Top 5 Strategies for Brisbane Car Auctions

January 31, 2012 · Posted in Cars · Comment 

So you’re thinking of attending one or more Brisbane car auctions? Good idea, but before you go rushing off for a guaranteed bargain, remember that the bargain is anything but guaranteed and there are a number of common traps people fall into again and again when playing the auction game. The following 5 tips should keep you on the straight and narrow, so read on!

Be honest about your handiness with tools. Can you change a tyre? Of course you can. But can you change more complex components of a car? Can you clean out the cylinders? Can you recognise what’s wrong with a car before a massive disaster occurs? If you’re a mechanical novice, sometimes it’s best to avoid auctions as you don’t have the safety blanket of an RACQ inspection or statutory cooling off period. You will own any pre-existing faults with the car you buy. This isn’t such a big deal with ex government cars such as Q Fleet but still, consider this aspect.

Have a budget. As the old saying goes, if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. You absolutely must have a line you will not, under any circumstances (even competing with a buff dude in the corner of the room), cross. If your budget is $10,000 for a car, do not pay $10,050. Seriously – $50 can easily increase to $100 and from $100 it’s a short journey to $500 and so on. We’ve seen it happen so don’t let it happen to you!

Don’t judge a book by its cover. And don’t judge a car by its polish! Some of the worst cars I’ve ever seen have been spectacular to look at and have the best labels in history (Mercedes, Jaguar etc). Since you can’t test drive the car, you’re going to have to have some background knowledge of what mileage tends to do to certain brands. For example, don’t buy a highly electronic Honda if it has 400,000km on the clock, as electrical components tend to deteriorate quite swiftly.

Know your budget and stick to it. It’s amazing how quickly a $50 blowout in your budget can expand to $100, then $1000 and then even $5000. Know the difference between buying for emotion and buying for a good reason (they’re very easy to confuse in the middle of a bidding war, remember). Write your budget down and glue it to the other side of your glasses if possible. Set an alarm on your phone – do whatever it takes.

Listen, listen, listen to the auctioneer! If you miss the auctioneer’s warning that the car is hail damaged or flood damaged and you buy it anyway, guess what? The car is yours. If you don’t hear that the car has 1 million miles on the clock and you buy it, you can’t take it back to the owner or auctioneer and demand a refund. Keep your ears open for the duration of the auction and do your research.

There are other things you can do to make your vehicle experience more pleasurable and to find out what they are, simply repeat over and over again that the reason you’re likely to get a good deal is because risk is being passed from the seller to you (remember, no cooling off period or other protections you may get from a dealership… and on test drive!). Nothing in life comes free, but sometimes the extra risk amounts to naught and in those cases you will win at the auction game.

Before you go to the auction, have a clear idea of what you want, why you want it and what makes a good version of that car versus a dud. If you thoroughly research your buying decision and keep your limits in mind and your alertness levels jacked up to the max, you will have a great experience more likely than not.

Want to find out more about Brisbane car auctions, then visit Jack Smith’s site on tips for auctions and ex government cars.