There are a few different types of auto auctions, including online auction, impound car auctions, and basic junk car or used car auctions. Depending on what merchandise you are in the market for will determine which auction to attend. For example, if you are interested in acquiring used auto parts, your best option would be to bid on junk cars at a junk car lot auction. Since you would just be stripping the vehicle for parts, it is not cost-effective to buy a functional or good-condition vehicle. However, if you are in the market for a good-condition vehicle for primary driving, you might want to consider a used car auction. Online auctions are also an option, but for first-time auction attendees, it may not be the best place to start. Talk to your local Indianapolis auto auction professional about online auctions and how to navigate them to your advantage.
Once you figure out which auction you are looking to attend, you can start your pre-auction research. Look for local auto auctions you wish to attend, and then view the vehicles they intend to display for bidding on the day you plan to attend.
Next, research their vehicle inventory, using Kelly Blue Book and other similar online resources to assess the estimated value of the vehicles. Then look up used vehicles online that are sold through regular car lots and dealerships. By comparing the used vehicles at lots to the used vehicles being sold at the upcoming auction, you can properly assess how much you should spend on a used car at the auction.
Set a budget right away, and do NOT go over that budget at the auto auction. By pre-determining a budget, you can ensure you will not walk away with a bad deal, like paying too much for a vehicle of lower value. One way to be sure you are getting a good deal is to bring a mechanic along with you to perform a pre-purchase inspection and validate that the car is indeed in working condition. Some auto auctions will provide this service for those who purchase a vehicle from their inventory, but it is rare. Once you have all this lined up, always be sure to ask or attain a CARFAX report outlining the history of the vehicle. By following these simple guidelines, a first-time auto auction attendee can be confident when it comes to getting the best deal by bidding for a used car.