Selling a car Selling a car at auction
Selling your car at auction is simple but doesn't usually net a very high price
Selling a car at auction promises a quick, trouble-free sale. However, there are no guarantees of selling the car at auction if no buyer reaches your reserve price, and prices tend to be the lowest of any of the sales routes available.
Popular auction houses include British Car Auctions (BCA), Manheim and SMA.
When selling car at auction you enter your car for sale, pay a fee, set a reserve price (below which it cannot be sold), bring it along on the day and (hopefully) watch the bids soar upwards.
The winning bidder at the auction gets ownership of the car immediately on payment, and you'll get your money from the auction company, minus a commission payment, within a few days. If your car doesn’t sell, you must take it back home or try again in another auction.
Pros of selling a car at auction
If your car is a popular model, in good condition and has service history, it should have no difficulty selling.
If it does sell, the auction house will pay up quickly and reliably. If the car develops a fault on the drive home, the new owner has no comeback against you.
Cons of selling a car at auction
There’s no guarantee of a sale at auction, and you won’t get your entry fee refunded if the car doesn’t sell.
If your car is bought, the most you should expect is the trade price, which may be hundreds or thousands of pounds below its expected part exchange value or private sale price.
Car auction tips
Don’t be tempted to bid for your own car in an attempt to drive up the price. It could backfire, leaving you to pay the auctioneer to ‘buy’ your own vehicle.
Make sure you clean and valet your car thoroughly. A well-presented car attracts more attention from bidders.
Ensure all your paperwork is gathered together in a file to give to the auction house - most buyers will want to see it in advance, and the more paperwork you have, the better.