If you are looking for a new set of wheels, it may be an economical decision for you to pursue an online car auction to get a great deal. However, it is also easy to get duped at a car auction and accidentally purchase something that does not run or comes with a host of costly mechanical issues. This probability goes up when you are shopping at an online auction, since you cannot see the vehicles in person. If you have a keen enough eye and you know what to look for while you’re shopping at an online auction, though, you will be in a lot better shape to buy a winning vehicle! If you’re looking to get a great deal at an online auto auction, read on for some key tips. 

Beware of “as is”
If a car on an online auction website is marked for sale “as is,” you should know what that means. It likely connotes a vehicle that has enough problems that it will not run and it is either being sold as a salvage vehicle or for parts. If you are looking for spare parts, then great, this car would work for you! If not, you may want to do some research to see if a salvage vehicle would fit your needs. These cars often require significant repair in order to become road ready and to remove the “salvage” title from the vehicle. If you have the funds to spend or like to refurbish cars as a passion project, then a salvage vehicle could be a great option for you. However, if you are not looking for spare parts or a nice hobby of fixing up old cars, you will likely want to steer clear of “as is” vehicles.

Look for cars with a listed VIN
No matter what you do, when you buy used cars online, you need to check for a VIN. A VIN is a unique sequence of numbers to each car, sort of like a social security number. This number will be able to tell you some things about the car, such as whether it has ever been flooded or totaled, through a VIN check. This is very valuable to a buyer because it is always important that you know what a car has been through and how many owners it has had before you make a large investment in it. Not knowing a vehicle’s full history can be very expensive down the road, and lead to some not-so-fun surprises.

Always know the value of the car you are bidding on
Something may seem like a great deal online when you first laid eyes on it, but you may later find out that it was not as valuable as it seemed. In the world of car buying, knowing the value of a vehicle is your number one tool to keep in your toolbelt. Using an encyclopedic listing of car makes, models, years, and value, such as Kelly Blue Book, you will always be able to spot when a car is being sold for a great or not so great deal. Beware some cars that are being sold at far below their Kelly Blue Book true value, though, as often this can be a symptom of a larger issue with that car. Always exercise a good sense of consumer’s caution when buying a big ticket item like a vehicle! If you pay attention to these tips, you will be cruising away from an online auction in style and having saved some money, too!