Car Auctions - chris_w
I'm thinking of buying a nearly new car, and have been told that you can pick up great bargains at auctions.

I have limited mechanical knowledge of cars and am unsure if it's a good idea to buy from an auction. My nearest auction site would be Blackbushe.

Does anyone have any advice/tips on auctions?


Car Auctions - Altea Ego
Go there. Not to buy first time, but just to look, get a feel for the place, how it works etc. Go back as many times as you want before you decide you are happy to buy. If you have a friend who is car mechanically knowledgable, take him on the day you decide to buy.

Get there early, go out the back and look at all the cars due to come thro the halls (there are three halls - different types/quality of cars) and decide what cars you are interested in. Set a limit to bid to. The bargains appear at lunch time and late evening when the crowds have thinned a bit. Dont be tempted by a car you dont really want because its dirt cheap. Dont think because it getting late and you havent got what you want you will buy anything. The car you want will be there next week.

For a petrol head, big car auctions are like a rock concert. Really good day out (the burgers are good too). Often take my 13 year old as a treat day out, he is in heaven, Burger, chips and cars.

Finally READ. There is lots of good advice, on HJ's home page and car mags - even books - all on how to buy at auction.

Car Auctions - DavidHM
Agree with everything RF has said...

... But I must stress, know exactly what you want and what it's worth.

For instance, what is the likely retail and auction price of a 0252 Mondeo 1.8 LX with 10k miles, a common ex-rental car? Retail from a car supermarket can be about £9500 so there is no reason at all to pay more than £9k at auction. Some private punters (including me) would get carried away by the £14.5k new list price and pay the wrong side of £10,000. Or you could go to a Ford dealer where there'll be a 'special offer' of £11500.

If you are looking at nearly new cars, make sure that they are either too new for a service or have had one within the qualifying period to maintain the manufacturer's three year warranty. Most cars should have this but it is not standard with some makes, like Ford - it is a no cost option - and I have no idea what the take up is like on fleets where the car is kept for less than a year.

Similarly, don't pay over the odds for a recent import. They should be declared as such, and with their shorter warranty, they really are worth less than a UK car. Assuming that nearly new cars don't ever really have an easy life in the first few months (obviously there are a few exceptions) your best bet is a direct sale from the manufacturer (although even here the cars have often been leased to rental companies) or the rental company itself.

Those are the pitfalls. The upside is that you should make a saving of at least a couple of hundred over the best supermarket and dealers, especially in the south east of England where it seems that prices for nearly new cars are on the high side to say the least.
Car Auctions - chris_w
Thanks for the advice.

Have you actually bought a car from an auction or know anyone who has. I'm interested to know peoples experiences, as normally when things go wrong the best lessons are learnt.

Car Auctions - Altea Ego
Yup, just over two years ago. Bought Nicolles clio. 6 months old, a highish 12k miles on it, ex rental, 1.2 grande, in flat blue 3 doors (hence not attractive to dealers) for a shade over 5 grand. Been as good as gold. Had to have a new drivers seat belt switch (airbag warning light). (they were £7.2k new then)
Car Auctions - Altea Ego
Oh and I fell for the dont buy a car because its cheap failing I mentioned. 10 year old citroen visa. 12 months MOT, 3 months road tax 60k miles up - 25 quid. Gave it to sister in law for her birthday!
Car Auctions - blank
Oh and I fell for the dont buy a car because
its cheap failing I mentioned. 10 year old citroen visa. 12
months MOT, 3 months road tax 60k miles up -
25 quid. Gave it to sister in law for her birthday!


I take it you don't like her much
Car Auctions - Citroënian {P}
Hi Chris,

Sorry this isn't help with your question, but I'd consider changing your username - a long time ago in a forum not very far away a chap called Chris Watson (i.e. Chris W) became about as popular round here as a an unexplained and itchy rash after a week in Ibiza...

Easy enough to change, just go to My Settings on the top right of this screen.

Kind Regards,
MINI adventure in progress
Car Auctions - king arthur
If you only have limited mechanical knowledge of cars, I'd say be very careful. Go not just once, but several times to the same auction, to get to know what really goes on and what sections you'll find the best cars in. You probably should stick to cars that are sold with an auction warranty or on the engineer's report (although these are only just worth the paper they're written on in a lot of cases).

The best thing to remember when buying a car for yourself is, don't restrict yourself too much to one particular make or model or spec, you may end up waiting a long time before the right car comes along within your price range.
Car Auctions - Drivethru

I bought a Fiesta from auction a few years ago and it turned out to be a really good buy. Like you I had limited knowledge but I did exactly as Renault says you should. It took about 4 visits before I got what I wanted, mine was an ex-fleet car, 3 years old with 27,000 miles, full service history and a years MOT. It turned out to be a better buy than I could have got from any garage.

It is a bit scarey at first but if you check over the car and get as much info on it as you can you will be ok, at least you haven't got a salesman hassling you to buy it.
Car Auctions - Vansboy
Notice you're not being specific about make/model you fancy.
It's a good idea to be as clued up, as pos, on the cars you might consider.Things like engine sizes & trim levels can make £££££££££ of difference, saves you getting caught out.
Also don't take your cash with you, other than the deposit.The number of private buyers I've seen at auctions, giving no thought to the bundles of pound notes they wave around, just asking for trouble!!!
You could always ask a friendly trader, if you know one, to bid-n-buy on your behalf.
Don't forget to see how good a deal, the main dealer could work for you, on pre-registered or his new stock.There are plenty to choose from!!


Car Auctions - tpac
Heard a horror story once, mate of mine buys a Rover at auction, looked great etc etc, on the way home none of the electric windows worked! Further investigation revealed all the motors and other bits had been removed, along with the central locking mechanism. Cost him near on a grand to put it right, he contacted the auction in question stating it had obviously been rigged for the auction, they told him to run and jump, in other words tough!
Car Auctions - PB
We change cars often and I always buy from BCA auctions. I took a friend to Blackbushe recently, he bought an October 2002 2.0 Nissan Primera with satnav etc., in silver with 13k and just serviced. Looks brand new and cost him £8k.
You can't go too far wrong - nearly new cars are generally fleet/finance or manufacturer sales. Check for accident damage, and make sure the auctioneer doesn't have you bidding too high. Lots of private punters at Blackbushe who will take prices too high so don't go mad. Nearly new means still under warranty so don't worry about them too much mechanically. I'm amazed how many people open the bonnet and stare pointlessly at the engine rather than check for signs of bodywork repairs under there.
Definitely go for a trial auction, pick some cars and see how the bidding goes.
Good luck.
Car Auctions - mat
Well I bought my new car from auction at Blackbushe about 2 months ago. I got a 2000/W Nissan Primera 1.8s 5 door hatch which had done 53k miles with FSH and auction warranty for £4125 hammer price (about £4250 with premium). Perhaps not the deal of the century but about £500 cheaper than the great trade centre which was one of my price guides (the others being parkers, the telegraph web site (glass) and autotrader).

It took me about 5 visits to get my car - you have to be patient and flexible as well, although I was pickier than most.

Here are some of my observations and recommendations :-

* s**s law will ensure that your ideal car will either clash with another interesting one or it will be the last one of the day making you have to bid on your 2nd choices first.

* Take some time to check the car over before it goes through the hall. Check all over the body for accident damage and read the sheet on the window to make sure the pariculars are what you are expecting (declared milage, warranty etc). I\'m no car expert but I did read a book on car buying at auction some time ago and apart from looking for overspray, panel gap/fit and paint finish it mentioned checking the tyres. Are they all the same brand and if not why? This advice made me walk away from a fleet mazda with a different front tyre make to the others (all good tyres). It may have just had a puncture but the overspray under the wings and the replacement windscreen in addition made me think it might have been crashed. Some accident damage is less well hidden but can still catch you out. I saw a punto that looked ok but when you opened the hatch and looked at the rippled boot floor it was clear it had been rear ended. A new bumper had hidden that from the unwary.

* Bargains exist but often prices seemed to me to be a bit high compared to the valuations I expected. Maybe thats me being tight fisted but I do think some people go mad at auction. I mean is a 92 J reg Honda civic in clean condition really worth 650 plus?

* If your budget allows go for direct from fleet cars. Up to 3 years old with good history usually. Its harder to guess the history of older cars or \'general\' entry cars. I.e. are those screw holes on the dash from a careful drivers hands free phone kit or from a taxi drivers meter?

* If you want to look like an auction pro reach in through the drivers window as the car moves towards the hall and wobble the steering wheel. Everyone does it.

* On you first visit you will observe that no one appears to be bidding but there is furious bid action on every car. Only later will you start to spot the slight eyebrow wobble or finger twitch that pass for a bid. Then of course when you want to bid you will have to wave like a windmill to catch the auctioneers attention!

Hope this is of some use!

Car Auctions - MB
One thing to note is that it can be very time consuming. Unless you have a lot of spare time on your hands it may not be worth your while. See above - five visits to save £500 to buy a car with less come back if anything goes wrong - hardley seems worth it to me.

The best value at auction seems to be in nearly new car section or the super high milage ex-fleeters.
You can spend an auful lot of time in halls and come away with nothing. I'm no fan of the GTC, but if time is at a premuim it must make sense
Not M.B. - the great defender of car dealers
Car Auctions - eMBe {P}
Chris_W: You will just have to visit Blackbushe and see whether it makes sense for you to buy the cars in the price range you are able to afford. Apart from my first car, I have never bought from a dealer.

I am ex "M.B." . "MB" 's belief that I am a great defender of dealers is mistaken. However, I am a great defender of fairness and consumer rights. I am against rogue traders and poor management, but for good service at a fair price.

Most of my purchases have been at auction (nearly-new). A few have been from private sellers. I have never had any of my cars serviced by dealers.

eM.Be. # Note: {P} means I am DECLARING that my profile can be viewed.
Car Auctions - nick
A mate of mine back in the 80's bought an escort 1100 'as seen' at auction for his lad. It had been done up to look like an xr3i, including the xr dashboard with the extra gauges etc, but was sold as an 1100. When he got it home he found that the dash had simply been shoved in the car and nothing was connected! No comeback of course, but he learnt about looking over the auction driver's shoulder when the car is started.
Car Auctions - Aprilia
I have bought many cars at auction over the years - a long time ago when my father was in the trade and more recently for a friend who runs a small pitch in front of his repair 'shop.

If you are looking a nearly new 'popular' cars then the gains at auction are not that great. For example a 1 yr old, 13k Mondeo 2.0LX might go for 8k. At a 'proper' car supermarket like Available, Fords or Winsford etc., you will pay 8.5 - 9k max. For this extra money you will be able to examine in at your leisure, test-drive the car, have it inspected if you want and have full sale of goods protection (and probably get any little defects put right).
Car Auctions - Jolly
I'd have to agree with most of what has been said here, especialy hearing the car started up, and the interesting point about not getting such a huge saving on popular (tradable) motors. Some of the best buys I've had at auction have been on things like Fiats and Rovers especialy towards the end of the sale when most of the serious money gas gone home.

I would advise you to check out stuff like 'red keys' for the models you are interested in, A red Key for an Alfa is gonna cost close to a grand, which takes the shine off your Nearly New Bargain.

The other thing I would say is listen very closely to what the Auctioneer has to say about the lot and read the 'terms and conditions' at the desk.

I buy cars for my business use and Auctions are a wonderfull way of getting your money's worth especialy if you aren't a 'badge snob', the best part is suprising yourself what your going to drive home in. My favourite Auction Is probably Nottingham BCA and the best buys are usualy among those Lloyds Leasline motors.

The Auction is by no means a no-risker but it does offer some consumer protection unlike a private sale which leaves you high and dry. And if worst comes to worst just take your fresh lemon to another sale and some other mug will be as tempted as you and you'll get most of your cash back.



Value my car