Are Auto Auctions a Good Deal?
Are Auto Auctions a Good Deal?
How to Get the Best Deal on a Used Car
If you want to buy a used car in Texas, you may automatically think about going to a local dealership. But is a dealership truly the better deal?
Perhaps we at Public Auto Auctions are a bit biased, but we have serious evidence on our side that suggests an auto auction is often the better deal.
Used car deals depend on a few things. 5 things to be exact.
A great to check the market value of a make and model is with Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Market Range. We think you can save at an auction, but by how much?
When you go to a dealership, a used car may be in range of that fair value assessment or not. At an auction, bidding starts low, allowing you to score a great deal, then rises into fair market ranges, and, if the competition is fierce, can rise to overvaluing the car.
Set a budget and stick to it! And go in with realistic expectations. Depending on the condition report of the vehicle, the popularity of the brand, mileage, repairs needed, etc. it becomes easier to estimate how much the car will likely go for.
However, you can expect to pay less, on average, for cars sold at auction in Texas, than cars sold at a dealer! By between 20-60%!
Here’s an example:
Take a 2007 Toyota Camry in fair condition with 121,000 miles. Kelley Blue Book would value it at around $4,000. At a dealer, there is the dealer’s markup to add on to whatever they bought the car for wholesale. That was likely less than fair market value. The dealer fixes a few things, maybe, then marks it up to perhaps a $5,000 or $6,000.
At Public Auto Auctions, you may pay just $3,000 or even less!
2. Condition of the Car
You want to pay what the car is worth. If it’s in poor condition, even if you are an enthusiastic restorer of cars, you won’t pay for what it will be, but for what it is now.
Many used cars may have been in accidents, have high mileage, or require repairs.
Our inventory of used vehicles gives you a condition report complete with a letter grade. We don’t hide things from you. We include carfax, our assessment, recommendations, if it’s running or not, the works!
Remember, it’s always, always, ALWAYS a good idea to inspect a vehicle before bidding.
A dealer’s description may be more favorable than real, or may negotiate prices based on perceptions of the car, rather than the facts.
Underpaying is never a bad thing for buyers. But overpaying is a nightmare. When you find a make, model, and year you love, check the fair market value, and set a budget.
Is it worth the stress, anxiety, and effort of competing with others for a car? Well, yes and no. If you’re disciplined, have inspected and set your budget, it definitely is.
Don’t be caught up by intense bidding. Even if you found your dream car, the advantage of bidding can turn into overpaying. Again, we strongly advise that you set a reasonable budget.
The excitement of bidding and potentially winning (hence a more competitive attitude than when negotiating at a dealer) can drive people to overvalue a car, truck, or boat.
Our bids are limited to $25 increases. Be prepared to lose bids. On select cars, there is a “buy now” option with a purchase amount.
Smart bidding, even amid competition, can lead to a great deal! Take a look at our auction calendar to prepare for your next bid.
Most auctions charge fees, including us here in Kyle, Texas. Include those in your budget. Those fees WON'T offset getting a great deal, however.
Public Auto Auctions lists all our fees up front, so you aren’t surprised by anything.
We require a $300 deposit from the winner. You have 4 working days to pick up your purchased vehicle. After 4 working days, we will charge a $25 per day storage fee.
We also had a handy-dandy list of FAQs. 😎
5. Used Car Selection
Auto auctions usually have a limited selection of used cars. At publishing, 120 vehicles were on our lot, and that varies from time to time.
While it’s true that other dealers may have larger selections, that doesn’t mean they have the deals. Our selection is wide, with more than 40 makes of vehicles including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats.
Here in Texas, at Public Auto Auctions, the process is simple, from finding a car, to inspection, to bidding, to getting a fantastic deal on your new set of wheels!