I find it unfortunate that many people simply write-off the potential savings found at public car auctions. It seems like many people assume that the cars sold at these events are all clunkers in bad condition.
It's too bad because there really are some good deals to be had on nice cars as well. Sure, there are old cars in bad condition at these auctions. But it is also true that there are nice, low-mileage ones too.
For example, there was recently a Treasury Department auction here in Miami that had a beautiful Rolls Royce and a bunch of gorgeous classic models that had been repossessed by the IRS. There was nothing the matter with these vehicles. People simply didn't pay their taxes and the IRS seized them.
Many bank and credit union repos also find their way to these auctions. Some are practically brand new.
It's not that unusual for a person to have unforeseen financial difficulties, sometimes within just several months of their purchase. Now, it may not feel right getting a great deal due to someone else’s misfortune. But there’s nothing you can do about that and someone’s going to buy that car.
Buying at an auction really isn’t very different than buying anywhere else, whether it be directly from a Dealer or a vehicle sold by the owner. There are good ones and there are bad ones. No matter where you purchase your next car, your job is the same … to avoid the bad ones.
Get car values from Kelly Blue Book and NadaGuides. Get the vehicle's History Report from CarFax or AutoCheck. And check the car out mechanically the same way you would if buying from a Dealer or an individual. This means if you don't know vehicles, get someone who does to help.
So, if you've written-off your local car auctions, you may want to reconsider. The savings are often substantial.
Joshua Rose is an Auto Broker who goes to Florida Car Auctions on behalf of car buyers. For information about Open-To-The-Public car auctions in your particular area, please visit Local Car Auctions .