Buying a car at an auction can be daunting, so here’s everything you need to know before you go, courtesy of some tips from Manheim Auctions Australia.
1. How does it work?
Manheim Auctions Australia advises before you go to bid at an auction, you firstly attend one purely as a spectator.
One option is to go with the intention not to buy but to learn the process and familiarise yourself with the hustle and bustle of the auction lanes. That way, when you are ready to go and buy, you’re not overwhelmed by the experience.
2. Do you need to register?
Before bidding on a vehicle at Manheim you will need to register. This is free and there are two ways you can register for bidding, in-lane or online:
To bid online you will need to fill out the online registration form and supply the required information. For more information on online bidding please call our Service Desk on 1800 001 278 (option 3).
To bid in person in the lane, you will need to visit the Manheim operating location and register at reception on the morning of the auction. Registration is free and you are required to provide photo ID such as a current Passport or Drivers Licence.
3. How do I get the best deal?
Make sure you know your product, which specific model or type of car you want and how much you’re willing to spend.
Then research typical used values and find out how much similar models are being advertised for. That way you can calculate whether the car you’re interested in is a bargain.
You can research the car going up for auction by visiting Manheim’s website. This will help with the research before auction day.
It is worth reading the conditions of sale and to ensure you know what the buyers fees are before you bid, so there are no surprises when it comes to paying. Also remember to register before you bid – don’t try to buy without a buyer’s number because your bids won’t be accepted.
Looking at the vehicle in person or online and setting yourself a limit is recommended, and then when you arrive at the auction, sit somewhere you will be seen to be clear and decisive when you bid.
It may seem obvious, but make sure you are insured before you move a vehicle if you successfully buy one.
4. Do the cars get inspected?
Each car auctioned at Manheim receives a condition report – outlining the condition and basic specifications of the car. This report is affixed to each car and available to inspect prior to purchase.
Some vehicles are road tested at the request of the vendor, and the road test reports are also displayed on the car and available online to inspect prior to purchase.
5. How does bidding work?
Auction crowds are made up of used car dealers and private buyers.
The auctioneer’s job is to help make the auction as clear and straightforward as possible, so make sure you listen to what the auctioneer has to say. You’ll hear information about the vehicle before bidding begins, including the basic specifications of the car, the mileage, and key features. Be careful to listen to any amendments that the auctioneer may announce.
The auctioneer will acknowledge your bid and then the fun starts, so listen out for rival bids and signal clearly each time you want to up your offer. Once the bidding has passed any reserve price, vehicles are sold to the highest bidder, so make sure you always stay focused and alert, and you only agree to pay what you can afford.
Once the hammer goes down and the car is sold, a deposit is required immediately – securing the sale. You’ll need to pay 10 per cent of the final price or $500.00, whichever is the greater amount. You can then make your way to the cashiers to settle the balance, and collect your car on the day.
Once you’ve paid in full, Manheim will provide a receipt and a gate release so you can get the keys to the car, plus all the vehicle documentation that accompanies the car. For vehicles that are sold unregistered, you can purchase a temporary registration permit from our cashiers.
If the vehicle you are bidding on does not reach the reserve price, the vehicle will be referred. If you happen to be the highest bidder and the vehicle is referred Manheim staff will speak with you in order to negotiate a possible sale.
6. Are there any fees?
Buyer auction fees apply to all cars sold at Manheim. The fees vary depending on the value of the car sold, so make sure you factor this in to your bidding when buying a car at auction. The fees are displayed in the foyer/reception, in all catalogues and online on the Manheim website.
At specialty auctions and events, the auction fees will be provided and are specific to that auction only. If you are unsure, speak to Manheim staff to clarify.
7. What happens after the purchase?
Once you’ve paid for the car and collected it, you’ll need to obtain a roadworthy certificate or pink slip – depending on which state you are in – and transfer the car into your name via the relevant road traffic authority.
If the car is sold with registered you may be able to transfer the remaining registration as well. Make sure you’ve got a cover note or insurance on the car before you collect the car, you can never be too careful!
That’s it – the car is yours! Congratulations!