having an expert independent of the auction company take a look at the car can save you time and worry later on.

3. Don’t fall in love with the car at first sight. Take a close look at the car you’re thinking of buying. Look at everything. This means hands and knees to see the underside.

4. Locate an expert of the auction company to show you the details of the vehicle including opening doors, hood and trunk. It sucks to do this without a therapist present. You will see other people doing this, but be the one to ask for help. That way, there’s no problem for you in any way damaging the vehicle.

5. Find out from an expert if the owner is present and, if so, talk about the vehicle. The key here is to listen more than you talk because owners will often reveal more information about a vehicle if you just let them tell you about it. Think short questions from you and long answers from them. No question is off-limits and while it may be frustrating to ask more difficult questions about what you and your friend see, asking if a car has been hit or it has the right color is completely grounded. Remember this is an auction, not a car show, you are the buyer and the owner is actually a car seller.

6. Ask the specialist of the auction company if there is any documentation for the vehicle you are considering. There is often a file on the vehicle that can provide more information than described in the catalog. You can often find information in files that should have been in the description but forgotten or not seen. This information can significantly affect the value of a vehicle, often in your favor.

7. While bidding, don’t get excited and be the first to bid. Wait to see the room and then bid after the initial excitement about the car fades. Remember, it’s the last bidder to buy the car, not the first.

8. During an auction, ask a friend you already know to spot anyone you’re bidding against. This can help you get to know the room and your competition for the car.

9. Finally, prepare transportation in advance so that you can receive the car home. A suburban auction will charge a local sales tax on an owner-made car without a carrier involved, and you may have to pay sales tax twice. It sounds crazy, but people did this by mistake.

10. If you’re the winner, keep in mind that there will be a buyer’s fee, usually around 10 percent, added to your high bid. But when you buy at or below your threshold, remember to celebrate.
If you got the idea that auction buying is complicated, you’re right. But the process of buying a car at auction isn’t much different from what you should do when buying a car from a dealer or a private party.

If you follow these steps and do your homework, buying at an auction can be a fun and rewarding experience.

This article, written by Andy Reid, was originally published on ClassicCars.coman editorial partner of Motor Authority.

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