GOING….GOING….ON A TRIP TO THE AUCTION

August 6th, 2019

Car lovers when the word ‘auction’ is flashed in front of them will often think of expensive, exotic vehicles and people with bank balances to match. Take a live streaming trip to Europe, the USA or some parts of Australia and what you will see is exactly that. However, for the main part, car auctions are routine events in the process of buying and selling motor vehicles.

Some people think buying or selling at auction is only for dealers or the experienced. Neither of those assumptions is true. Some auctions will be advertised as ‘Dealer Only’ but the majority welcome bids from private buyers and most of the cars on offer are sold to individuals. Once you understand the way an auction works is becomes a quick, effective way to move an unwanted vehicle or buy a newer, better one. Sometimes those transactions can occur in the same location and within minutes of one another.

There are a few basic rules to follow when attending an auction. Most important is not to buy before you are ready and the best way to protect against that is to not register as a bidder.

Most auctions welcome observers and will still sell you a catalogue so you can follow what’s happening. However, without a bidder number you can’t place a bid and those spur-of-the-moment purchases can be avoided.

Once you have a good idea what type of vehicle you want to buy, register your details with a couple of nearby auction house so you start receiving their new listings by email.

Critics will tell you that vehicles being sold at auction all have faults and represent a big risk because they can’t be inspected before buying. In some instances, the absence of inspection facilities is true, but the auction house will also provide a reasonably detailed and impartial assessment of the vehicle which will be taped to a window.

Some auctions will allow licensed vehicle inspectors to drive and report on vehicles before the sale. However, the terms of sale remain ‘as is’ and if you buy a vehicle that’s defective you are responsible for undertaking any repairs needed.

There is no best perfect way to bid at an auction but make sure you position yourself within sight of the podium where the auctioneer stands. There may also be auction house ‘spotters’ throughout the room who let out a cry when a new bidder enters the fray. They will then keep a close eye on you and alert the auctioneer as you continue to bid.

Vehicles being sold will be ‘reserved’ or ‘unreserved’. Those in the latter category may attract ‘phantom’ bidders whose job is to drive the price higher before allowing genuine buyers to make the final bids.

Auctioneers generally won’t reveal a reserve price before bidding commences but as the auction progresses there may be hints. ‘You’re a fair way away, Sir’ is one way an auctioneer tells bidders they will need to dig deeper, while ‘Come on, one more’ might mean the reserve is very close to being reached.

Once the lot is declared ‘on the market’ the reserve has been achieved and it will be sold to the highest bidder. Waiting until this point to join in can result in you missing out altogether as auctioneers often like to wrap up bidding quickly and move on to the next lot.

Once the vehicle is knocked down to you and you pay the auction house’s required deposit (usually non-refundable so read the Sale Conditions carefully) the car is effectively yours and that means immediately arranging insurance.

Some insurance providers are closed at night and on weekends when a lot of vehicle auctions take place. Or the ones that are open may not offer cover on older, unusual or prestige vehicles. That is where having your ‘device’ at hand and ready to log onto the Enthusiast Insurance site will be of huge benefit.

Any time day or night, even on weekends, just click www.enthusiast.com.au and within a few minutes you can arrange insurance cover on your auction purchase. You can even arrange fee-free monthly deductions from your credit card to cover the payment. Enthusiast Insurance is insurance made simple for auction buyers.

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