Why an Auction Isn’t the Best Place to Find the Most Affordable Cars
“Can I get a five hundred, five hundred…five hundred going once, twice, sold!” You’ve no doubt heard such rambling before. Auctioning, which is often the attention center of humour and pop culture references, has been around since ancient Babylon. So if you’ve given thought to picking up a car from an auction, you might feel confident that the long existence of auctions gives them a certain amount of credibility. This is true, but it doesn’t end there. Buying a vehicle from an auction may lead you to the car you always wanted, but it could also lead you to a dud. With that said, it’s important to recognize the risks of picking up vehicles from an auction.
The Unspoken Realities of Car Auctions
It’s easy to start thinking of auctions as the ideal place to find the most affordable cars. This is certainly true if a friend or family member has had success at one before, perhaps, picking up a relatively rare or high-end vehicle for a price they couldn’t find elsewhere. However, their experience may be an isolated one. The vast majority of people looking to buy cars (or any item) at an auction will not stumble upon what they’re really looking for, and in some cases, may wind up with something that is subpar. Apart from the product itself, the experience of being in an auction may not suit everyone’s temperament.
Looks May Deceive You
An auction is very much about decoration and appearance. In other words, all the cars on display will look glossy and polished, as if they were yanked out of car dealership showroom. After all, no one would bid on a car that looks ready for the junkyard. But a vehicle that looks shiny doesn’t mean it’s up to par in terms of performance and reliability. In fact, it’s not unusual to find cars with defects and faults at auctions, and there is limited time to inspect for these problems beforehand. To make matters worse, cars sold at these events have no warranty, so any expenses on repairs come out of the pocket of the buyer. This is the total opposite of what happens at dealerships.
Temptation to Act Too Quickly
You’ve probably seen an episode of a sitcom where the main characters get flustered by the pace of an auction. Remember this: there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of other people in a room with you, many of which who don’t mind paying much more than you to own a vehicle. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy for a person to bid higher than what they can truly pay for, especially if someone is competing with them. In effect, it defeats their original purpose finding the most affordable cars available to them. The urge to do so grows even stronger when the vehicle at stake is one you’ve always wanted or admired. Of course, falling into such a trap could mean bad news for you, especially if it means spending beyond your means.
Payment Methods May Not Work for You
A big issue that complicates car buying at auctions are payment options. There are two ways to buy a car at an auction: 1) With cash or 2) With an approved car loan. For most people, buying a new car with cash just won’t work, even if the vehicle is significantly cheaper than it would be if purchased from a dealership. And there are those individuals who don’t have the best credit; they would have difficulty acquiring an auto loan with bad credit for the vehicle of their choice. In fact, they may not qualify at all. The limited payment options alone are one of the reasons why auctions aren’t for everyone.
Revisiting Your Reasons for Attending an Auction
Let’s say there’s an upcoming auction in your town or city of residence, and you’re looking to buy a car. A good friend of yours may encourage you to attend. They might tell you about the possibility of finding a rare or normally expensive car for a much lower price. They might even encourage you to try something a little more spontaneous. These motivations work fine for a person looking to change their wardrobe, not for a person looking to buy a car. While a wealthy individual can take more risks with their car purchases, the average person needs to look at the money they put into cars as an investment. Think of the disappointment you would face if you ended up buying a problematic vehicle. It’s a possibility when buying from an auction, so going into one with high hopes of walking out with a gem is not a healthy motivation. Although there’s nothing wrong with sitting in an auction (or even bidding on a car), it shouldn’t be your lifeline in finding the right car.
A Better Road
If you are in financial straits, you may feel the need to buy a car through non-traditional methods. However, it’s important to remember that there are alternatives to finding a car in tough times. There are options for people whose circumstances make it necessary to have a car, yet difficult to obtain one at the same time.
Buying a Car in Difficult Circumstances
- Bad Credit Car Loan – Instead of risking it all at an auction, you can secure a bad credit car loan for a vehicle. Credit advisors will work with you to find a car that suits both your financial and life circumstances.
- Prime Auto Financing – You have reasonably good credit, but still have trouble finding an affordable car. If so, securing a prime financing rate could be of great assistance to you.
- Leasing – Another option you have is leasing. With a loan, you are paying for the full value of the car over time, whereas with a lease, you’re only borrowing the amount the car will depreciate for. The result is lower monthly payments (could be half the cost of a car loan).
Slow Down Before Hurrying to an Auction
The allure of an auction may be hard to resist for some people. After all, the possibility of walking away in a car you might not usually be able to afford is magnetic. But that possibility only represents a fraction of reality. Therefore, settle on buying a car through means that are proven to work for the majority of people, rather than a select few. You’ll feel much more confident, and be less pressured to buy on the spot.
Are you in need of a car yet struggling with a tough financial situation? Get in touch with us so we can help you find a vehicle that suits your needs.