How to Buy a Car at Auction for Auto Parts

Buying a new carSalvage vehicle auctions sell salvage cars, trucks, and all other types of automobiles to the highest bidder, and they take place either live or online. Salvage vehicles have limited value, usually because they were totaled in an accident or damaged by a flood. Vehicles like this will cost more to repair than what they are actually worth, so they are sold at auction and the “winners” usually take the vehicles apart to use or sell the parts. If you are hoping to purchase an auctioned vehicle for parts, then here are some pointers to consider:

  • Locate the auction. The first step towards buying a salvage car for parts is to locate a salvage auction! You can usually find this information online by using a search engine to find an auction in your area.
  • Get there early! If you arrive earlier than the crowd, you will be able to observe your competition and their bidding styles. If you try to have some friendly conversations, you may learn which vehicles they are looking at and why. You can also discuss their criteria for determining the value of a salvage vehicle, which can help you add to your knowledge about the subject.
  • Examine the goods completely. From the outside, the vehicle may look like a total wreck. But you might be surprised at what lies within. Check out each vehicle thoroughly to try to determine which parts are usable.
  • Verify the auctioneer’s claims. The auctioneer may not lie, but he or she will try to portray the vehicle as positively as possible in order to get the highest price. So trust what he or she says, but always verify the information to find out the truth.
  • Have control over your emotions. It is not hard to find yourself in a bidding war with someone else. Before you place your initial bid, make sure that you know an estimate of the value of the vehicle and how much you are really willing to pay. You may win a bidding battle, but if you pay higher than what the vehicle is actually worth, then you did not really win.
  • Research ahead of time. Make sure you know what kinds of prices used vehicle parts are selling for, and what kinds of parts will sell at all.
  • Bring enough money. At most salvage auctions, you need to pay cash as soon as you win. Keep in mind that an auction bid is legally binding.

Above all, make sure your focus is clear and that you are using your best judgment. Do not allow yourself to be impulsive, especially on an item that the auctioneer seems especially keen to sell. We bid you good luck with your bids!

March 13, 2013 by Jamie Rettig