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August 13, 2013

The Unique Challenge of the Auto Auction

Paul Duchene, writing for Car and Driver, offers his take on how to make the best of an auto auction after providing insight into the risks. “Marry in haste, repent at leisure” is his way of introducing the greatest risk: paying too much! Considering that saving money is the typical perceived benefit of the auto auction, overspending would definitely qualify as a likely disappointment. As he notes, “Auctions are the fastest of fast tracks—you are betting you know what you want, that you can recognize a car’s strengths and faults, that you know what it’s worth, and that you have the cool head to stop bidding at that point.” He adds that auctions can be fun, but they are work.

First, he suggests reading the catalog. His goal is to identify the car and any hidden changes that may have occurred. A person doesn’t want to be tricked into buying a lemon.

Second, he recommends attending the auction in person because a first-hand examination will reveal more than what can be seen via the Internet, one strike against on-line auctions.

Third, he says to register early so you can be sure not to miss the car or cars that interest you. Here is where they confirm you can pay for any car you win in the bidding.

Fourth, examine the car closely. Bring along an expert if you are not one yourself. You are again seeking to confirm the car is what it claims, that it is in good condition beyond the shining of a new coat of wax, and so that you avoid surprises after you own the car.

Fifth, he advises standing where the auctioneer can see you clearly. Here he offers insights that only an experienced bidder could. Above all, however, is not going over your price limit in the excitement of the moment.

Finally, Duchene recommends having the car shipped to spare the risk of unexpected car repairs in an inconvenient place.

Duchene has plenty more to say.  Get all the details at Car and Driver.

June 21, 2013

How do I Get Insurance on a Car I Buy at the Auction?

Auto auctions can be fun, entertaining, and fulfilling. They can also be part of a painful experience if you aren’t smart about the way you handle your transactions. Auto insurance is one of the most important purchases you can make in your life. It’s also the most important purchase you can make at the auto auction. After you have purchased your shiny, new car at the auction, you have been provided with your buyer sheet confirming you have done so, and you have made your payment, the car belongs to you.

DO NOT DRIVE AWAY FROM THE LOT WITHOUT AUTO INSURANCE!. Auto insurance companies are open 24/7, ready and willing to add your new car onto your policy. Simply call your insurance company with the VIN number and the make and model of your new car, and your insurance provider will do the rest. Also, be sure the policy starts immediately. Even if you cannot print your proof-of-insurance insurance card out, you are covered in the event of an accident or traffic stop. It’s really that simple! Don’t rack your brain over if you should or should not have the insurance; it’s not even debatable. When purchasing a car from the dealership, they require you to be adequately covered before you can drive away from the lot; keep this in mind. Also, if you’re lucky enough to see the cars online beforehand, call around and get some insurance quotes. This way, you’ll know for sure what you would be paying in insurance for certain models.

Guys, driving without car insurance is against the law and could put you and your family in serious financial trouble. Take the time, determine what you’ll need to pay, and pay it before you drive away; otherwise you could be setting yourself up for a major disaster.