Should I Buy an Auction Vehicle?

Buying a car at an auction can potentially save you money, but it isn't for the faint of heart. You could find a hidden gem of a used car for cheap, but you'll likely have some stiff competition.

Auction Car Buying

Vehicles typically end up at auction if they don't sell elsewhere, but other cars like fleet vehicles and repo's end up there, too. Since some vehicles end up at public auctions toward the end of their life, you need to be careful to inspect the car you're interested in carefully – you could find a deal, but buyer beware. To help with this, it's a good practice to bring a friend with you who knows vehicles.

Should I Buy an Auction Vehicle?Be sure to look for a public auction, since some are for dealers only. These days you can also find many auctions online, but photos can often be deceptive, so if you're shopping for a used vehicle at an auction, it's a best practice to go in person, especially if you're new to the process.

Different auctions have different rules, so the process for buying used cars at auctions can vary, and it's a good idea to visit the auction a few times before you're ready to buy to get the hang of the pace and atmosphere. It's easy to get outbid quickly – in seconds, so be prepared.

Additionally, at some auctions, you can only pay in cash. Also, be sure to check the guarantees, if any, since most auction vehicles are sold as-is. Most auctions allow you to see what's up for sale beforehand, make sure you go in with a plan, and only bid on vehicles that you truly want.

Buying a Used Car Elsewhere

If the auction process seems like a bit much but you still want to save money by getting the cheapest car you can, we want to help. An auto loan may be right up your alley if you know how to save. Here are a few tips to getting the most affordable loan payments for you:

Put down as much as possible. If you had a lump sum of money set aside for a vehicle at auction, you can use this as a down payment, or part of one. Remember that the more money you put down the less money you have to borrow, and lower your payments will be on an auto loan, and the less you pay in interest charges.

Get the shortest loan term. Balancing your loan term and your monthly payment is a good way to save money overall on a car loan. If you pay the most you can afford for the shortest time possible you pay less in interest charges, which can sometimes add hundreds or thousands of dollars to an auto loan.

Choose an affordable vehicle, not cheap. You get what you pay for, so in some cases, it's a better investment to spend a little more now for a longer running or more sound car.

Stick to a budget. If you were planning to spend a certain amount at auction that you know is too low for the car lot, find something as close to that budget as possible and make a large down payment.

Ready for an Auto Loan?

If you need to find a car loan and decide an auction isn't the place for you, but you don't know where to turn, let us help. At The Car Connection, we work with a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that are signed up with subprime lenders. These lenders know how to work with borrowers in many unique credit situations. Let us connect you with a local dealer, simply fill out our fast, free auto loan request form.


Auto Insurance

Find insurance in your area.

Financing with The Car Connection

At The Car Connection, our goal is to remove the challenges of getting financed for a vehicle. Through technology, flexible financing options and exceptional customer service, we want to give you the power to control your car-buying experience.

  • All Credit Types
  • No Obligation
  • Easy and Secure
Get Started