If you want to have a car but do not want to put a lot of strain on your finances, why not buy a pre-owned one from auto auctions. Although getting cars from auctions is not entirely risk-free, given that there’s a possibility of you getting a lemon, this is not something you can’t avoid. Spending some time to research on the car you wish to buy and common sense will allow you to home in on great finds.
The auction process
Vehicles that are auctioned off come from different sources. A number of these cars come with a reserve value which is the minimum amount the one selling it is willing to take. A sale catalogue is usually made available to buyers so they can decide which ones to bid on. Just like in other auctions, the vehicle is awarded to the highest bidder.
One of the most popular ways of getting pre-owned vehicles is through Japanese car auction. The preference for vehicles sold at Japan’s car auctions is because these usually have lower odometer readings, are in better condition, and not as superannuated as those auctioned off elsewhere. Private buyers cannot participate in Japan’s car auctions though as this activity is reserved to Japan-based dealers holding auction membership. Membership is limited to companies, mostly dealerships that are operating in Japan, as a way of ensuring that the auction process remains orderly. Majority if not all of these member dealerships operate their own websites so buyers offshore can browse through auction listings and make a proxy bid. On the date of the auction, the dealership will bid up to the amount that you have set. This is usually done off-site, and the whole process can be finished in a few minutes. If you are the highest bidder, it is your obligation to pay off the balance so the purchased vehicle can be shipped to you.
Evaluating a vehicle at auctions
Auctions may not be right for those who cannot tolerate risks. Auctions are considered risky because you are typically not allowed to take the car for a spin to evaluate its performance and handling. Then again, those who buy at auctions assert that there are other effective ways of evaluating a car’s condition, for instance, by reading the inspection report.
Picking a dealership or exporter
Working with an offshore company need not be cumbersome. For your convenience, it would be best if you hire a dealership or exporter that has a native speaker of English or at least someone proficient enough to help you in getting a car from Japan car auction. They should also have a clear and simple pricing structure, so there aren’t surprises later on. Also check if they are a member of JUMVEA, the industry’s watchdog. Compare at least three exporters so you can home in on the best one. Remember, the cheapest is not always the most reliable. Check if they respond to emails and queries promptly, and look at the percentage of successful bids. Go with one with a good track record, easy to work with, and have years of experience in the industry.