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Considerations of Buying a Car at Auction

Auctions for cars can be intimidating for those who aren’t familiar with the process. However, knowing how the auction process operates will allow you to take advantage of the low prices vehicles are typically sold in auctions. For those who are familiar with how auctions for cars function, purchasing a car in this manner can be fun as well.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through every stage of the car auction procedure.

British auctions of cars can be a good option to purchase a car at a bargain price?

It is entirely possible to purchase an affordable car for just around a hundred pounds. The prices for auctions can range between £100 to more than £50,000.

A typical auction for cars will feature everything from city-runabouts to luxurious saloons. Certain cars auctioned may be decades older, while others are almost brand new.

Car auctions UK What makes them less expensive?

Auctions are a great way to buy a car. It is typically cheaper as you’re eliminating the middleman who is i.e. the dealer.

Auction cars available for auction: Who purchases them?

In the majority (but it’s not always) instances there is a possibility that any member of the business or public can make bids on auction vehicles to be sold. In reality, a lot of buyers are car dealers trying to sell their vehicles to earn profits. According to a general rule auction vehicles are about 20% less expensive than those at a dealer’s on-street.

However that you are an individual citizen it’s not a problem for from going to auctions of cars and attempting to purchase a car at a bargain for yourself.

Do I have the right to attend an auction as an individual bidder?

No. Certain auction houses offer only to trade buyers that are in essence dealers (dealerships) of all kinds. For instance, BCA Auctions only allows trade buyers to open buying accounts. Be aware that certain auctions for cars on the internet are available to both trade and public buyers, while others are exclusive to trade buyers.

Car auctions near me

If you are planning to buy and bid on the car online online without actually seeing the vehicle in question or even seeing the place that the auctioneer is located will matter less (although receiving the vehicle could be longer if the auction house is a long distance from the location).

If you want to examine the car(s) prior to making a bid, you can find an auctioneer near you by searching for ‘car auction near me’, or something similar.

Car auctioneers can be found across the UK and often in areas that are not cities due to the fact that they require a huge area of land for their operations.

Beforehand: Online car auction listings

Potential buyers shouldn’t, typically speaking, go for an auction and place bids on a car , without having viewed the vehicle online prior to bidding.

Auction houses will advertise cars for sale online for a specific time, giving buyers the chance to consider the pros and cons of buying a specific vehicle or.

The epidemic saw an enormous increase in online auction purchases as opposed to purchasing in person. While Covid-19 may have boosted the internet aspect of auctioneering for cars but there’s nothing quite like being able to view or hear – or even smell a car before taking the decision to buy it.

Check-in prior to auction: be there early

Online viewing of listed vehicles prior to an auction is well and good however nothing beats having the ability to examine the vehicles in person. For this, you have to get to the auction house earlier, so that you’re able to take a look. The majority of auction houses are will be open for inspections prior to 9 am.

While a car might appear nice online, a inspection could reveal problems which aren’t mentioned in the advertisement or were not evident in the pictures.

Be on the lookout for warning signals

From deflated tyres, to poor paintwork, these problems will be evident on auction day, but you should arrive early to get an excellent view of the items that are on sale. By arriving earlier, there’ll be less people around, and you’ll be able inspect the vehicles at your own pace without bumping into other prospective buyers.

When it comes to purchasing vehicles at auction, it’s not recommended to place a bid on a car that you haven’t met in person, or you might be surprised by some nasty surprises when you take the car back (assuming it doesn’t crash during the journey! ).

What are the things you should look for in your check?

Bodywork panels that do not match

This suggests that there has been significant work completed to the vehicle and that it could have been involved in a crash.

Check for paintwork mistakes and poor closed lines.

Low-quality repaints

It’s likely to be an aesthetic problem, though certain paint repairs are made to hide the rust.

Tyres that are deflated

It will be a challenge returning your brand new car with a tyre that is flat.

If in doubt, walk away

If you notice a number of problems with a certain car, it’s likely to leave even if you feel you’re losing out on a deal. Remember, there are plenty of other cars to pick from at auction.

Gradings of auction houses: get to get to

Grading scales are employed by British auction houses for cars to evaluate each car that goes to auction. It is important to know how they function.

Cars are graded between 1 and 5. There’s also an unclassified class for cars with very large mileage or are old.

Grade 1

The grade 1 award is given to vehicles in top condition, possibly requiring only minor repairs. e.g. minor dents with no paint damage or missing trim pieces.


Panels that require to be repaint.

Grade 2

A medium repair to the body shop or the combination of one repair for a bodyshop as well as a few minor repairs.
Seven minor repairs allowed or a combination of minor repairs as well as small missing parts.


Any vehicle that has more than one medium-sized repair in the bodyshop.

Grade 3

May may have experienced up to four medium-sized bodyshop repairs.
It may require an upgrade to its bumper (but two bumpers are not enough for this class).
Three major repairs to the bodyshop are allowed in this level.

Grade 4

One major repair with a few minor or medium repairs.


Large repairs are required to the structural parts, e.g. roofing repair.
There are more than one significant repair.

Grade 5

Two major repair work will be required and the vehicle will be classified as Grade 5.


Five major repairs.
Two structural repair or more, or two repairs for any other type of damage.
The combination of all aspects mentioned above, up to 3500 points.


Older vehicles or ones that have extremely high mileage.

Perform an HPI check

HPI checks are a popular method to ensure that a car isn’t shady.

“HPI” refers to the organization that provides the check service, however it’s now so standard that it has become a general name for checking a car’s past.

Other companies also conduct “HPI checks”.

Although the HPI test is an expense, it can aid in ensuring that you don’t purchase the vehicle with significant flaws – and will not be a total cost-cutting exercise.

Contrary to the government’s MOT test and HPI check, an HPI check can tell you whether a vehicle has outstanding financing or has been taken. In the event of stolen vehicles, police could locate it and remove it, leaving you with no money. It is crucial to know the information prior to parting of your money.

An HPI check will determine the authenticity of a vehicle if it was cloned i.e. it’s VIN and registration number have been changed to conceal the fact that the vehicle has been stolen.

If a vehicle is found to be scrapped and is subsequently seized, it is illegal to drive on a road that is not public regardless of whether it appears to be operating.

If a car proves to be an insurance write off, finding insurance for it is challenging.

Some sellers also wind back or “clock” the Odometer in order to achieve the best price (low mileage vehicles typically are sold for higher prices).

HPI check data comes from the DVLA as well as from insurance companies as well as the police. HPI check providers can offer as much as PS30,000 in compensation in the event that any of the data they provide turns out to be inaccurate.

Be aware that if the information hasn’t been disclosed or shared or disclosed, it will not be included in an HPI report. A HPI test isn’t certain to reveal every problem with a particular car.

Keep an eye on your car when it goes into auction

It’s not feasible to conduct mechanical tests, therefore the only opportunity to witness the car move is when it’s driven into an auction room.

Check that the engine note is clear and there aren’t any worrying noises; also, make sure the tyres are in good condition.

This is yet another reason for going to the auction on location is more appealing than bidding online.

How do you bid on an auto auction (in in person)?

Before you are able to place any bids, it is necessary to sign up in the auction house’s auction system as private bidder. You’ll have to be at least 18 years of age and present a proof of identification.

Depositing a deposit

It is also necessary to make the deposit. It’s typically PS500 and can be returned in the event that you do not end up buying an automobile. If you do purchase an auction-listed car the deposit amount is deducted from the final price of the car.

Making your bids known

After your car has been taken into the auction area (at the point where you need to be on the lookout for any faults like the smell of blue, noises etc) It’s time to begin the auction. You then have the opportunity to bid.

If the auctioneer requests an increase in the price of the car and you want to make a bid, simply raise your hand or tilt your head.

Be cautious when entering the auction area – as you don’t want make a bid on a car that you do not would