Buying your car at auction: is it a good idea?

Buying your car

Buying a vehicle is an investment of several thousand euros, and sometimes even tens of thousands. To save money on this transaction, the auction of vehicles is increasingly popular. But beware, even if it is easy to make good deals, the risks of public auctions are also numerous. So to help you find your dream car at the best price, here are the advantages and risks of car auctions.

In summary…

Is car auctioning a good deal? Between the reduced price, the reliability guaranteed by the auctioneer and the possibility of finding a vintage car, the answer is, a priori, positive. However, automobile auctions represent several risks that should be known before making a bid in the auction room.

Car auctions: How does it work?

Before the auction, a presentation of the vehicles is organised. This takes place either the day before or the same morning. On this occasion, the engine starts in order to allow the various participants to listen to it and know the state of the vehicle. In addition, several information will be sent to you:

– The technical inspection : all vehicles have previously passed the technical inspection. Thus, you have the assurance that your future car has been checked upstream and meets the mandatory standards for driving.

– The origin of the vehicle : this is particularly the case if it is a stolen vehicle, damaged or found abandoned on the road.

– Vehicle information : this concerns the year of entry into service, the engine, the model, the number of km travelled, etc.

To check the history of the vehicle and the honesty of the owner, the Ministry of the Interior provides a free HistoVec platform listing the highlights of the vehicle such as changes of ownership, claims with controlled repair, the administrative situation of the vehicle …

What are the advantages of buying your car at auction?

There are several advantages to using auctions for your car. Here are the main ones:

– The price of used vehicles : this is one of the main advantages of buying a car at auction. And for good reason, if it is a question of liquidation of stores or police seizures, the savings made can reach 50%.

– Diversity : during the auction, you can find a wide variety of models. For example, sedans, city cars, SUVs, or heavy goods vehicles. However, you should know that the small models (like the Alfa Romeo, the Corsa, the Volvo C30, etc.) are the most sought after. As such, the price advantages will be less significant.

– Reliability : due to the obligation to present an up-to-date technical inspection, the vehicles presented are mostly in good condition. Without forgetting that the auctioneers are sworn professionals.

– Exceptional cars : auctions are particularly popular with collectors. And for good reason, it is here that we find rare pieces, such as old cars, limited models or luxury cars (Jaguar, Ferrari, Ford Mustang, Corvette, Aston Martin, etc.).

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And the risks?

One of the main risks of selling a car at auction is not testing the vehicle before buying it . Indeed, even if they are mostly reliable, you do not have the possibility of knowing the exact driving with the vehicle. In the short term, it is therefore possible that the purchased vehicle will require major repairs.

In addition, there are other risks associated with buying a vehicle at auction:

– The absence of manufacturer’s warranty : this is the case if the mechanical warranty has expired. That said, the risk is also present for the purchase of a used car between individuals.

– Financing : here, you will not have the choice between the classic loan, leasing or cash purchase. With car auctions, there is only one option, buying cash.

– The absence of right of withdrawal : if you change your mind or if you find hidden defects, it will be impossible to obtain a refund or an exchange for the vehicle.

Precautions to take before buying a car at auction

Before buying a car at auction, it is best to take several precautions. Thus, we advise you to set yourself a budget not to exceed . Indeed, taken in the euphoria, some buyers continue to bid and end up buying their vehicle at a price higher than the Argus rating.

In addition, after the presentation, we recommend that you check the Argus prices for each vehicle presented. This is what will allow you to make real savings compared to a traditional sale.

Cars are sold as-is, so it’s best to study their condition carefully before placing a bid . So, take a look at the body, chassis, windshield, etc. If you do not have sufficient mechanical knowledge, do not hesitate to be accompanied by a relative or a professional. It is also advisable to request the certificate of non-pledge (or certificate of administrative status)

in advance . This will allow you to make sure that no opposition is registered on the vehicle. In addition, you will have to ask for all the other documents necessary for the purchase of a car (registration certificate or gray card, maintenance booklet, etc.).

Finally, don’t forget to insure your car as soon as you receive the transfer certificate. Indeed, car insurance is mandatory to bring the vehicle back to your home, you must be insured.

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