Used car

Find Your Dream Ride for Less: Insider Tips on Winning Car Auctions

Whether it’s from seeing it in music videos, movies or even having a test-driven one, there is that one car that you know will give you an indescribable level of satisfaction. Unfortunately, most people’s dream cars don’t come cheap.

However, the price tag doesn’t have to discourage you from owning the car you’ve always wanted. There are tricks you can use to get your dream car for less, especially at auto auctions. Here are some tips you can try to win the car of your dreams at an auction.

Do Some Research Before Bidding


Car auctions like A Better Bid always set a starting price. It is a good indicator of the market and the lowest value of the car. However, bidders will drive it up with their offers. To avoid getting into a rat race with others, research the car’s history and get to know its true value.

Once you know the car’s true value, only bid slightly higher than that to try and outbid other bidders. This will help you avoid overspending whilst also outbidding the rest to get your dream car at much less than you would get it for if it were new.

Don’t Be Early

In most ventures, being among the first ones to show up is always an advantage. Curiously enough, this is usually not the case at online car auctions. If you’re dreaming of a luxury vehicle or a hot supercar for 2024, you are not alone. The odds are that lots of people will be placing bids on it. This might force your hand as your price goes up, and you might end up overspending.

To avoid this scenario, wait until enough people have placed bids on the car. Remember that waiting too long can cause you to lose out on the opportunity completely. The pre-bidding stage will help set a starting price which will become the jumping-off point during live bidding.

As people make offers, you have to try to place a winning bid while staying within your budget. Even if you think that you’re overpaying, remember that even the most obscene auction price will still likely be lower than the asking price for a new one. That’s what is so attractive about an auction.

Bid on Damaged but Easily Repairable Cars


When looking for your dream car on an auction site, your first instinct will be to bid on a clean, titled or lightly damaged vehicle. However, this also means you will have to contend with higher prices. You can save more by bidding on cars that need repairs that won’t break the bank. Such vehicles typically have a significantly lower starting bid offer and fewer bidders, especially when the damaged parts are quite conspicuous.

As such, you have a good chance of landing your dream car at a surprisingly low price. However, you still have to run some numbers to make sure that the cost of a damaged car plus repairs is not greater than the cars that you deem too expensive to bid on.

Don’t Let Emotions Overrun You

Sometimes when you want something so bad, it is easy to get carried away and, in the process, end up overpaying. Emotions usually kick in when you really want the car in question, and many others are interested as well. This creates fear of losing out and the potential to make irrational decisions. Not a good situation to be in, suffice to say.

To overcome these fear-driven purchases, remember that even if that car is bought by someone else, it is not the only one in existence. A similar one will likely come up again soon enough at the same auction, and you will have the chance to buy your dream luxury car. By eliminating the scarcity mindset, you will likely stop bidding once the bid price goes up past your max budget. You will also likely scout for alternative deals and land an even better car at a much lower price.

Familiarize Yourself with the Rules

Since every auction has its own set of rules and conditions for bidding, it is pivotal that you acquaint yourself with the specific rules of each one. There is no guarantee that other bidders are as diligent as you, which instantly puts you at a competitive advantage.

It is more likely that you will be able to snatch up a vehicle at a discounted rate if you have a better understanding of the rules.

Bid At Least 20% of the Starting Price


Some people mistakenly think that the starting price is the market price of a specific car in a specific condition. That is not true. As we alluded to above, the starting price is the starting point. The best advice is to bid at least 20% of the starting price. According to some data and a whole lot of anecdotal evidence, this gives you great chances of both winning and not overspending.

Bonus Tip: Use Cash

Sticking to cash won’t necessarily win you an auction, but it can surely speed up the post-win procedures for both seller and the buyer. Using cash is a preferable option, and that is not going to change any time soon. We understand that not everyone has this lump sum of cash lying around, but you can always find a solution that works.


If you want to buy your dream car for less at an auction, you must approach the entire process with a clear head and a sound strategy. Some strategies you can use include background knowledge of the vehicle’s value, assessing the average bid value, bidding on cars that most people would bypass and controlling your emotions no matter how badly you want a particular vehicle.

If you follow these steps, you can get your dream car at a competitive rate. If you don’t, you risk leaving your wallet empty, your emotions uncontrolled, and your future uncertain. Responsible financial behavior is a must when it comes to finding a car at a price point you will be happy with.

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