Considering Buying a Used Car?
Read time 7-8 mins
Buying a used car at auction can be difficult. They are the third biggest household purchase, and this creates an emphasis on the need to bid with confidence.
Here at William George & Co, we have recognised some of the potential pitfalls which online used car bidders can fall into and have created this guide to help you bid with confidence.
Before you bid on a vehicle, make sure you have used this checklist, so you have a greater understanding of how to bid for a vehicle in an auction.
1) Check the vehicle details on the DVLA website.
In the vehicle description, you will be able to find information such as the vehicle’s license plate. With that information, you can log in to the GOV.UK website and check the license plate with their database which is connected to the DVLA. For more info check here.
With this information, you will be able to find out information such as:
- Vehicle Status – if the vehicle is taxed.
- Tax – when the tax is due.
- MOT – when the MOT expires.
- Year of Manufacture – when the vehicle was manufactured.
- Date of registration – When the vehicle was registered.
This information can enable you to obtain great insights into the vehicle and can help you to make an informed decision as to whether or not you want to bid.
2) Carefully read the description of the vehicle.
The vehicle’s description will be one of your greatest assets for judging the suitability of the vehicle you’re contemplating a bid on.
It’s essential that the description is thoroughly read and then compared against the visual images of the vehicle. The aim here is to ensure that what you have read about the vehicle is backed up by accompanying visual images.
If there are any discrepancies or any issues which you have found, then get in touch with the auction house and tell them.
It would not be beneficial if you bid with a doubt in your mind. If there is further information that you need then it’s vital that you ask for it.
William George & Co actively review descriptions of their lots in auction to ensure they match with the images and this helps to reassure our bidders that the lot they are viewing is genuine. We also provide our vendors with templates to help guide them. An example of a description template we use can be found here.
3) If you can, view the vehicle.
Viewing a vehicle which is currently in auction is one of the best ways to understand what it is that you may be bidding on. You will be able to get up close to the lot and ask any questions to the vendor to help reassure you about what you’re bidding on.
Auction houses such as William George & Co. allow our bidders to view lots up to 24 hours before the end of an auction. This provides ample time for our bidders to see the lot in question and evaluate it if it’s something they want to bid on.
If you want to request a viewing, the best way is to contact the auction house or the auctioneer.
4) Review your budget.
It’s important to understand the way auctions are performed and how they can impact your budget as a bidder.
Auctions may incur fees to the bidder and it’s important that you can take them into account as they are added in the post-auction stage.
You can get an idea of the fees involved by contacting the auction house or reading the important information.
William George & Co display your obligations for the lots and also in the important information section of the auction. The aim of this is to inform our bidders about the fees which they will be subject to if they win an item.
The bidder can, therefore, work this into their bidding strategy and not face the prospect of hidden fees being added to their final price.
5) Read the Terms and Conditions.
The terms and conditions outlay the responsibilities of the auction house, vendor and bidder.
It’s important to read the terms and conditions so you can understand the role of each party involved in the auction. The terms and conditions will be used to mediate any dispute and due to this, it’s imperative that bidders read them.
William George & Co display their terms and conditions in each of our auctions and this is to help reassure our bidders that you can bid with confidence when bidding on Vehicles, Luxury Watches, Art, Jewellery and more.
If you want to see what it's like to see a car in auction or if you're looking for a used car then click on the link below.
If you're unsure how to bid for a car in auction then check our guide: How to bid for a used car in auction.