Help - Auction Buying? - Phoenicks
Thinking of chopping in my Mk3 Golf Gti 8v and taking the cash and buying a car from an auction for about £4-£5k.

I've done sone research over what to look for but i need some help. I'm going to use Blackbushe auction as its nearest to me but i'm a bit stuck about what day i should go (i.e i've heard a big lease company does their auction days on the 1st and 3rd friday of each month) as i'm looking for something a bit 'cooky'- like a honda legend coupe, or a honda prelude. Something with a bit of speed but a lot of refinement and is a little bit different. I;ve checked out BCA website but i didnt know if anyone had any personal experience of auctions and what i can expect to get for £4-£5k?

All help greatly appreciated.
Help - Auction Buying? - sean
Get yourself a copy of "Used Car Buyer".

HJ writes there now, too.

Lots of auction advice and it's very appropriate.
Help - Auction Buying? - Phoenicks
I already buy it every month - thats what got me thinking. However, i was wondering if anyone had any personal experience of buying at auctions and any little secret tips. UCB is good but only has a very small amount of info.
Help - Auction Buying? - Hugo {P}
I would suggest that you go on the days you would think of buying and just watch and learn for the first few days.

See the cars going through and get a feel for the way the bidding works.

Help - Auction Buying? - sean
Very good advice to do a few trial runs.


Writing as someone who has used auctions a good bit, the trial is nothing like the live run, when you are bidding.

You're flushed with adrenaline. It's over in what feels like seconds. Then you sense reality and think "what have I done?" eitherpositively or not.

So, go early. Make a list of a few cars you like. Check all you can. listen when they are started up. Look for smoke, listen for noises. watch similar cars go through to ascertain likely price.

Then, SET YOURSELF A MAX PRICE, and don't go over it. The auctioneer may take bids from the back wall, the rubbish bin or the geezer in the back row who never moved a muscle. If it didn't sell, it's back on the block again tomorrow, so who cares?

You do, if you've been "run up" to pay more than you should.
If you go often, you will see the same cars go through often until one day a private punter over bids and buys it.
Help - Auction Buying? - Phoenicks
good advice - thanks very much.

Anyone got ideas of what sort of stuff goes for £4-£5k?
Help - Auction Buying? - colin-e
I don't know about your local auction, but for £4-£5k you are looking at 3 year old Vauxhall Astras. Not exactly cooky!

Why not look out for a classic / sports car auction? That sort of budget would find you any number of Mitsubishi GTOs, Porsche 928s, or similar. What about a nice Jaguar XJS cabriolet, or maybe something French? A Citroen DS perhaps? (Be prepared to get your hands dirty though!!)
Help - Auction Buying? - king arthur
The auction site that Used Car Buyer features is BCA Paddock Wood in Kent...just in case anyone was interested in that little snippet of information. Good sale on Tuesdays, and one day you might just spot yours truly in one of the photos!
Help - Auction Buying? - Steve G
It will be difficult to buy anything 'cooky' at auction for £4-5k thats come from a lease company.
If you prepared to drive a Saxo VTR or some other small hot hatch you might get lucky .... (I bought a Alfa Romeo 145 2.0 Cloverleaf 1999/V 50K for £3850 last November at Manheim Wimbledon for example).
The cars you mention are likely to be found in the small ads which in some ways has benifits -you can drive them first e.t.c

If your a first time auction go'er take the advice given so far -go for a dummy run, check out the rules on deposits/payments and buyers fees (these are quite significant for private buyers).

Let us know how you get on...
Help - Auction Buying? - smokie
Sean's advice is good, I've bought privately at auctions 4 times now. However I find that it is impossible to tell when you are being bid up, and quite frankly so long as I'm getting a deal I don't much mind.

My technique was to have two prices fixed in my mind. My target price, then the price which I was prepared to pay. That seemed to help avoid the adrenaline rush which would cause me to pay too much for something. The problem is it all happens very quickly and you don't have time to think during the bidding.

Blackbushe is my local, but I think you'd find prices a little cheaper at one of the venues less popular with the general public (I've bought twice in Preston and once in Nottingham). But it takes time, to go and learn the ropes.

Blackbushe generally has a few fleet sales each Friday. I've always bought ex-fleet as usually if the car looks OK they also have a service history.

There are no Preludes or Legends in the catalogues for Blackbushe at the minute, but there's a W-reg 3.5 Legend at Paddock Wood tomorrow, 125k miles, guide price £5400 - £6800 and a couple of Preludes - a P reg 2.2 VTI Coupe, 73k, £3350 - £4150 and an S reg 2.2 VTI Coupe 94k £3175 - £3975
Help - Auction Buying? - Phoenicks
Thanks very much everyone for these bits and pieces, especially the last one smokie - nice one. gives me an idea about preludes etc. very helpful. After looking into it further i'm a little nervous about the potential of inflated prices that might occur owing to it being a school holiday and the details about family's going and bumping the private buyer cars up. So i might just be waiting till september (end).

Help - Auction Buying? - king arthur
The problem with setting your heart on buying a particular car such as a Legend coupé at auction is, you'll spend so much time going to auctions looking for one, that when you eventually find the one you think you want, all the rules about setting a maximum price and sticking to it will go out of the window. You'll just decide to have it at any price and you'll end up paying as much for it as you would have if you'd bought from a dealer, or through the pages of Autotrader.

If you're going to auctions looking to buy bread-and-butter cars like Mondeos and Vectras, you'll usually find one cheap, but going looking for anything a bit specialised, well you'd better have plenty of time on your hands!
Help - Auction Buying? - hootie
Just purely out of interest, as I'm not thinking of going to one, what kind of costs do you have to add on, over and above the price you've bid?

Is it flat fees or percentage of the 'hammer' price?

I imagine sometimes private buyers have a shock.
Help - Auction Buying? - king arthur
You get charged an additional "Buyer's premium", or "indemnity fee", which is insurance against the car turning out to be stolen, still on HP, or an undeclared write-off. It's usually a stepped rate, according to the range the bid is in, e.g. BCA's is something like £95 for hammer price of £500 - £999, £115 for hammer price of £1000 - £1500, and so on. The only exception is for their "Blue Light" police car sales, where it's a flat 5% of the hammer price. Smaller independent auctions usually have lower premiums than this.


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