A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - SLO76
Faced with a dull night watching brain rot TV I thought a wee visit to my nearest car auction would be worth the fuel and time, I knew at least the canteen is worthy of my attendance anyway.

Nice cheap dinner in the belly I started sniffing round the metal on offer, two in particular that I'd came to view. One a lowish mileage blue 60 plate Nissan Micra and the other a 57 plate Hyundai i30 in red, both sounded good in descriptions but I should've known better when no pics were posted by the auction house who were clearly desperate to get bums on seats. Both were wearing too much battle damage for me, it would've cost a fortune to fix properly, even the usual botch em up boys weren't biting and both slunk back to the yard unsold.

Time wasted for me but it was as always an interesting experience watching what goes on at a car auction. The cars were all either ex lease nearly new stock with ludicrous near retail reserves which no one even bothered to bid on, in fact one Auris Hybrid estate was set £1,000 more than our local Toyota dealer has one on at right now!!! Or they were too up in the miles or too tatty to retail, the big dealers are hanging onto anything that can be retailed even if it's 12yrs old. The days of finding a nice clean 7-12yr old car with decent miles and a history at auction are largely past certainly up here anyway.

I watched the usual dodgy Joe's bid strongly for any heavy mileage stock with one next to zero history 58plate 120,000 mile Fiesta diesel make the guts of £2k including fees despite having an engine management light on and being three different colours, the only way he'll make out of that is if the mileage or history is fiddled. I'll be watching to see if it's reloaded, they often do with mysterious full histories being magically produced from thin air.

Another a 100k 2007 Honda Civic that needed a load of paint went for over £1k but to fix it right would cost more than it cost to buy. The only way he'll make from it is to botch it on the cheap which will rust and flake in no time but to an inexperienced eye on the forecourt might look good for a while.

I could go on but to sum up everything was there because it was unsellable garbage. The dodgy Joe's of the motoring world then snap them up, cheaply botch them up then flog them on often with faked service histories and a story about last owner being a wee old lady. This is the truth of the smaller dealer or trader. Unless they have a new car franchise or sell a lot of nearly new ex lease stock against which they'll take in decent older trade ins then it'll all be bought at auctions like this and the public would be horrified if they knew the real state of what they're selling.

I'm very fussy, won't sell something unless it's right and despite row upon row of older stock there tonight there wasn't a single car I would bought to sell on. Yet the bulk of them did sell, bought by small dealers who'll fleece some poor sod. Buyers beware!
A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - RobJP

I was down at our local auctions (Queensferry, by Chester) a few weeks ago with a friend. Most of the cars on offer were desperately poor.

If anyone ever fancies a real horror show, however, I recommend Ellesmere Port Motor auctions. It'll scare you silly !

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - pd

Which auction house our of interest?

I did buy a couple at auction today but they were both from sellers who have a 100% auction policy - the ones which don't usually just have the tat. At least that way you know there is a chance of something decent. One was 1 owner and 15 main dealer services!

The auction game is totally sewn up by BCA and Manheim with Aston Barclay battling a brave game in third place. The othesr can't get any contracts now and I can't see any future for any small independent auction houses.

BCA and Manheim are pretty awful companies to deal with but are the only ones with the clout and even there 80% of the cars are rubbish but that's probably because no one looks after their cars and reflects the market.

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - SLO76
"Which auction house our of interest?"

Don't really want to name them, other than the p*** poor listing on the two motors I was interested in it's not their fault that the big dominant chains up in Scotland are generally not sending good stock to auction. I've bought from them in the past and otherwise have no complaint against the firm themselves. They get regular Arnold Clark stock but again it's all the garbage they're not wanting. Our local AC Fiat and Ford branches regularly have cars up to 12yrs old and as low as £1,500 in stock which is murdering the small trader. To be fair, on the whole they've been their own worst enemy over the years so few will mourn them.
A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - Gibbo_Wirral

If anyone ever fancies a real horror show, however, I recommend Ellesmere Port Motor auctions. It'll scare you silly !

I used to go to the Sunday one, you're absolutely right! I think its either gone or moved following a housing development.

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - RobJP

If anyone ever fancies a real horror show, however, I recommend Ellesmere Port Motor auctions. It'll scare you silly !

I used to go to the Sunday one, you're absolutely right! I think its either gone or moved following a housing development.

They moved about 5 years ago. As to 'gone', oh, we could but wish ...

ellesmere-port-motor-auction.co.uk/index.php/motor.../

Much like cholera, they're still around.

First time I ever went there someone I knew bought a Fiat Panda (this was back in the early 90s), and the engine nearly gave out as he was driving it up the Aston Hill by Ewloe. So he parked it up for an hour, topped up all the fluids, and it ran (moderately) smoothly again.

He'd obviously by now decided this car was a bad idea, so he parked it outside his house in Buckley for a couple of days, and then drove it over to the small car auctions site in Ewloe, and booked it in there.

Sold it at the next auction for £250 more than he'd paid for it.

Having a quick look, I see that place is still in existence too, amazingly.

Just goes to show the PT Barnum was correct !

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - badbusdriver

I used to go regularly to the car auctions in Aberdeen and Inverurie just for a nosey, but it isn't very practical now due to the distance!.

Only once bought a car from auction (this would have been early 1999), a 1983 VW polo saloon for £280. It was in very good condition with very low miles so I was very happy with it. Wish I'd kept it, but I met my future wife not long after, and moved in with her not long after that(!). She lived in a flat with limited parking, and a motability car (her 1st, which coincidentally was also a polo, a '99 1.9d), so unfortunately my one had to go.

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - SLO76
Big percentage of buyers were as always rather worryingly private punters who clearly had no clue. They were all over every premium badged diesel that ran through and one paid far too much for a 13yr old Audi A3 2.0 TDi with 150k and a turbo that was whistling like a builder on heat which was worth scrap in my eyes. Another two were getting themselves into a frenzy over a high mileage 118d with a horrid set of wheels and an illuminated EML on the dash. You want to tell them but can only hope it's a lesson they'll learn without crippling themselves.

Edited by SLO76 on 19/10/2017 at 22:09

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - bathtub tom

I gave up on auctions decades ago.

Tried to sell (my own) honest Maxi, but didn't make reserve. Subsequently sold privately for much more than last auction bid.

Been a few few times since, but have no confidence in what's offered.

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - craig-pd130
one paid far too much for a 13yr old Audi A3 2.0 TDi with 150k and a turbo that was whistling like a builder on heat which was worth scrap in my eyes.

Thank you, SLO - reading that caused me to snort some coffee out of my nose :-)

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - mss1tw
whistling like a builder on heat

That's hilarious!


You want to tell them but can only hope it's a lesson they'll learn without crippling themselves.

Nah, eff them. That Audi is likely soon to be hovering 2" off the back of the car in front who has the nerve to be in the way

Audis 'of a certain age', PCP candy white A1s and black saloons (A3? A4? No interest in Audis so I don't follow the range) are idiot magnets...

Tell me I'm wrong!

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - V4 Heaven

Reminds me of when I used to go to auction with my mate in the 90s. He would buy from one auction in a run down town, wash the car then sell it at an auction in a posher area the same week and make £2-300 per car!

Incidentally, I bought an H reg Cavalier from the auction in posher area with 40,000 miles on the clock, with negligible service history and a repainted bonnet (presumably to hide stone chips!).

It was cheap for its age so I bought it. Later I found out that 12 months prior it had about 125,000 miles on the clock!

Anyway, I took the bad news on the chin (I half suspected something but the price drove me to purchasing it in the first place). I kept it for about 6 years, over-serviced it and barely had any trouble with it, despite driving like a boy racer at times. I was later living in Italy, so I drove it in and around Naples. In total, I put another 100,000 on it, then I sold it on to another Brit who was looking for a cheap runaround. Happy days!

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - SLO76
"Incidentally, I bought an H reg Cavalier from the auction in posher area with 40,000 miles on the clock, with negligible service history and a repainted bonnet (presumably to hide stone chips!).

It was cheap for its age so I bought it. Later I found out that 12 months prior it had about 125,000 miles on the clock!

Anyway, I took the bad news on the chin (I half suspected something but the price drove me to purchasing it in the first place). I kept it for about 6 years, over-serviced it and barely had any trouble with it, despite driving like a boy racer at times. I was later living in Italy, so I drove it in and around Naples. In total, I put another 100,000 on it, then I sold it on to another Brit who was looking for a cheap runaround. Happy days!"

Mk III Cavaliers were truely great motors, they'd run and run if serviced occasionally. Simple and robust, it's a shame we'll never see the like again. All any family car needed to be without all the crap that goes wrong.
A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - pd

You wouldn't make much flipping cars at auction now. The fees on purchases and sales would mean you'd need to be £500 up at least before you moved into profit!

Secondly, no sane person would ever bid on a car in "General" sectiion at auction with an unidentified vendor so such cars usually get misrerable prices or no bids at all unless you are lucky and get one or two idiot private buyers not knowing what they are doing. 99.9% of cars at auction from private sellers or smaller traders are complete sheds which are only there because there is no value in fixing them.

Auctions work on a national basis these days anyway - with online bidding and large groups splitting stock around the country to even out supply/demand and prices.

It is a big business and they want to sew up all ends.

For example, Cox Automotive are a huge multinational conglomorate and the idea is they lock dealers into their system. Therefore they collect and appraise the cars (often at end of lease/PCP) or the PX, move it, auction it (Manheim) then the idea is of their dealers has it delivered via Movex (which they own), finances it via NextGear (which they also own) and advertises it via motors.co.uk (which they own). Alternatively a franchised dealer can use the likes if dealerauction direct.....which, guess what, they own as well....

BCA have a very similar platorm of sourcing (e.g. Mercedes returns) or WBAC and have their own finance arm and huge logisics business etc.

No auction house really wants the odd buyer who buys one or two cars a year. They want you buying 100+ and using their transport, finance and advertising.

The breaks on prices at BCA and Manheim do not really get good until you trip over 100 cars a year with each and unfortunately they have 90% of the cars so if you want certain cars you will have to deal with them.

Edited by pd on 20/10/2017 at 16:09

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - RT

Reminds me of when I used to go to auction with my mate in the 90s. He would buy from one auction in a run down town, wash the car then sell it at an auction in a posher area the same week and make £2-300 per car!

Incidentally, I bought an H reg Cavalier from the auction in posher area with 40,000 miles on the clock, with negligible service history and a repainted bonnet (presumably to hide stone chips!).

It was cheap for its age so I bought it. Later I found out that 12 months prior it had about 125,000 miles on the clock!

Anyway, I took the bad news on the chin (I half suspected something but the price drove me to purchasing it in the first place). I kept it for about 6 years, over-serviced it and barely had any trouble with it, despite driving like a boy racer at times. I was later living in Italy, so I drove it in and around Naples. In total, I put another 100,000 on it, then I sold it on to another Brit who was looking for a cheap runaround. Happy days!

Cavalier mk2 and mk3 hid their mileage well - especially the really leggy ones - one cold start a day then several hundred miles fully warmed up on motorways so no excessive gearchanges, clutch use or suspension wear.

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - RobJP

I've written about it in the past, but here goes again...

Back in 2000-2003 or so, myself and a couple of friends (all properly insured, trade plates, etc) would buy X5s, Merc MLs, and the like up in BCA Manchester, Preston, Brighouse, and drive them down to Blackbushe (near Heathrow), and put them through the auctions there. The price differential for these more desirable SUVs made it very worthwhile.

We'd then buy Discoverys, Defenders, and the like 'darn sarf' (this was before the Disco was 'fashionable' with the 2004 Disco 3 lardball model), and drive them back 'oop North' for sale in Preston. Ker-ching, we'd make money both ways !

These days the price differential just doesn't exist to play that game.

But we had fun while it lasted. We'd turn over anything up to £200k of cars in a week, and were on the highest level of discount BCA did. We were once driving down the M40 in convoy, Range Rover, Cayenne turbo, Range Rover - all under 2 years old.

The Cayenne cost more to drive down than the other 2 put together. Never seen a car go through that much fuel !

It al ended when one guy decided he wanted to go 'retail' and not re-auction cars any more. So we split up the money, shook hands, and all walked away from it.

Looked at it again a few years later, but the market was saturated with people doing the same sort of thing by then. Margins were wafer-thin, and the risk:reward just didn't add up for me. In addition, BCA wouldn't allow 're-auctioned' cars to count so heavily for the discount levels, so that cut into the margin even more.

Ahh, I suppose those are the things that make up life. The phone going in the car :

"got to stop for fuel"

"But you filled up in Preston" (we're approaching Warwick)

"Yeah, you want to drive this damn thing ? Every time I press on the pedal, I can see the needle move on the gauge!"

-------------------

Fun times. Memories to laugh at. And even made a decent living off it.

Can't really ask for much more than that.

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - SLO76
Used to see fellas from 'darn sarf' lurking around auctions at Glasgow looking for cars to take down the road for a fast buck, right enough though I never notice them anymore but then I'm not there very often these days. I do frequently see transporters full of older used stock heading south when I'm on the M6 though so it must pay to pass decent stock down the road by the truck load.
A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - daveyK_UK

BCA and Mainheim extortionate buyers fees to both private buyers and traders who buy less than 250 units a year has killed the game

A nice wet Thursday night at auction... - argybargy

I've made many car buying mistakes in my time, but never been quite stupid enough to go to an auction on my own, and buy without expert advice.

One of my old bosses in the fire brigade was a bombastic chap who knew everything. Every now and again he would have a massive argument withe one of his adult kids before coming into work, and it was we poor humble firebobbies who got the fallout when he arrived to take charge of the night shift.

One time he bought a Panda from an auction somewhere or other, and proudly brought it into work to be admired by all and sundry. The other chaps, unlike Yours Truly, knew a thing or two about cars, and if anyone brought in a new toy they'd be all over it like a rash, picking holes and finding problems even if there weren't any, and giving the poor victim a sleepless night or two about the unwise nature of their purchase into the bargain.

They didn't have to look far with the boss's Panda: lifting the carpet revealed a hole in the passenger side floor the size of Bluto's fist. Silly beggar had given it nothing more than a cursory glance and bought the biggest pile of cack this side of the nearest rubbish tip.

Oh, how we all laughed on the way to being run ragged on the drill yard.

Edited by argybargy on 21/10/2017 at 00:36

 

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