Articles & Tips

Selling a Car at an Auction

Selling a Car at an Auction

You can sell a car at auction. Some auctions are specialized, while others are more general. To attract the right buyers and achieve the best price, you want to enter your vehicle in the right kind of auction. For example, you wouldn’t want to put your rare Ford Model T into a general auction.

 Step 1 – Make Sure You Can Legally Sell a Car

No matter the type of auction, you will consider certain common factors. The first is that you can legally sell a car. You’ll need to either have the title to the car in your name or hold a dealer’s license so you can legally sell the vehicle.

Step 2 – Establish a Sale Price

You also need to be very aware of the value of your vehicle. Take into account its age, wear and, if applicable, its rarity. Finding the values of most cars is quite easy. You simply have to consult the blue book, which is what the auto industry uses to establish values.

With collector vehicles, you’ll need to research what similar models in the same condition have achieved at sale. In both cases, use these figures to set your reserve, which is the lowest price you’ll formally accept. If there are no bids above the reserve price, the car is returned to you unsold. Set the reserve for the absolute lowest figure you’ll accept.

Then pursue on of the options below.

Step 3a – Sell a Car at Collector Auctions

With collector cars, your best route is to go with a company that specializes in collector car auctions. You’ll find several dotted around the country. You’ll need to fill out a number of forms and give the company several pictures of your vehicle. You will pay a consignment fee, which is usually nominal. Be aware that the auction company will also take a percentage of the selling price, so figure that into your reserve and your asking price.

Step 3b – Sell a Car at Public Auctions

If your car has engine problems or body damage, you might consider a public auction. Whereas most dealers or private buyers will refuse to purchase a damaged vehicle, auctions draw in other buyers from scrapyards and elsewhere. These buyers will see some value in the vehicle. Be prepared to accept a low price, however.

Step 3c – Sell a Car at an Internet Auction

These days, plenty of people sell their cars via Internet auctions. It’s not a complicated procedure, although you can do a number of things to increase your chances of a sale.

Be honest when you describe your car, especially if the body has sustained any damage. You don’t need to write an essay about the vehicle, but do offer a full description. Make sure you take plenty of photographs, inside and out, to show the condition of the vehicle. One of the pictures should be of the odometer.

You will have to pay to list the vehicle, and you’ll also have to pay a small percentage of the selling price to the auction site. Unless you simply want to be rid of the automobile, set a sensible reserve price and specify that the buyer has to collect the car.