If you’ve considered buying a car, either new or used, you’ve probably heard of online auto auctions. However, unless you’ve tried them out before, many people aren’t quite sure exactly how they work and what their advantages and drawbacks are. They can definitely be exciting if you know what you’re doing, so let’s discuss!
What should I pay attention to?
First and foremost, with online auto auctions, make sure you find out the accident/collision history of any car you may be interested in. How much former damage you are willing to accept may depend on your knowledge level when it comes to cars and making repairs, but don’t accept a car with a significant collision history thinking you can save a few bucks. Often, in the long run, these cars will end up costing you a lot more than they’re worth (especially if you’re not capable of doing the repairs yourself). Also make sure you pay attention to the amount of previous owners. It sounds simple, but history is much harder to trace the more owners there are to track down. Location is another factor to take into account with online auto auctions. You may find the car of your dreams but if it’s located across the country from you, is it really worth it when you factor in the costs of getting it to you?
Can I have someone inspect the car first?
With any online auto auction, it is absolutely within your rights to ask for an inspection of the vehicle prior to purchasing it. However, exactly how that works will vary depending on the site you use. Contact the online auto auction website and ask them exactly how the process works and if any additional expense will be accrued. They should be able to help you set the inspection up and walk you through the process.
Anything else I should know?
One other thing to make sure to keep an eye out for is any history listed by the online auto auction website of repossessions or lapses in ownership where it could have been just sitting somewhere without being used regularly. It isn’t good for any car to just be sitting for any long period of time – it’s in fact significantly not good for the health of the car engine and also increases the risk of rusting. It can be difficult to really judge the health of the car with online auto auctions as you aren’t able to tell whether or not the seller is being honest. This is why it is important to really take advantage of the potential for an in person inspection whenever possible. You never know what is missed in a description, whether accidentally or on purpose to make the car more sellable.
Buying a car should be fun, not a hassle. Using an online auto auction can allow you to take your time without the pressure, all while doing it from the comfort of your own home!