You might consider car auctions as the preserve of dealers and others in the motor trade.
Whilst it’s true that car auctions are used extensively by the motor trade, selling a car at auction is very much open to the private individual. It’s a method worth considering compared to the time, expense and hassle of selling privately.
How Selling Your Car An Auction Works
Just like any other kind of auction, people bid for cars in the traditional manner. Once the bidding finishes, the highest bidder owns the car.
Approach your most local car auction company – online is usually the easiest way – and enter your car for auction. The auctioneer will take you through the process of entering it as a ‘lot’ and cataloguing it for a certain auction time and date. You take the car over to them in good time for it to be processed, photographed and entered.
On the day itself, your car will be auctioned. Assuming it sells, you’ll complete some paperwork, hand over the car documentation such as the V5C and within a few working days the funds will be with you usually by BACS, direct bank transfer or cheque. Another point to remember when selling your car at an auction is to make sure it is pristine condition, for more information about the factors that can determine the cost of the car visit our page on the factors that can change the price of the car.
Setting A Reserve Price For Your Car
You can usually opt to set a reserve price if you wish. This is the lowest amount the bidding has to reach before the car will sell, so protects you from having to let your car go for a too-low amount.
Some auction houses don’t allow reserves to be set on cars over a certain age limit. In these cases, their rule is the car sells to the highest bidder.
If your car does not reach the reserve price, the auctioneer may offer you the chance to negotiate a sale with the highest bidder. If you accept this, then you’ll have a one-to-one discussion with them to see if you can strike a deal.
Costs Involved When Selling Your Car At An Auction
The auctioneers will take a commission from the sale price which is deducted from the amount the car sells at the auction for. You’ll also pay an entrance fee and a small administration charge, and some houses charge if you wish to set a reserve price on the car.
You’ll also pay a ‘selling fee’ (as distinct from the commission they’ll take from the final sale price).
Other costs might include a fee for transporting your car to and from the auction if you specify this facility (where offered). If your car doesn’t sell and you wish to enter it for another auction, then the above fees will apply again, plus maybe a storage fee if you decide to leave your car with them between auctions.
Advantages Of Using An Auction To Car To Sell Your:
Speed – selling at an auction could prove faster than selling privately and is more convenient than selling to a dealer ‘face-to-face’ with the time taken to visiting them and enduring possible haggling.
Targeted Selling – it’s possible to enter auctions for certain groupings or types of car. This can apply if yours is of a certain type – a prestige sports car, say. That way buyers looking for specific types of cars are likely to be in attendance.
Secure and Safe – the financial transaction is handled by the auction house, so you don’t have to worry about funds clearing and fraud as you might, if you were selling privately or even direct to some motor traders.
Disadvantages Of Selling Your Car At Auction:
Time – can be long-winded compared to, for example, selling to an online dealer. There’s the time taken to go through the auction process – possibly more than once if your car doesn’t sell.
Costs – the auction company’s costs and commission on the sale can significantly reduce the final amount you make on your car. By comparison, an online dealer’s price is the final amount you’d receive and there aren’t usually any added costs.
Efficiency – compared to newer methods such as selling to online dealers, auctions are less attractive from a time, cost and efficiency viewpoint.
Auctions do offer a viable car selling option with relative speed being the main benefit. That said, they face tough competition from the newer methods such as online car dealers who offer a much faster process with usually no costs involved.