Image of a woman talking to a car salesman for an article on moneysmart about buying cars on auction

Buying Cars on Auction? Get Great Advice Here

22/03/2013 • • by
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Buying cars on auction? Get Great Advice Here: Cars have become an indispensible part of modern life. They cart us around from home to work and back again. They help us get to where we need to go and do what we need to do. Cars are so intertwined with our daily lives that it would be rather tough to think of life without them. While it certainly is great to have your own car, it’s no secret that cars are expensive.  Notably there’s the ever-mounting petrol price in addition to other routine maintenance expenses involved in the upkeep of a vehicle. These are things that make the owning of a car a costly experience.  The biggest expense however is obviously the actual price tag attached to the vehicle. In South Africa, cars are relatively expensive and for a large portion of the country, they remain an unattainable financial luxury. The steep costs involved in purchasing a car in South Africa are partly responsible for the popularity of buying cars on auction. Buying cars on auction is an often-unconsidered way of finding a great deal on a vehicle. That being said however, there are certain things you should always be aware of before making that bid so that you aren’t caught in a deal that seems much better than it really is.  Following these tips will help anyone wanting to buy cars on auction: Get to know the process. Anyone interested in buying cars on auction should get familiar with the auction process itself. Having a solid understanding of how the process actually works will greatly help to ensure your auction experience is a successful one. moneysmart tip: Before making a bid go to a couple of auctions with the sole purpose of getting to know how they work. Inspect the vehicle. You are generally permitted to view and inspect the vehicle before the auction takes place. It’s important to go to the viewing and make sure that you are fully aware of the state of the vehicle you’re interested in. moneysmart tip: If you’re not that knowledgeable about cars, take a friend or relative with who is. They can help to explain any uncertainties you may have about the vehicle in question. Don’t forget the “voetstoots” clause. Remember that any car purchased at an auction will be bought “voetstoots”. This means that you’re buying the car as is. Any defaults or damages will be your responsibility. This is why it’s so important to go inspect the vehicle before the auction takes place. Newer is often better. Because of the “voetstoots” clause, it’s worthwhile bidding on newer models of cars. The newer the vehicle the fewer problems it will probably have. This is only a general rule of thumb and each vehicle should be considered individually.  Check the odometer. This is a good general tip when buying any vehicle, on auction or otherwise. Make sure you check that the mileage is exactly as it’s ben stated or advertised. Any discrepancies are possibly an indication of other issues and should be questioned. Compare. Compare. Compare.  Once you’ve found a car you’re interested in, it will be helpful to check around online and at second-hand car dealerships how much a similar vehicle make and model sells for. Knowing how much the car goes for will give you an idea of the maximum amount you should be bidding. moneysmart tip: Websites like AutoTrader http://www.autotrader.co.za/) and AutoJunction (http://www.autojunction.co.za/) are great places to compare vehicle prices.

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