Why You Should Never Buy a Car From an Auction

by | Sep 21, 2021 | Buying/Selling

If you have ever considered purchasing a used car at auction for a fraction of the blue book price, think carefully. Don’t let this happen to you:

A large car carrier pulled up outside our garage recently and dropped off a 2010 BMW. The driver of the carrier pushed the vehicle into a parking space and went on his merry way. He was driving from Florida up the east coast, dropping off vehicles that had been sold at an auction.

Shortly after the car was dropped off, we received a phone call from the new owner who bought the car for her daughter at on an online auction. Of course, at the auction the car was running. By the time it got to us, the driver of the car carrier couldn’t start it and had to push it manually into one of our parking slots. Now, for us and the new owner, the question becomes how much is it going to cost to find out why the auction purchased vehicle doesn’t start? All we can do is have one of our certified technicians run a complete diagnosis of the car. As experienced mechanics, we know many things that can be wrong with an 11-year-old BMW so we follow a systematic process to find the answers.

I don’t know anyone with a knowledge of cars who would buy a car at an auction. Also, I do not know of a time when buying a car at an auction had a positive outcome.

Unfortunately, this BMW arrived before the title so now the owner has to wait before having the car registered and inspected in Maryland.

Could it get any worse? Yes. Our advice: Never buy a car from an auction.


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About the Author

About Brian England

Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care), got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD. A few years later, he started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. Brian is a big believe in preventative maintenance, and his philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of a regular maintenance plan.