Car auctions offer a guaranteed way of saving money on a second-hand car. However, there’s a catch; because it’s more involved than strolling in, nodding your head and driving out in a bargain, it can be daunting for private individuals, which is why only around one in 10 cars sold by British Car Auctions (BCA), one of the UK’s major auctioneers, go to buyers outside the car trade.
The advantage of successfully bidding at car auctions is that you’ll get a car at what’s known as trade price. On a three-year-old Ford Focus, used car valuation expert Glass’s Guide claims trade price to be £2350 (28 per cent) less than the £8230 the dealer would sell the car for. For a dealer, that’s not all profit as they have to account for the time and money it takes to prepare the car and display it in a showroom or forecourt, as well as market the car to potential buyers. But for non-trade buyers it can be a significant saving. We tracked down Mark Davis, a private buyer from Hampshire who’s bought around 10 cars from auction. Here are his tips. Continue reading