It is often dog eat dog when it comes to bidding on cars at an auction. The issue is how do you go about knowing what is worth bidding on and which vehicles should be avoided like the plague? One strategy is to bring a secret weapon.
An auto auction comes with a preliminary period of vehicle review. You can see the car sitting and occasionally they will fire it up for you. That, however, is about it. You have no idea if there is some major mechanical issue or the car is in perfect condition. More importantly, you don’t know if the car will just need a tune up or some major, expensive work. Without this knowledge, bidding on various cars is a bit of a crapshoot and this is where our secret weapon can take a lot of the guess work out of the game.
What is our secret weapon? It isn’t a weapon so much as it is a person. If you are serious about getting a good deal on a quality car, you are going to want to bring a mechanic with you. Think about it. What is a mechanic going to be able to tell you? They are going to be able to look under the car and in the engine compartment and assess a few things. First, whether the car has been regularly maintained or not. Second, whether anything is missing. Third, the condition of the frame and what the wear patterns on the tire indicate. Fourth, whether there is some obvious issue that you need to know about.
So, how do you find a mechanic willing to do this? Well, you might know one and be able to bribe them or call in a favor if this is a one time deal. If you intend on turning your bidding efforts into a business, you can work a deal where you commit to giving them any repair work on the vehicles. The idea of a steady stream of business, particularly in this economy, is an attractive proposition to most people.
So, is your secret weapon a guarantee you will get a quality car? No. Nobody can know the condition of an engine and transmission thoroughly without firing up the car and doing diagnostic tests. Still, the use of a mechanic will greatly cut down on the risk of problems and that makes it a good move.