For businesses seeking to acquire work trucks, vans, machinery and other commercial vehicles, buying at auction can yield major savings compared to purchasing brand new. However, succeeding at a commercial vehicle auction requires understanding the process, doing due diligence, and bidding strategically. Follow these tips to secure equipment at the best price.
Research Vehicles and Pricing Don’t bid blindly – do your homework first. Review auction listings online and inspect vehicles thoroughly before sale day. Research vehicle values using market pricing guides to set max bids. This prevents overpaying in the heat of fierce bidding.
Prioritize Needs Over Wants Focus your search on vehicles meeting your operational requirements rather than getting distracted by extras. Considering too many options wastes time. Identify needs like cargo capacity, tow rating, or equipment add-ons vital for work purposes.
Check Service & Title Records Request vehicle history reports to uncover past issues, mileage discrepancies or title problems. Confirm no liens exist on the title. Know the service diligence of previous owners based on records. This protects against buying headaches down the road.
Assess Mechanical Condition Inspect the engine, transmission, electronics and components thoroughly. Look for leaks, corrosion, wear patterns and other issues suggesting larger looming problems. Bring a diagnostic scanner and mechanic to identify lurking trouble. Avoid buying someone else’s headaches.
Gauge Wear and Tear Carefully assess the vehicle interior and exterior condition. Note dents, rust, paint wear and interior damage. While surface imperfections get factored into bidding, major issues could indicate neglect and mechanical deficiencies. Scrutinize wear to avoid surprises.
Review Disclosure Documents Auction houses provide condition reports and disclosures on vehicles. Compare these against your inspection findings. Probe any inconsistencies to determine if problems were hidden or understated. This protects you as the buyer.
Set a Maximum Bid Limit Bidding can get emotional, so know your absolute highest price based on vehicle valuation and your budget. Factor in potential maintenance and repairs. Stick to your guns – don’t get sucked into bidding wars exceeding sensible limits.
Arrange Financing Early Know your financing and payment ability before auction day. Get pre-approved for business vehicle loans so you can bid with confidence and make a deposit payment immediately after winning. Delaying financing risks losing the vehicle.
Understand Auction Fees Account for the Buyer’s Premium and documentation fees added onto winning bids when setting max limits. Avoid rookie mistakes not budgeting for these extra costs. Read the fine print to understand total outlay.
Do thorough preparation, know your vehicle needs, stick to prudent bidding limits, and have financing ready – follow these tips as you navigate the fast-paced world of commercial vehicle auctions. Diligent homework allows securing the optimal work vehicles at the best possible price.