By: Gov Auctions | 15 September 2012

Inspecting a Car Before Auction Time

Buying a car at auction can be a fantastic way to get an amazing deal, but only if you are savvy about your purchase and come well prepared. The following is a brief look at some of the main things you should do when inspecting a car you are considering buying at auction.

Get to the auction early

If you are seriously considering buying a car at an auction, you should be there as early as you possibly can, because unless you are able to get a good look at the auction cars you shouldn’t even consider buying anything. The more time you give yourself to look over the car or cars you are interested in – as well as all of the relevant paperwork – the more likely you are to be able to make an educated decision and find the right car for you.

Pick up an auction catalogue

Most auto auctions will have a catalogue of all of the vehicles being sold, including a list of some of their more important information, so make sure you pick up a catalogue when you arrive. This will make it easy for you to quickly draw up a list of potential options, find where they are and get to work checking them out.

Know what you are looking for

Having a good idea of what you want before you get to the auction will save you a lot of time, as well as allow you to spend more of your time checking out your best options. While it is fine to target certain makes and models, think about the features you are after as well, as there may be vehicles at the auction you had not considered, yet which may well present some of your best options.

Bring a mechanically minded friend

If you are not terribly mechanically minded yourself, bring a friend who is, because they will be able to help you make a far more educated decision on any purchase you are considering making. One of the big drawbacks about vehicle auctions is that you usually can’t take the vehicle for a test drive, so having someone who can interpret a car’s health in other ways may save you from buying a lemon or even score you a bargain.

Look for signs of area painting

When you are checking over the body of the car, look closely for any signs that it may have been repainted, as this can often be evidence of an accident and damage of some sort. If there is a clear history of something having happened and then having been properly fixed it is not a huge deal, but if there is no acknowledgement of there being any issue, don’t buy this vehicle, because who knows what other problems might be hidden and waiting for you?

Check mileage history

You will be able to go over the car’s mileage history before the start of the auction, so make sure you do. This will tell you not just how far the vehicle has travelled, but also when and how any repairs and maintenance have been made. If you do nothing else, take your time and read the mileage history carefully.