How to Buy Off Lease Cars by Auction

by Jerel Jacobs

If you are looking to save money on your next vehicle, consider buying at auction. Car auctions, particularly off-lease auctions, often have nearly new vehicles in excellent condition and with factory warranties remaining. Typically, these cars sell for many thousands less than what you would pay at a car dealership or if buying from a private seller.

Find out where the auctions are. On the Internet, search for "leased car auctions in Texas," for example. Publications such as "Auto Trader" and other used-car magazines frequently list auctions taking place in your local area and across the United States.

Make a list of vehicles that you would like. This can help you decide which auctions to attend. Certain auctions publish an advanced listing of the vehicles that will be available; others do not.

Arrive early. Most off-lease cars will be in excellent condition, and will have been dealership serviced and maintained. However, arriving early will allow you to inspect the vehicles beforehand, and you may be able to ask any questions you might have before the bidding starts.

Prioritize your choices. Rank this list in order of most desirable to least desirable. Next to each vehicle write down the maximum you wish to bid on that particular automobile. This will come in handy later, as it will keep you from overbidding in the heat of the moment.

Find a seat close to the auctioneer. This will allow you to see the vehicles if they are displayed during bidding, and will keep you focused on your particular budget and the value you have assigned each vehicle, not on what is going on around you.

Start bidding. Remember also that you will be responsible for arranging transport for the vehicles that you purchase.

Tip

  • check Inspect the vehicles closely before bidding, and ask as many questions as you can. Be sure to look for signs of obvious body damage, such as rust, wide body panel gaps or paint that is poorly matched. This could signal that the vehicle has been wrecked and improperly repaired. Some lower-mileage off-lease cars will still have manufacturer warranty coverage; take this into consideration when bidding.

Warning

  • close In most cases, vehicles purchased at auction are sold as-is with no implied warranty.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.