Auction Process FAQ
What are the advantages to buying a car from a professional dealer auction?
The selection of vehicles of all varieties is enormous in quantity and quality. Vehicles here are typically offered at 10-20% below what you would expect to pay in a retail facility. It is where dealerships, leasing companies, and financial institutions look to release their surplus inventory on a national scale. Trade-ins, lease returns, repos, and surplus inventory gets traded at these auctions.
Everything from the newest Aston Martin to a decades old Lada is available on a daily basis. Independent unbiased quality reviews are posted on-line. Try and get that information from a Carfax report, an Internet vendor, eBay Cars, or the Autotrader!
Which cars are available and when?
Some manufacturers have sales monthly, others every two weeks, some just whenever they feel like it. We constantly monitor auctions at over 300 different locations in Canada and the US. Listings change on a daily basis. If we discover a vehicle within your criteria, we will inform you right away.
Who can bid at these auctions?
Only registered dealers can bid on and inspect cars at wholesale dealer auctions.
How do auctions work?
Most vehicle auctions are real physical auctions where a car rolls down a lane to an auction block and an auctioneer starts chanting out bid numbers. Typically we enter maximum proxy bids on behalf of our clients online prior to the physical auction.
How quickly do vehicles sell at auction?
Typically, about 60 cars are sold per hour in each lane of an auction facility. An auction facility may have up to 30 lanes of vehicles running concurrently and will sell 7000 cars a day. A car enters the block and sells in about 45 seconds.
Should I be anxious about buying a car from an auction?
No, not at all. The auction houses prepare condition reports on the vehicles they sell. The reports are done independently of any input from the vendor. Vehicles in good shape are labelled as such. Damage on vehicles is fully disclosed. You will know of any potential blemishes long before we bid on or see a vehicle.
What sort of information is available in an auction report?
Vehicle information pages available from auction houses give us vehicle photos, specifications and unbiased condition reports.
The condition reports are prepared by the auction house's professional inspector. Details include: exterior and interior colours, trim level, options such as heated seats, leather/cloth, satellite radio, available keys, tread depth measurements, manual/automatic transmissions, sunroof, etc. They will list: mechanical problems, body work imperfections, paint problems, replaced panels, dents, scratches, interior cuts, wear, and odours. The reports will give us the severity of each problem and an estimated cost to repair each problem in terms of labour hours. We also see what items have already been repaired.
This information is very detailed. As we prepare to bid on vehicles, we'll pull the vehicle and condition reports and forward them to you.
What does MMR mean?
Auction houses calculate an average value based on historical data. See our MMR note on the bidding page for more information.
What happens if the vehicle has minor damage?
Damage on, things missing from, an auctioned vehicle is highlighted in the vehicle report and condition report. We relay this information to you, in advance, so you know what you're getting, exactly.
Typically with major manufacturers, they authorize the auction house to affect repairs to the vehicles. The auction company has a professional body shop and will repair things like minor dents, paint chips, wet sanding, wheel rash, etc. The manufacturer may supply missing objects like manuals.
This will be detailed on condition reports of what is outstanding and what has been done already.