Many people have reservations about purchasing at an auto auction because they fear buying a lemon. By understanding the process of purchasing from an auction, you can cover yourself against potential problems. The first thing you can do, if you have issues with a newly purchased car, is determine the status of its warranty. Some auctions will cover between 30-90 days from the time of original purchase, which can give you plenty of time to have the car thoroughly checked for hidden problems. If possible, seriously consider purchasing an extended warranty. If you are wise, you will investigate these possibilities before you even bid on a vehicle so that you are prepared for the worst. Don’t wait for your purchase to be completed.
Secondly, in the face of newly discovered automobile issues, you may need to look into your city’s or state’s local lemon laws. For example, some states may require auto houses to sell the cars “as is,” ultimately covering the auction house against any future litigation. If a car is sold “as is,” your recourse against the seller or auction house is very slim. Keep that in mind before purchasing. Of course, if you find evidence of fraud, a clear effort to hide know problems, that could be a different story, worth checking at your local police department.
Lastly, the most important thing you need to do is assess the overall condition of the car; before bidding is better than after! If a car purchased for $1500 needs $5000 in repairs, you probably should move on to another car. Overall, purchasing cars from the auction is not something recommended for the ill-informed. If your understanding of cars and their overall functionality is minimal, please take someone along with the knowledge to assist you with your purchase. It’s better to be proactive than reactive, especially when it involves spending hard earned money. Be smart upfront, and you’ll avoid heartache in the future.