Car auctions are generally open to anyone who fancies getting their hands on a vehicle at trade prices, but not everyone is confident enough to give it a go. British Car Auctions is changing this by putting on two special consumer-friendly events.
Based at its Blackbushe centre, just off the M3 in Surrey, the first Super Saturday sale – on 2 April – will offer 400 cars, at least 200 of which will be convertibles, from Minis to Porsches. There’s even a classic E-Type Jaguar roadster, the iconic British sports car that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
BCA will be holding a second Super Saturday the following weekend on April 9 at its Manchester Belle Vue site, with around 400 prestige, sports and convertible cars available.
Words of warning
Some words of caution, however. Prices won’t be as low as they might be if you go along to a regular sale dominated by motor trade buyers. Excited private bidders tend to push prices higher.
You are pretty much buying ‘sold as seen’ too, with very strict rules on getting money back, and then only if the car has been misrepresented. Normally you need to submit a claim within an hour of the end of the sale. There’s certainly no warranty of any sort.
Car auction buying tips
For a first time auction buyer the whole process can be rather daunting. Here are British Car Auctions’ tips:
• Do your homework – know what you want before you go to an auction and have an idea what the car you are after is worth.
• Terms and conditions – each auction house has its own terms and conditions explaining how you can buy, what the fees are etc. Familiarise yourself with these so you don’t get surprised later on.
• Don’t rush – arrive early and take time to examine the vehicle that interests you.
• Do ask questions – ask auction staff, they will be happy to help.
• Check the car – it’s up to you to check the car’s condition, so examine it prior to entering the auction hall. And listen to the engine running as it is driven into the auction hall.
• Budget – set a limit and stick to it. Save some funds for a post sale service and any minor repairs that might be needed.
• Be flexible – if you miss your first choice, don’t give up and don’t throw the budget out the window just because you like the colour of the car you’re bidding on!
• Auctioneer’s description – this is legally binding, so listen carefully. The terms and conditions will explain all the terminology used.
• Bid clearly – don’t wink or tap your nose, simply raise your hand or the catalogue.
The catalogue can bee seen online at BCA’s website. You need to register to get access.
Get more from Which? Car
Magazine: Which? Car magazine is the UK’s only independent car guide (we don’t take ads, so our reviews are totally impartial). The Winter 2011 issue is the first of the new look Which? Car, packed with more new and used car reviews than ever before. We’ve dedicated more pages to in-depth reviews of all the major cars on sale today, helping you to make the most educated decision about buying a new or used car. It’s on sale now, priced at £4.99, available from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, WH Smith, Martin McColl and good independent newsagents.
Email: Stay in touch with all the up-to-date car news, hot deals, latest first drives and reviews posted on our website each week. Sign up to the Which? weekly email to receive our free Friday bulletin.