First time at an auction? These are the different ways to bid on a car

November 15, 2018

Buying a car at an auction is an affordable way to find the car of your dreams. A car auction offers a more diverse choice of vehicles than you realise, allowing you to find the one that best suits your needs. But if it is your first time at a car auction, you might be a little unsure of the different bidding options available.

When you are considering buying from the many cars on auction, you will need to know which type of bidding is right for what you need. You might have to use an automatic bid if you are not sure of how high to go or you may choose to provide a bid before the auction takes place. For more detail on the different ways to bid on a car, read on below.

Attending a live auction

Many cars on auction are better seen in person, especially if this is your first car. One of the most effective ways to bid on a car is to attend a live auction in person. You will need to be at the auction site in person, arriving on time and ensuring that you have all the details correct, such as time, date and bid limit for the different cars.

The benefit of attending a live auction is that you can see the car in person, allowing you to spot any issues with your own eyes. While you might not be able to inspect the car close up, you will be able to see any damage for yourself. Many of the people at the car auction will be more experienced than you, so ask them for tips and advice on when and how to bid to get the best possible deal.

Pre-auction bidding

If you know exactly what you are looking for and do not have the time to attend an auction simply to bid on one item, you can look into pre-auction bidding. A pre-auction bid on the cars on auction is a bid that is placed before the auction with a pre-set maximum price.

One of the advantages of this type of bidding is that most auto auctions will not let you outbid yourself. This means that if you make a maximum bid of R50 000 but the bidding stops at R25 000, you will receive the car for R25 000. You will need to be sure, however, that the auction house does not start with the maximum price, otherwise you might find yourself paying much more than you would have in a live auction.

Online bidding

Online bidding is highly useful if you are unable to make it to a live auction. It is also perfect for first-time bidders as you will not feel any pressure from those who are more experienced than you. It will also allow you to browse through the catalogue of cars on auction without feeling rushed by crowds who want to inspect the car.

However, it can be easy to be swept up in the excitement of bidding online against someone who wants the same car as you do. Be sure to maintain your budget. If you find the bidding amounts becoming too high for you to realistically afford, then it might be time to leave the auction. Online bidding is fast-paced, but it is easily accessible for first-time car buyers.

Automated bidding

An automatic bid allows the system to bid on your behalf, up to your maximum bid. The maximum amount is what you set yourself and is based on how much you are willing to pay for the cars on auction.

It is kept confidential and will only automatically increase (up to the maximum that you set) if it is required to do so for you to win the auction. The system will not bid higher on your behalf, which will save you from spending more than you can afford. This is the perfect option for first-time bidders as it will help you to avoid spending too much over your budget. You will need to find out from the auction house if there is a maximum or minimum bid limit for automated bidding.

How to choose

Now that you know all the different types of bidding for cars on auction, you can choose which one best suits your needs. The advantages of attending an auction in person include being able to see the car in person and inspect it first-hand, even though you cannot test-drive it. If you decide to choose pre-auction bidding, you will be able to set a precise bid on the exact item you want, ideal for those who do not have the time to attend an auction in person.

Online bidding is easy-to-use, hassle-free and allows you to bid without the pressure of other people around you. With automated bidding, you will save both time and money. So, choose the one that best suits your needs and soon you will be driving off in your new dream car.

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