How to buy at auction
If you’ve never been to an auction before, be prepared for a whole new experience. Forget that painful process of poring over ads, leaving messages and trekking miles to see unsuitable vehicles. Buying at a BCA auction is fast, easy, convenient … and rewarding.
Best of all, we’ll guide you through the process, so you’ve got all the support you need to make the right decision.
Before you come
- Find out what auctions are coming up at your chosen BCA centre. Then you can browse the sale catalogues to see which vehicles catch your eye.
> See our forthcoming auctions
- Register on our website to view vehicles, our award-winning online vehicle search facility. You can preview around 10,000 used cars and vans available for auction and search for the exact make and model you want. If you’re a motor trade professional, we’ll even notify you automatically when more vehicles become available that meet your criteria.
> Register now
- Register for free email updates and we’ll send you the latest information about the sales and auction centres you’re interested in.
> Sign up now
- Apply for a MyBCA card to get various benefits based on the number of vehicles you buy from us.
> Find out more about the MyBCA card
At the auction
- Get used to it first. If you’re new to auctions, come along to watch one before you take part. It can seem fast and furious, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Play the above video as an introduction - note that some of the scenes are in Europe and the auctioneer isn't always speaking English!
- Arrive early, pick up the sale catalogue and decide how much you want to spend. Remember that, in addition to the hammer price, you’ll have to pay a buyer’s fee.
- Get ready to bid. At some auctions you have to register before making a bid, but in many of our auctions you don’t. If you buy a vehicle without making other payment arrangements in advance, you’ll have to provide at least £500 in cash or by Maestro or Visa Delta debit card (see below).
- Examine the vehicles in the line-up before the auction starts. Try to find at least two of the type you’re interested in, to give you a choice. Go to the relevant auction hall in good time.
- Listen carefully to the auctioneer, who will read out the details of the vehicle before starting the bidding. In particular, you should be aware of its selling description:
- No major mechanical faults - the vehicle should not have any major faults in the engine, gearbox, clutch, brakes, steering or transmission.
- Specified faults – the auctioneer reads out particular defects notified by the seller.
- Sold as seen (and with all its faults if any) – the vehicle is for sale as it is, with no warranties whatsoever by the seller. “Without warranty” means exactly the same.
- On an engineer’s report – the vehicle has been examined by a BCA engineer and is sold on the description contained in the report, which is placed on the windscreen before the sale.
- If you make the highest bid, go straight to the rostrum and give the clerk £500 or 20% of the hammer price (whichever is the greater) Deposits must be paid in cash or by Maestro or Visa Delta debit card. Complete and sign a purchase slip.
- Go to the cashier’s office, where your invoice and vehicle documents will soon be ready. Pay the balance of the purchase price and buyer’s fee. We accept banker’s drafts, cash, cheques, telegraphic transfers and most major credit and debit cards. (Cash and credit card payments are subject to handling fees.)
> Find out more about payments
- Take your vehicles away, once you have completed the paperwork and collected the keys – and (if available) the radio, vehicle registration document and so on. Unless you have a BCA Cheque account, vehicles will only be released to you once your payment has cleared. Remember that it’s an offence to drive a vehicle on the road without valid insurance, a current Vehicle Excise Licence and MOT certificate (if applicable), so you need to make suitable arrangements. We can even deliver your vehicle if you want.
> Find out more about taking your vehicles away
We're here to help
Our customer service team deals with dozens of new buyers every day, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions.
Call us on 0844 875 3480 or email email@example.com