Guide to Selling a Car Through an Auction

March 15, 2018Car Tips and Tricks
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

Do you plan on selling a car through an auction? If you cannot find a buyer for your car or you believe that you can get more money if you sell at an auction, then you should do it. We want to bring auction selling closer to you and help you sell your auto successfully. Auctions are more common than you believe and there are different kinds. Usually, the first thing that comes to your mind is bidding for old-fashioned and rare models, but the truth is that all kinds of models are sold through auctions. We have provided some tips on how to sell a car at an auction.

Some people don’t like the idea of selling a car through an auction. This is because, in the past, auctions weren’t a good way to sell a car for a good amount of money. Companies or some institutions that wanted to change their fleets of cars usually sold them at auctions because they weren’t chasing a profit – they just wanted to get rid of the vehicles. Nowadays, learning how to sell your car at an auction will give you an amazing option to both earn money and to have a fun experience. Here’s how.

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Selling a Car Through an Auction Is Quick and Efficient

Contrary to the belief of many people, an auction is a very good way to sell a used or a new car for a good price. It’s easy and hassle-free. There’s an opportunity to get a full value for the auto because of a large number of potential buyers. You won’t lose any money on advertising and on trade-in deals, and, maybe the biggest pro is that you won’t lose time talking on the phone with people that are interested. In just a few days, you can find a buyer and hand them the keys.

How Much Do Vehicles Sell for at Auction? The First Step Is To Determine the Price

This is one of the most important parts of trading your cars at an auction. You need to establish an appropriate price for your vehicle to be sold and there are numerous things you need to take into account.

First of all, the age of your automobile matters. This speaks a lot of the car. Usually, older vehicles covered more mileage than the newer ones, and they are in worse condition. This isn’t necessarily the case, but age is certainly a factor you need to consider when it comes to the value. Moreover, check the condition of the car, or wear if you like, as well as its design. If a car has a lot of custom parts, don’t set the cost to be steep. Original bits and pieces are what will raise the value.

Another important factor is rarity. If you are not a car enthusiast and you don’t know much about the model you drive, make sure you find someone who can estimate the car’s worth. An expert should tell you whether the model is rare or not because it is not the same if you are auctioning a special edition that was made in 50 examples or a mass-produced car. Keep in mind that rare models have a bigger value.

Be realistic when setting the cost. Honesty is what sells the car, not the fluff words. If you’re having problems with determining the figure, use Kelley Blue Book. It’s a company that helps with the valuation of new and used cars.

A man next to his car checking the tire
Check all the flaws of your car while you’re home

Who Can Buy My Auto If I Sell it at Auctions and How Do You Auction a Car?

Thousands of people visit auctions every month. Some of them even go to different states to attend auctions. It’s like watching one of the best car shows. There are collectors and folks who buy several cars, fix their issues, and then sell them for a bigger price. You can also find some of the best import cars, as well as best cars for off-road driving, the best cars for women, the best cars for city driving, and all the vehicles you see on the TV shows about cars.

If you wish to auction your car, you can have a few attempts, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the amount you like the first time. It’s also very important to choose the right auction. The model you own might go better in some other city or a state, than in the one that’s nearest to your home.

Sell Your Car at Auction Physically

If you’re auctioning a vehicle that is still operable and has no malfunctions, it’s time for some detailing. Potential buyers will look at your vehicle and it will be photographed, so make sure it’s clean and polished. Learn how to remove dog hair from a car if you have a pet, how to clean a steering wheel, and how to clean seat belts. It’s all about details.

On the other hand, the most efficient way to sell a damaged or inoperable car that is causing you driving stress is through public auctions. You will only lose time if you want to find a dealer or private buyer – it is not impossible, but we suggest you avoid it because you will lose patience eventually. Anyway, when auctioning a car at a public auction, you need to accept a lower figure. These kinds of auctions attract all kinds of people among which are buyers from scrap yards looking for a jackpot. Maybe someone who’s learning how to drive a car for beginners would want to buy your damaged car, just for practicing. They can just purchase one of the best car insurance for young drivers and hit all the famous routes in the USA with no fear.

You Could Be Selling a Car Through an Auction Online – It’s Very Popular

You can always find Internet auctions to sell your car. The procedure is rather easy, and you will figure it out on the go. The most important thing to remember here is that you have to be honest when you are describing your vehicle. Providing useful information about the auto can positively affect the price of the car and the best way to attract buyers is to post photos of your vehicle’s exterior and interior as well as any sports or parts of the car that are damaged. When you are taking photos, make sure you take one of the odometers, so that the buyers know how many miles the auto covered.

Just like with the auction companies, you will have to pay a small amount of money to get your car listed, whereas the auction site will take a percentage of the cost.

Does Your Vehicle Belong to Some Collection? If So, Sell a Car at Auction for Collectors

Will the classic model always win in the dilemma called classic cars vs modern cars? You should apply for the collector auction if you have an automobile that is collectible. It doesn’t have to be the president’s limo – a classic oldtimer or a rare model will do. The process is simple, and all you need to do is find a company that specializes in collector car auctions. They will explain to you what you need to do next, but we will just put it briefly here so that you have the basic idea. First of all, you will be given several forms to fill out, and you need to pay a consignment fee and send several pictures of your car. When auctioning a car with a company, you should bear in mind that they will take a percentage of the price, so, be sure to ask them about it to get a specific number.

Oldtimer cabrio
It’s not hard to find a good company for a collector auction

Why Would a Dealer Sell a Car at Auction?

Sometimes the dealers also trade vehicles at auctions. They do it mostly to make a quick profit and to get rid of vehicles that don’t fit in the inventory or they just don’t want them on the lot anymore. If it happens that some of their popular import cars are left in the dealership, and they can’t be sold to the regular public, they usually take those models and sell them at low prices. Those cars are in good condition or they have some minor issues. It could also happen that the dealer bought a car by bidding, and now it’s trading it to you. In that case, make sure you know what to do if you’re buying a car from a dealer who bought from an auction, but also what to do if scammed by a car dealership.

Two men shaking hands at the dealership
Buying an auto from a dealer on an auction can be a great deal

How Does an Auction Look?

Are you interested in what the auction will look like? Here’s a short explanation:

  • Contact the auction house and arrange with them the date and time when you can bring your auto.
  • Drive to them, give them the keys to your car, and sign an entry form.
  • You will set a reserve price when the technicians take a good look at the car. That’s the figure you won’t go below.
  • Your car will be parked on the lot and photographed.
  • You will pay a certain fee for having your car auctioned by the house you chose.
  • Make sure you have all the paperwork with you once you arrive, and that the title is in your name.
  • Once your car enters the auction room, people that are interested in buying your vehicle will bid against one another until the one with the highest offer wins.
  • If you accept that offer, the sale is done. If that figure doesn’t meet your expectations, you can try to make an agreement with the buyer.

Take a look at the video below to see an example of an automobile being sold for more money than it’s worth.

YouTube video

Can I Sell My Car at an Auction in Another State?

Of course! People even sell their cars at auctions in other countries. Those who love and follow all car events know what we’re talking about. If you wish, you can drive to that location. Another option is to prepare the car for shipping and to decide whether you want car transport on an open vs enclosed trailer. An open trailer is a perfect way to move a car to another state fast and cheap, while car shipping on an enclosed auto transport is better for the most expensive cars in the world. Use the help of a reliable car shipping company that will provide you with the top service and car shipping advice. A professional auto transport company will also provide you with both door to door auto transport to your home, and terminal to terminal car shipping. With them, auto transport to any location is like a breeze, and what’s better than starting an auction with good shipping.

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