Arriving at the Auction
Arrive at the auction early, to give yourself plenty of time to look around the vehicles. There should be an information sheet showing that tells you about the car you are interested in. You should take particular note of how many owners the car has had as well as the mileage.
Don't be put off if you see a lot of other people interested in the car - after all, whilst its true that only one person can buy the car, why shouldn't that one person be you?
Types of Sales
Most cars will be auctioned in one of two ways. The first is 'as seen' which means that you buy the car exactly as you see it - pretty obvious! You should inspect the car closely, checking for any damage such as large scratches or cracks in the windscreen. Also check the tyres, as these can be expensive to replace.
The second type of sale is 'sold with trial'. Depending on the auction, the meaning of this can differ, but essentially it means that the buyer would be allowed say one hour after the end of the auction to return the car with any major mechanical defects, for example engine problems or gearbox problems.
Its often a good idea to look out for cars from main dealers that have been taken in part exchange. This is because the cars are there to make room on the forecourts and are often not being sold simply to make a profit.
Once you've done all the initial checking, you should attend the auction. Remember, once bidding starts, its easy to get carried away - don't be tempted to bid more than you can afford. You can normally hear the engine start around the time of the auction, which is useful to identify whether the car starts from cold with no problems.
If all goes well, buying at auction should be a very quick and exciting way to bag your new car - and hopefully at a bargain price!
Police and Government Auction Sources UK is available as a PDF document that contains a username and password for immediate access to our members area, where you can access the websites, telephone numbers and locations for auction establishments all over the UK that deal with the items mentioned above. The auction sources are split into sections: