Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Secrets to Getting Cheap Cars

You may have heard about the incredible deals to be had on seized cars. Auctions such as government auctions provide savings up to 95% in some cases. Buying a car at a government car auction is easy once you know what you are doing. With 10,000s of vehicles sold each week, finding the right vehicle at the right price is relatively straightforward.

When you first think about buying about seized cars, auctions are usually the best way to go. Many times, people think that dealers are given priority and hear about the auctions first, but there are many government auctions that are open to the public.

Most used government vehicles are usually about 2-3 years old, and come with full service records. These cars typically have low mileage, approximately 25,000 -40,000 and lots of them still have factory warranties that can be transferred.

Here are some tips to buying seized cars - auctions need to be planned in advance:

Secret #1 - Do your homework

Decide on the make and model of the vehicle you want to buy. Most times, the auction will have a listing of all the available cars and there are many online resources for this. Take note of the VIN and decide how much you are willing to pay for this particular vehicle. It is good to pick out more than one, in case the one you are looking at gets sold.

Secret #2 - Vehicle Inspection

On the day of the auction, it's best to get there a couple of hours early. Generally, most auction sites are huge, so it will take you a while to go through it all and locate the vehicle you are interested in. Don't worry if you can't find it at first. There will be auction consultants there to help you. Most auctions offer a complimentary "Carfax" report or similar for vehicle history and title status check.

Secret #3 - Successful Bidding Strategies

When you arrive at the auction, you should be given a guide that lists the rules for bidding. Be sure to read and follow the instructions. As previously mentioned, you should already have a price in mind for the car you want to bid on. You can also talk to the auction consultant to find out what they think the expected price may be. Many vehicles will have a reserved price. Remember that once you have placed a bid you cannot take it back. A good rule of thumb for how much to pay for a car is to research the "bluebook". In general you should try not to pay much more than the bluebook listing.

Secret #4 - Completing the purchase

If you are a successful bidder, you will need to take your identification to the payment office. Some auction houses will allow a 10% or so down payment with the balance payable within 2 days. Others will expect full payment at the time of purchase. Check on these details before you place your bid. Also, most auctions charge a 5% premium on top of the purchase price, as a commission. All that's left now is to complete your paperwork.

While you can expect to see some great deals at a government auction, it is a good idea to attend one as an observer first to get a feel for how things work. Do your research and plan ahead and you will be successful at getting your next car - cheap!


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