Auction Prices - Vin
In an earlier thread "Fleet Auctions", started by Steve G, the question was whether bargains can still be had at auction. In the thread, comments were made about auction prices versus car supermarkets. The implication was that prices are too similar for the hassle to be worthwhile. Figures of £250 to £500 difference were quoted (by HJ, no less).

Well, I've investigated using a website from a major car auction house which gives recent average prices cars reach at their auctions. I've compared these with the prices at a major trade centre car supermarket. Prices correct as of Fri 16th Nov. I chose Mondeo 1.8LX's as these are a good middle of the range vehicle. As part of the exercise, I decided that I would report each and every match between the two websites.

There were two matches, both 1998S.

One described on the trade centre website as 100K+ miles, Red, 3499
At the auction house, they have sold more than ten high milers, average mileage 101K, average price 2695

One described on the trade centre website as 64K miles, Green, 4599
At the auction house, they have sold more than twenty of these, average mileage 67K, average price 3316

So, those people who believe there aren't bargains to be had at auction, do you have any comments? I'm not trying to start an argument, I just wonder if I'm missing something here, and if I should be going to a good supermarket rather than the auction; I'm open to persuasion.
Re: Auction Prices - me
well you do have a lot longer to consider a particular car when not at an auction...

to be honest the last few months i've been surprized how good some dealer offers have been for changing...

it depends also whether u want a specific colour/gearbox/trim etc
Re: you pays your money ... - G Hall
As the saying goes, you pays your money and takes your choice;
horses for courses;
Re: you pays your money ... - Honest John
That's good research by Vin. The Auctionwatch prices don't include buyers premiums which for private punters would be about £150 on top. Yet the GTC is building more margin into its cars these days to cope with comebacks. I was surprised when GTC's buyer paid £6,900 (plus trade buyer's premium) for a 110k 98R Caddy Seville, then they put it up at £8,999 and got close to that for it. Reason for the margin was to have a cushion in case it blew its autobox or something like that on the buyer's way home and he backed it.

Re: you pays your money ... - T lucas
When i buy at auction i allways work on the proviso that 1 in 15 cars that i buy will have an unexpected large bill with it.Now that is painful enough, but spread across 15 cars its not quite so bad.When you only buy 1 with your hard earned and that expires expensivly on the way home, your £2500 2year old 100k Mondeo can soon become a £4000 2year old 100k Mondeo.
Re: you pays your money ... - David W

You've just put into words my thoughts on the issue. Someone has just asked me to possibly help them find a car very quickly. Time is limited for both the purchase and any post purchase paperwork hassle or unexpected repairs. I mean limited as in hours/days.

Yes the odd figures for an auction deal look good on paper but you are spot on that the dealer/mechanic can get out of the duds rather more easily than the private guy wanting his own car for the next three years.

You can average any losses over a few deals and I can repair the faults knowing the dodges(particularly on Citroens) and without labour costs.

Also the decision has to be made in 30 seconds without even knowing if the beast is decent to drive.

Re: you pays your money ... - Andrew Hamilton
I see the traders just bid at the auction without seeing the car start or ask the driver what he thinks. A few look under the bonnet but most just compare to book price and stick to it. When a car doesn't sell and comes round again later, interesting to see the same price reached again!
Re: you pays your money ... - Honest John
What Andrew describes is taking bids off the wall. The auctioneer simply makes up the bids until he gets to the reserve price, then pretends to take that as a provisional bid. Its standard practice.

Re: you pays your money ... - G
If a trader is selling a car - they often bid on it themselves (if they see another punter bidding) they run it up to a point where they're happy, then walk away shaking their heads. Class! Also standard practice.

Value my car