Bid for a bargain
If you’re ready to do your research and buy on the spot, there are tasty deals on repossessed or ex-fleet cars
PSSST. Wanna save big money on a late model used car? Say, $90,000?
Give or take a few thousand dollars, that’s how much one astute buyer saved on a 2015 Ferrari F12 berlinetta, with 11,000km on the clock, bought at a recent Pickles luxury car auction in Sydney for $530,000.
At a dealer, the same car would cost about $620,000 according to industry pricing guidebooks. New, the F12 is the priciest Fezza of them all, at $690,745 plus on-roads.
It’s not just supercar shoppers who can save serious cash buying at auction.
Pickles auctioneer and valuer George Abounader also puts thousands of Corollas, Camrys, Commodores, Hyundais and HiLuxes under the hammer each year on behalf of local councils, government departments, finance and leasing companies.
These cars are typically base or mid-spec automatics, two to four years old, with registration and often relatively low kilometres (20,000-50,000). The savings can be substantial compared with buying the same vehicle from a dealer.
all, dealers buy stock at auctions too. The same cars end up on used car lots with a markup of several thousand dollars.
Let’s take a hypothetical guidebook example, the ubiquitous Toyota Camry Altise. White, of course. A 2014 model with 30,000km will cost you $19,000-$20,000 at a dealer. The same car at auction will fetch $15,000-$16,000.
A 2014 VF Holden Calais 3.6-litre V6, perhaps the exAfter mayoral chariot, with the same kilometres is worth about $30,000 at a dealer; at auction, it’s about $25,000.
“Buying at auction, you can save thousands of dollars on these types of cars,” Abounader says. “Most will have a few bumps and bruises, but fleet and government cars usually have a logbook, which will tell you who owned the car, and service records. If the car still has some manufacturer’s warranty left on it, that’s transferable to you as the new owner.”
Pickles puts a list of cars at each of its auctions online at pickles.com.au in the week leading up to the auction. There are photos of each car, details such as kilometres travelled, and a condition report, which is basically a walk-around that identifies battle scars such as dings, chips and scrapes.