Plenty of thought should go into buying a used car. Before you even start thinking about the type of vehicle you want, it's a good idea to think about just how you're going to purchase it. There's always the option to buy at an auction, which may sound like a better idea than going to a used car dealership, since prices tend to be considerably lower.
However, here are just a few reasons why it's a better idea to buy your used car from a dealership instead of at auction.
Most Auction Cars Need Work
One of the main reasons why cars purchased at auction are so cheap is that they are generally sold 'as is'. They might look nice and shiny, but sellers go to great lengths to cover up any flaws, so what you're actually getting probably needs some work. You won't have the opportunity to speak in-depth about the vehicle's current condition or its history, so what you think is a 2nd hand car might turn out to have been through many other different hands.
When you go through a dealer, you'll have the opportunity to learn all you need to know, and the car you pick should be ready to drive without any need for additional work. Better yet, most used car dealers will provide some form of warranty coverage, which isn't the case when you go through an auction.
No Test Drive
Even if the car you're looking at before an auction is perfectly sound, it still might not be the one for you. At a dealership, you'll be able to take a test drive before making your mind up, so you'll get the opportunity to see how it feels behind the wheel and move on to something else if it doesn't seem right for you. At an auction, you won't have that opportunity.
It's Easy to Exceed Your Budget
For most people, the whole point of buying a car at auction is to secure a good deal. Unfortunately, it's all too common for budgets to be exceeded. Remember, auctions are set up to push up prices. When other people are making bids for something you're after, it's easy to get carried away and pay too much for something. With a dealership, you'll have time to talk through pricing options and check online for current market values. You should even have a cooling off period – with an auction, there's no backing out once the hammer comes down.