28 February, 2018

How to bid for a used car in auction

Here at William George & Co, we have recognised how unknowable used online car auctions can be and have created this guide to help bidders understand what to look out for and also, how they work so bidders can bid with confidence.

How many used cars are sold in auction?

To give you an idea of how big the vehicle auction is, here are some facts and figures from The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA).

NAMA reported that each year, over 1.5 million vehicles are sold in auction every year. This equates to around £43bn in sales.

This market is made up of different people such as:

  • Franchised dealers.
  • Independent dealers.
  • Major fleet and leasing companies.
  • Retail dealers.
  • Private buyers.

The size of the used car auction market in the UK is bigger than that of the retail clothing industry which highlights how popular they are among online bidders.

Advice before a used car auction

Before you decide to bid/register in an online vehicle auction, here are some things you can do:

1) Narrow Your Interest

What you will find in used car online auctions are numerous vehicles which can overwhelm a bidder who is not completely convinced of what they need.

Before you register for the auction, you can take a detailed look at the catalogue, and by doing this, you can narrow your interests to a few lots. This will enable you to start your research and develop a potential bidding strategy.

2) Flexibility

Finding the perfect car in an auction can be a challenge. There are so many factors to take into account such as year, price, mileage, colour, engine and more.

Being flexible can help to increase your chances of finding a vehicle which is suitable for you and also at a price you can deal with.

3) There’s time, don’t rush

Online used car auctions usually last over a period of a few days so you will not need to unleash your full bidding strategy on the day of the auction.

Instead, you can watch how the vehicle progresses throughout the auction and then bid accordingly.

Tip – Some auctions, like William George & Co, allow for a maximum bid to be placed and this means you will not need to watch the auction as bidding is done on behalf of you.

4) Do Your Homework

After researching a vehicle, you’ll get a general idea as to how much it is worth. This will aid you when developing your bidding strategy.

It’s important to remember not to get lost in a bidding war which can lead to you going over your estimate for a lot which may not be worth what you’re paid. Due to this, it’s vital that you are consciously aware of how much you are bidding on items and that you stay within your means.

What should I do before I bid for a used car?

If you’re still unsure about how to bid for a vehicle then read out our checklist which explains what to be aware of before you bid on a vehicle.

How to bid for a used car in auction