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Benefits of Purchasing a Car in an Online Auction

Consumers are always looking for the best way to get the most out of their investments, and buying a car is no exception. For many, purchasing a brand-new car off the lot isn’t an option financially. In those instances, an online auto auction can be the solution to finding a great car at a fraction of the cost. The benefits of purchasing a used vehicle through online auctions include variety, convenience, and as previously stated, affordability. 


Vehicles offered in online auctions are typically the rest of repossession, foreclosures, or decommissioned commercial vehicles. Any changes that need to be made are typically minor adjustments or cosmetic updates. In other words, these cars are generally in good condition. With that being said, the variety of options to choose from are plentiful. 

Several auctions will have a range of styles from SUVs to economy compact cars, even trucks and commercial vehicles. However, given the nature of the auction, availability of options such as color and mileage will be less than that of a traditional dealership. It’s best to do research of the type of vehicle that best suits individual needs before entering a fast-paced online auction. For many, working with a professional to act as a proxy is the best solution. 


The process of auto auctions can seem intimidating at first glance, but ultimately, it’s a quick and painless experience. Several online dealers are strictly open to those with a dealer’s license. However, many are available to the general public through the proxy of a licensed dealer. In these cases, customers can peruse the online vehicles available, and pay a dealer to place a bid on their behalf. 

Working with a proxy may sound like additional fees and investments, but the end cost of buying a vehicle through this process will still be less than buying off the lot. Working with a proxy in advance to discuss preferences, price range, and deal-breakers ensures that the outcome will satisfy the buyer’s needs. 


Discounts at online auto auctions can provide customers with up to 30 percent lower pricing than a typical used car lot. In some instances, that percentage is higher based on lack of repairs needed. The most affordable deals reported are typically on decommissioned government and police vehicles. These are prime purchases in that they’re kept in quality condition and are generally kept up to date on required service. Many repossessed vehicles are also a steal when found new or only briefly used. 

Things to consider

As with anything else, there are both pros and cons to purchasing a vehicle in an online auction. Cars are sold as-is, meaning some adjustments or service may be required for particular vehicles. Before purchasing a vehicle in an online auction, be sure to inquire about the history with as much detail as possible. Vehicles do not come with a warranty for service or parts, so all repairs will typically be the customer’s responsibility after purchase. With that being said, it’s important to consider these possible costs when deciding upon the highest bid to make. Weighing the current state of a vehicle with its necessary service and upkeep should provide an ideal number to either place individually or with the aid of a dealer proxy. 

Similarly, purchasing a vehicle that requires upkeep or fixes means taking on the responsibility of making said repairs. Before placing a bid, be sure to have a process lined up to make any changes. Whether it’s by the customer’s mechanically-savvy hands or the hands of a professional, doing research into the cost and labor fees for specific vehicle issues can aid in deciding upon a proper cap for bidding. 

Ultimately, the benefits of purchasing a car in an online auction surpass the cons associated with the process. When customers do the proper research, gain assistance from professionals, and enter into an auction prepared, the results can be financially rewarding.