Cover Photo - 5 Ways to Check If a Car Sold in an Auction is Good as New

5 Ways to Check If a Car Sold in an Auction is Good as New

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5 Ways to Check If a Car Sold in an Auction is Good as New

Car auctions in the Philippines are rare, but those that do become well known still gather a great deal of participants. Auctions are a great way to get things relatively cheaper than if you bought them straight from the suppliers. For vehicles, in particular, you might just find an amazing one being sold!

That being said, it’s important that you don’t just look for the best-looking car, rather you should consider so many things in order to ensure that the car you’ll be getting there is exactly what it seems to be.

There are a lot of benefits that come with buying cars in auctions. In the Philippines, often the cars being sold are decent and would also be sold at a much more reasonable price—given that most of the cars being sold are either second-hand or in some other situation.

The thrill of participating in an auction is like no other. There’s nothing like bidding for an item that is in the eyes of many bidders. Yes, you won’t always win, but the excitement, the adrenaline, and the split-second decision-making is something that you won’t find anywhere else. That’s one of the primary reasons why people keep coming back for more!

When it comes to car auctions in the Philippines, it’s very important that you keep your options open and understand what it takes to be successful in your bidding. Be wary of the many tricks that some auctions do in order to take advantage of their participants. You never really know the quality of the vehicle being sold unless you get a hold of it.

Lastly, you will always want your buy to be worth it. Even if you bought a Lamborghini for half its price, when the whole engine and the chassis is actually destroyed beyond repair, you’ll be paying for it in the long run. With that in mind, here are five ways to make sure that the vehicles sold in a car auction are as good as new!


It’s all in the Preparations

It’s all in the Preparations

When you’re dedicated to buying cars in an auction in the Philippines, then it’s crucial that you prepare for the best and the worst. Different auctions allow different kinds of people. Sometimes only licensed car dealers are invited and permitted to bid, however, there are also some public auctions that let almost anyone participate. Often, you’ll be able to see them online or even in your local newspapers.

Once you’ve found some auctions that you’re willing to participate in, check if they have a list of the vehicles that they have to offer. Most of the more reasonable car auctions in the Philippines have them at least listed down with a few more details with them. Take a careful look and be wary of what you read or see on those catalogues. Choose a few of them that catches your eyes. Keep in mind that when it comes to auctions, you’ll be going up against a number of other bidders, so there’s a high probability that you’ll face tough competition for the vehicles that you want.

Once you’ve identified which of them you want to get, perform a background check on them. The more information you get about them, the better. Start off with the vehicle itself. Research about its market value and how the majority of people see that vehicle. You can even go as far as to check out reviews of the vehicle if you really want to get a feel of them. You should also research its parts as there are chances that you will need to replace them one way or another.

The most important parts that you have to identify include the car’s overall value, both when it’s new and after it’s been used for some time. You can look into the vehicles in particular if you have access to its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This will allow you to research even deeper and identify things such as the car’s history. It will show the damages and the flaws that the vehicle is recorded to currently have. This way, you’ll have an even better idea on what its current value is and you’ll also have a basis on how far you’ll be willing to bid for it.

It won’t always be shown in the catalogue, but the car’s found in auctions would usually either be towed, abandoned, seized, or even salvaged. How they look in the catalogues might not necessarily show its current condition. They might also not look that appealing, safe, or well-maintained for the most part. However, when you’re lucky, you might end up with a diamond in the rough. All it takes is a deep understanding of the vehicles that you’re looking for and some knowledge of the auction you’re going to participate in.


Choose the Right Auctions

Choose the Right Auctions

There are no laws that require sellers to disclose flaws, damages, or outstanding recalls on used cars. So, if you don’t do your homework, chances are you might end up going home in a very unstable and unsafe ride. There are many auctions that take advantage of this in order to trick the bidders into buying some of their merchandise. The people who just try things out without doing any research are the most gullible ones. They are usually the people that are attracted to beautifully set vehicles, or high-end cars that aren’t really in good working condition. When they get blinded by what they see—they’ll easily be tricked to bidding too much for something that’s not worth it. Further emphasizing the importance of preparing for the auctions that you’ll be participating in.

It’s very important that you make sure that the auction that you go to is reliable and trustworthy. That way you can at least have an inkling that the vehicles being auctioned here are what they say they are. Be wary of public auctions as those are the ones that are usually operated with some minor suspicions. Government auctions, however, are most of the time, dependable. So be sure to take into consideration what or who facilitates the auction before considering buying items there!

Cars in auctions in the Philippines are usually sold “As Is” meaning what you see is what you get. This is where the first point shines. Just because the cars are in a pedestal and have been fresh off the carwash, doesn’t mean that it’s brand new. In fact, you’ll be extremely lucky if you were able to find a brand-new car in any kind of auction. The more you know about the vehicle, the higher the probability that you’ll get it one that’s in good working condition.


Do some Early Reconnaissance

Do some Early Reconnaissance

Before the main auction, take some time to visit the area to look at the merchandise. A lot of physical auctions allow this, and some online auctions have specified dates for people to view their merchandise. Many bidders use this opportunity to get a closer look at what they’re going to buy. A number of them believe that this is one of the most vital phases of pre-bidding as it basically allows you to verify what’s written on the catalogue.

You can also try and go to these early scouting sessions in order to confirm things yourself. It’s also highly recommended that you bring someone who is very knowledgeable about the vehicle you’ll be looking at. Experts will have better eyes regarding the merchandise, and they’ll be able to easily tell if what the catalogue is saying is true, or if there are even more things that you need to be aware of that aren’t part of the list.


Take a Look at the Legal Documents

Take a Look at the Legal Documents

As mentioned above, it would be way better if you have access to the vehicle’s VIN in order to look at its history. When everything in the car’s history matches the description in the catalogue, it’s highly likely that the vehicle is being sold by trustworthy auctioneers.

You’ll be aware of everything that has happened to the vehicle. From damages to changes, to additions, and even crashes and malfunctions. Everything you need to know should be part of the whole record—adding more information on the cars that you plan on buying.

Another, bigger importance of legal documents is the very sense of legality that comes with the vehicle. There are some cases where you’ll find vehicles that don’t seem to fit too well for the auction. Vehicles that are probably of high quality—and cars that might make you question yourself “Why is that one being auctioned?”

Although some of those can be legitimate, as long as there’re no documents confirming its legality, then there’s a high chance that those are being sold illegally. No matter how great and how cheap a high-end sports car is in one of the auctions, if it’s smuggled illegally then it’s going to give you more than just a handful of problems.


Listen to the Auctioneer

Listen to the Auctioneer

On the day of the auction itself, with all of the preparations, background research, and confirmation that you have done, all that’s left is to bid for which vehicle you want. During the main event, it’s vital that you listen to the auctioneer. Listen to everything that he says, particularly when he starts to introduce the item that’s for bidding.

Keep in mind that whatever the auctioneer says about the item can be considered a legally binding selling statement. Meaning how he describes the item will supersede any of the previous descriptions found in the printed or online catalogue.

For some of the newer auction goers, here are some of the most important key phrases that you have to look out for. Often, when you’re not able to research enough about the car you want to get, these will give you a good idea of the overall condition of the vehicle.

  • No Major Mechanical Faults – when the auctioneer states this, it will mean that the vehicle being sold should not have any problems with its engines, suspension, drivetrain, gearbox, chassis, and all of its other mechanical components. That being said, this might mean that vehicle has more obvious, visual damages and faults. This is usually stated when a vehicle looks rather unpleasant, with a few scratches, grazes, and sometimes very visible bumps to its frame.
  • Specified Faults – when this is stated, it’s usually followed by a list of the faults that the car has. More often than not, it would only list down mechanical and systematic faults because aesthetic-based flaws are usually already visible with just one look of the whole thing.
  • Sold as Seen – this is usually told by auctioneers that basically wants to say that the vehicle has its flaws, but it is still of working condition given the right repairs or alterations. When this is said, the auction house will almost rarely accept any kind of complaints about the mechanical and cosmetic condition of the vehicles for sale.
  • “Sold with a Warranted Mileage” – this is often stated when the vehicle being sold is second hand. It basically means that the vehicle being sold has been assessed and inspected by a third party and all of the information regarding the vehicle being sold is based on the report that they have provided them.


Key Takeaway

Car auctions are perfectly reasonable places to get great value for your buck. Most of the time, the cars sold here are way cheaper or at least, sold for a more practical price when compared with direct suppliers or distributors.

However, you should never be blinded by the chances of getting a car for a cheaper price. If you don’t do your research, there’s a high probability that you don’t really know what you’re going into when you choose to participate in car auctions.

Everything will become easier and better with the help of more information. Make use of the points we’ve presented. They should provide you with enough knowledge of both the car you’re getting and the ways of auction houses to be able to get things going in your favor.