Have you watched reality TV shows about auctions and been inspired to give it a try? As a first-time bidder you should make sure you know a thing or two about cars to ensure you are getting a good deal.
If you know a car expert, it is probably best that you take them along. Start by viewing all the cars that are on display the afternoon before, when auction venues allow for inspection of the cars.
Once you have spotted the car you would like to drive off with, make sure you set a budget — the maximum amount you're willing to bid on this car on auction day. While you're thinking about money, don't forget that VAT is not included in auction prices, and needs to be added to the final price, along with any other fees.
If you don't know how to spot a good deal, then it may be a good idea to attend a car auction as an observer. This is absolutely free, and you don't have to register. Once you have learnt a thing or two, and seen how others at the auction place their bids, the next step is to register as a buyer and go to the next car auction in your area.
Registering will usually involve paying a refundable deposit — but this deposit can also be used towards the purchase price of the car.
Check out upcoming WesBank auctions and catalogues here.
When visiting an auction, keep the following tips from WesBank in mind…
1. Shop with your budget, and then bid:
Make sure that you budget carefully, and don't bid over the amount you have set aside. You can pay either in cash, or you can obtain car finance. This will be available on the floor through a registered finance and insurance (F&I) representative from WesBank. You will go through the car loan approval process and the finance is subject to approval by the bank.
2. Know the value before you bid:
Have an idea of the used car market value by visiting a dealer or checking out prices online for similar makes and models. If you don't know much about car values, ask a friend for help or compare the prices on a couple different online sites to get a better indication.
3. Does the car need some work?
If you are not a trained mechanic and have very little knowledge on how to repair cars, then you need to be wary when inspecting the vehicle. Having someone knowledgeable to work out how much it would cost to repair the vehicle, if it is in need of some care, certainly helps. The car at auction is sold as is; that means it is your duty to repair it. If you're looking for cheap transportation, make sure the car you plan to bid on doesn't need expensive repairs.
4. Check the VIN number:
You can visit the car brand's dealership and supply them with the VIN number, to check the vehicle's service and repair history. Remember that you can't test drive the car before you buy it, so it is worth doing some research on the car's history before you place your bid. All the cars at the auction will have their engines switched on so you can hear whether they sound healthy.
5. Don't let the excitement of bidding get the better of you:
It's easy to get caught up in the bidding process and spend more on a car than you planned to. When you have reached your budget limit, stop bidding. Be ready to walk away when the bidding goes over your set price.
You may have spotted a great deal in the buyers' catalogue, but don't assume you are the only one. Try not to pin all your hopes on one car. Make sure that you have a couple options on your list just in case another bidder rides off into the sunset in the car you had your heart set on.