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British Car Auctions

Europe's No.1 Vehicle Remarketing Company
Call 0344 875 3480

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.

Register with BCA

Before you can search for vehicles you will need to register:

Trade Buyer registration

Register to use BCA Search, apply for a BCA Trade Buyer Account or apply to buy online with BCA Live Online.

Trade Buyer registration

General Public Registration

Register to use BCA Search and find out how to buy cars, vans, motorbikes and more at auction.

General Public Registration

BCA Search

Once you have registered you have various ways to search for vehicles:

Search vehicles

Search for 1000’s of vehicles nationwide.

Search vehicles

Sale Catalogue

Search sales calendar by centre or vendor.

Sale Catalogue

Search Auction Centres

Search for stock at your local centre

Search Auction Centres

Download the latest Sales Guide

View our monthly digital or PDF Sales Guide

Download the latest Sales Guide

Search on Forthcoming Auctions

View our selected auctions for you.

Search on Forthcoming Auctions

First time searching?

Read our guide to help you search for a vehicle.

First time searching?

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 0344 875 3480 or email customerservices@bca.com