A guide to selling your car at auction

A guide to selling your car at auction

Selling your car can be a difficult process. But it does not have to be. If you choose to sell it at auction, you will find the process simple, smooth and profitable. It is one of the easier ways to sell your car, and allows you to feel certain that you have received your car’s true market value.

So, if you are interested in selling your car at one of the many car auctions in Cape Town, read on below for an informative guide on how to do just that.

How much will it cost me?

The rate of commission you will pay depends on what you are selling and how much it sells for. You should, however, be aware that there is a six percent commission that is given to the auctioneer. And, those top-bid prices do not include the 15 percent VAT, which is payable to the government.

Keep in mind that you will have to set a reserve price on your car. A reserve price is the lowest amount of money you are willing to accept for your vehicle. You will need to research the resale value of your car in order to set a reserve price that is still profitable to you. If you want to get your car evaluated before the auction, you will have to pay these fees out of your own pocket.

Live auction versus online auction

You will need to decide between selling on a live auction versus an online auction. Live auctions where people bid on the car in person might be a better option for you if your car is not in prime condition, as some scrap dealers visit these auctions frequently.

Car auctions online can attract bidders who are outside of your home area and are looking for a car in optimal condition. Online bidding is also more efficient because you can sell your car from the comfort of your own home. However, if you prefer being able to see who, exactly, is bidding on your car, then you should choose a live auction.

Be honest about your car

When you want to sell your car at one of the car auctions in Cape Town, you will need to be completely honest about its condition. This includes listing all the damages that it has experienced, all repairs performed on it and the details of the last service.

If you try to hide any of the damage, bidders will become suspicious and will be less likely to buy your car. If you are going to choose an online auction, you will need to provide detailed photographs, including one of the odometer. Be sure that you capture the car in the right lighting and do not edit any of the photos. List any accidents that you car has been involved in too as this could account for extra, possibly unseen, damage to the car.

Prepare your car beforehand

While most of the bidders at a car auction realise your car will not be in showroom condition, it should at least be clean both inside and outside. You should invest in taking your car to a valet a few days before the auction to ensure it is clean and fresh for any potential buyers.

Another important part of preparing your car is to take it for a service. A recent service will ensure that everything is up-to-date and will inspire trust in the potential buyers that there will be no problems when they drive it home. If you cannot afford a complete service, then you should top up the oil, coolant, and windscreen washer fluid.

What will happen on the day?

On the day of the auction, the auctioneer will announce your car and describe it in detail. This is where your reserve price and conversation with the auctioneer will come in handy. The auctioneer will realise it is in their best interest to point out the good aspects to reach the best price.

Your car will then be driven to the auction hall or “ring” and the bidding will start. Initially, the auctioneer will continue the bidding, even if only one person is actually interested. This is not illegal or “immoral”, they are trying to generate enough interest in your car for it to reach your reserve price. Hopefully this tactic will create a bidding frenzy, making your car sell for a much higher price than you expected.

Keep calm and be organised

The most important things to remember about selling your car at auction is to stay calm and be organised. You will need to find out how much selling at auction will cost you, and factor this into the reserve price that you set.

Decide on whether you want to sell at a live or online auction, and remember to prepare your car beforehand by cleaning it thoroughly and taking it for a service. Always be honest about your car and be prompt for the day of the auction. Soon you will have money in your pocket to buy your new set of wheels… thanks to your old one.

Authored by: mjones

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