How to buy a car at auction
LONDON — December is usually a quiet time for used car sales followed by an explosion of interest in January. This seasonal roller-coaster for demand affects used car prices, which savvy car buyers can use to their advantage.
Buying a used car in December rather than waiting until January could save enough money to cover the cost of Christmas, according to car price analysis by the UK’s leading independent experts on car and motoring
costs, CAP Automotive.
Make Christmas free? CAP crunched the numbers on how used car prices change at the turn of the year to see whether buying in December rather than waiting until January could result in savings.
According to the British Money Advisory Service 2013 Christmas Survey, UK adults spend an average the equivalent of M8779 each celebrating Christmas. CAP looked at YOU can make big savings by buying at auction. And you don’t have to be an expert to do so. Of course, buying at auction can be a nervewracking experience. 1. Don’t buy on your first visit If you’ve never been to an auction before, it’s best to sample the atmosphere and get a feel for how things work before you get involved in any bidding. You can also use this opportunity to ask questions of auction staff. 2. Do your homework Search for a particular make, model or type of car by location to make sure you’ll find what you’re looking for when you arrive. 3. Set a budget Research the going rate for the type of car you’re interested in, then set yourself a budget. And make sure you factor in buyers’ fees, which increase with the amount you spend. 4. Go during the week Most of the auctions worth attending take place during the working day, so you might have to take a day off work. 5. Arrive early Leave yourself plenty of time to look over the cars you’re interested in. Check for any blemished bodywork, torn interior trim or crash damage. 6. Bring along a friend An extra pair of eyes is always useful. And if you don’t have much mechanical know-how, make sure those eyes belong to someone who does. 7. Check the paperwork Ask to see the V5C logbook of any car that you’re interested in. And also ask whether the car comes with a service history or MoT so you can confirm the name of the seller, their address and the vehicle information. 8. Check the terms and conditions historic used car price changes over the festive period, to find makes and models that were valued at M9000 less in December 2013 than in January 2014.
The results showed that acting before Christmas can actually save car buyers enough to make Christmas free.
‘Genuine savings’ CAP’s retail and consumer specialist, Philip Nothard, explained: “For many of us the