How to Buy Cars at Auction in Massachusetts

by J. Johnson
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Luxury Car sportscar from my luxury car series image by alma_sacra from

Massachusetts residents, like those in most other states, have the option of buying cars at auctions. At an auction, there's a chance that you can get a much nicer car for a much cheaper price than you can when buying a car at a dealership. However, when buying a car at an auction, there are a few things you need to watch out for.

Step 1

Find auction locations and other information by visiting the Massachusetts Car Auctions page of (see the link in Resources below). You can also check your local paper. Make sure an auction includes cars before attending.

Step 2

Visit the auction websites before attending. If possible, view the cars that will be sold. Choose the car you'd like to bid on based on the information provided.

Step 3

Write down each car's VIN number, which should be provided. You can check this number against the VIN of the car at the auction to make sure it's the same car. Also, check out each car you're considering in the Kelley Blue Book, NADA guide or Edmunds book to see what the car is worth. This will help protect you from overbidding.

Step 4

Be aware that cars sold at Massachusetts auctions are usually sold "As Is." This means that if anything goes wrong with the car, you're stuck with it. The auction house is legally protected, and you won't get your money back. Therefore, you need to trust your instincts. If you see a car in person and have second thoughts, don't bid on it.

Step 5

If it's offered, pay the fee that guarantees certain parts of the car, such as the engine, for 30 days. Not all Massachusetts auctions will offer this guarantee, but if they do, take advantage of it. That way, you can take the car to a mechanic after purchasing it, and if there are any problems with the guaranteed parts you can get your money back.

Step 6

Remember to factor in the buyer's premium when bidding on a car. The buyer's premium is a fee paid to the auction house, usually 5 or 10 percent of the final price of the car.

Step 7

Be prepared to pay for the car you purchase at a Massachusetts auction. The auction website should let you know what the preferred method of payment is. This is usually by personal check or cashier's check. When using a personal check, make sure you have enough money in your account to cover it. You should also bring your identification, preferably a driver's license.

Step 8

Arrive at the auction early, and check out the cars you plan to bid on. Make sure the VIN numbers match the numbers that were given online. Check out the condition of the car to make sure you still want to bid on it.

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