I’ll admit it, I’ve never purchased a second hand car. The last time I came close I was kicking the tyres and test driving so many private sellers cars that I just chickened out and bought the smallest possible brand new car I could. So, there’s no chance I’d fancy myself at an auction! Until now.

We asked the folks at Pickles Auctions to give us some top tips on buying a car at auction. George Abounader from the Belmore branch of Pickles had a bunch of great advice.

Here are George’s tips:

Prepare and do your research

Knowledge is key when it comes to car auctions, so you need to make sure you are aware of the market value of your ideal car. Do your research; look up prices both from private sellers and dealerships in advance.

Make sure to check the photos and condition report before attending an auction. Pickles Auctions allow buyers to request information regarding a specific vehicle, ask questions, and inspect the logbook ahead of the auction.

Inspect the vehicle

We encourage all buyers to inspect the vehicle in person. Bring a mate, mechanic, or professional vehicle inspector to give a second opinion. View the car and start the engine.

Although you can’t take a test drive at auction houses, you can check the service history, view the condition report, and ensure that your ideal car is well maintained.

An inspection is also a great time to familiarise yourself with the auction house.

Must have documentation

At Pickles Auctions, we offer information about each car’s condition and service history in a detailed report, available both online and at the auction site.

Choose a car that comes with a roadworthy certificate. It makes insurance and registration an easy and seamless process, not to mention being able to save on unexpected costs such as brake pads and tyre replacements. Newer cars usually have a few months or years of new-car warranty remaining. For extra assurance, some auction houses offer extended warranties.

Learn the auction process

It is recommended that customers attend a few auctions as an observer before they’re ready to bid to get familiar with the process. It’s important to prepare as fully as possible before immersing yourself in a fast paced auction environment.

Know your limit and stick to it

An auction is an exciting environment and people can easily get caught up in the moment and make the wrong offer if they haven’t done all of their research prior to bidding. Make sure you know the maximum you are prepared to spend. There will be other opportunities. Remember, the aim is to save as much as possible.

Buying a car at auction can usually be up to 30 per cent cheaper than shopping for a second-hand car at your local dealer. To put this into equation, buying a car for $10k or above can be quite a saving.

If you miss out at auction or can’t find the exact car you are after, you can easily create a Product Alert with Pickles Auctions and they will send you an email alert when it’s in stock.

Look for Fixed Price sales

Pickles Auctions offers vehicles via a Fixed Price method, which is perfect for those who would like to avoid the auction experience and ‘Buy Now’. This method also opens up hundreds of vehicles across all 21 Pickles Auctions locations.

Use technology

If you’re unable to attend the next auction, you can bid via Pickles Live. Pickles Live let’s you join in the physical auction in real time from anywhere.

Some great advice there, so – a world of savings are at your fingertips with online or walk in Auctions like Pickles – now you’ve got the tips, time to go snap up a bargain!