Selling your car at auction can be a great way to extract maximum value from it , but it can be a very unique scenario compared to traditional (and even more modern) methods of car selling. Before you go to sell your car at an auction, it’s important that you get some vital questions answered beforehand.
How exactly do you go about auctioning your car?
What kind of price can you expect to fetch?
And perhaps most importantly:
Is it guaranteed to sell?
In this guide to auctioning your car, we will address all these questions and more so you can understand the intricacies of car auctions more and navigate the process more successfully. Get ready to unlock the secrets of car auctions and make informed decisions about selling your car.
What are car auctions, and how do they work?
Advantages of car auctions
Disadvantages of car auctions
What prices can you expect from a car auction?
The ultimate hassle-free method of selling your car
What are car auctions, and how do they work?
Car auctions are a popular way of selling pre-owned cars. They are held at large venues where potential buyers line up to take a look at the variety of cars on show. Typically, auctions aim to sell cars directly to dealers, though there are auctions that cater to private buyers, too.
So, if you’re interested in selling your car at an auction house, what should your next move be?
1. Locate an auction house
First and foremost, you want to find an auction house that suits your preferences. There are plenty of car auctions in the UK, so a quick online search will easily show you the car auctions in the closest proximity to you.
2. Arrange a car valuation
If selling your car is the name of the game here, schedule your car valuation with those at the auction house. This involves a thorough assessment of your car’s condition and market value, and allows the auctioneer to let you know what price range you can expect for your car.
3. Set a reserve price
After receiving your car’s valuation, determine a minimum price that you are willing to accept for your vehicle. This reserve price serves as the threshold below which your car will not be sold. In the event that bidding fails to meet or exceed this reserve price, your car will remain unsold, although fees may still apply.
4. Let the auction house sort out the rest
Once the auction house has finished doing their side of things, namely photographing your car and writing a compelling lot description, you are now in the (hopefully generous) hands of the prospective buyers who will soon be competitively bidding and outbidding each other until the highest bidder emerges victorious with their new car.
Something else of importance to note about car auctions
Keep in mind that there is usually an upfront fee for listing your car at the auction, and if your car sells, the auction house will typically claim a percentage of the final sale price, often around 10% or more.
While this may initially cause some hesitation, it's important to recognise that the auction house has a vested interest in maximising the value of your car.
The higher it sells for, the more commission the auctioneer earns. Therefore, you may walk away with more money than anticipated if your car performs well during the auction.
Pros and cons of auctioning your car
Now we know what a car auction looks like and what you can expect from it, let's talk about pros and cons because, like everything, there are plenty of both to consider before diving into the deep end.
Pros of car auctions
1. Swift and efficient
The wide audience that auctions attract on top of the lack of price negotiation results in a car selling process that is often much speedier than traditional processes at physical dealerships
2. Reduced workload
Once you’ve shown your car to the auction house, they go on to handle the majority of the tasks involved in the selling process, reducing your workload overall.
3. Genuine buyers
An auction attracts people who are sincerely interested in buying a new car and minimises the likelihood of interacting with time wasters and tire kickers.
Cons of car auctions
While selling your car at auction has its advantages, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are the cons of auctioning your car:
1. No guarantee of sale
This is certainly not a drawback exclusive to car auctions, but like many selling routes, you aren’t guaranteed a sale even if your car does display prominently at an auction.
2. Limited buyer pool
Auctions typically attract a smaller number of people to their venues, ultimately limiting competition and your car’s final price.
3. Additional fees
Auctions are ultimately businesses that use numerous channels of revenue to pay staff etc. One way they do this is by charging sellers with certain fees for the privilege of having your car in their lot, not to mention the commission they take from each sale. When all is said and done, this can take a notable chunk out of any profit you expected to receive.
What price do cars sell for at auction?
The price of your car sold at auction can depend highly on various factors, not only including the specific attributes of the car itself but of the willingness of buyers in attendance. It is not uncommon to experience contrasting outcomes, with limited interest on one occasion and unexpectedly high bids on another.
The presence of similar cars in the same auction can also impact the price. Sharing the spotlight with a near-identical vehicle might result in divided attention and affect your final sale price.
Interestingly, rare and highly sought-after cars often fare better at auctions compared to private sales. On the other hand, more commonplace vehicles may find greater success in alternative selling channels.
Remember, it's essential to consider that auction houses typically charge a commission for selling your car. This fee commonly amounts to at least 10% of the final sale price, and in some cases, it may be higher.
Unlock the ease and ultimate value of selling your car with Sell 2 Swansway
If selling your car at an auction seems like a high-risk endeavour with limited potential payoff, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that. Luckily for car owners everywhere, there are ways that you can sell your car online at maximum convenience and value.
Sell 2 Swansway’s free valuation tool means you don’t even have to leave your couch to find out how much your car is worth, and our 7 day guarantee means that your valuation is locked in for a whole week - no wrestling with the whims of fickle buyers and valuators.
Once you’ve decided you want to sell, the convenience only continues. Just take some pictures of your car, and once you agree to our fair valuation quote, we’ll come straight to you to collect it from your doorstep - it couldn’t be simpler!
Say goodbye to the complexities of traditional selling methods, and say hello to our streamlined selling process specifically tailored to your needs.
Value your car here to begin your hassle-free car selling journey today.
Have you been involved in a car accident and wondered whether it will affect your car’s resale value? Whether you’ve...
Sell your next car with Swansway
If you’re looking to sell your car before it depreciates too much then get a competitive quote in under 60 seconds with Swansway. With over half a century of experience and nearly 8,000 positive reviews on Trust Pilot, you can trust that selling your car from Swansway is simple, risk-free and competitive.