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Online auctions like those held by HBC can be a convenient alternative to visiting auction sites

This content was provided on behalf of HBC Vehicle Services

YOU can get a great deal on a van at auction, but there are a few things you should learn before attending.

Things move fast in these environments, and not knowing the basics can lead to you missing out on a fantastic opportunity or entering into a contract you don’t want. Make sure you get clued up by checking out our tips below.


Reputable vehicle auctioneers

You should only buy from a reputable vehicle auctioneering company; otherwise, you stand a higher chance of encountering problems with the van and associated documentation.

British Car Auctions (BCA) is the UK’s largest vehicle auction company, and holds regular van auctions across the country. However, HBC Vehicle Services’ online van auctions may be a more convenient option. This company has auctioned recovered and used vehicles for over 45 years.


What you will pay at a vehicle auction

At an auction, it isn’t as simple as paying the price you bid: you will usually be subject to a number of fees, so you need to keep them in mind to avoid going over budget. You will normally be required to pay VAT (20 per cent) and buyer’s premium (around ten per cent) on top of your bid.


What to take to a vehicle auction

If you are visiting a local auction, there are a few things you need to take along. Normally, you will need cash or a card to make a deposit, and your driving licence. However, the requirements will differ by auction house, so you should check individual guidelines.

It’s also a good idea to take along a friend, especially if they know more about motoring than you. That way, you can get a second opinion on the quality of the van and reduce the chance of overpaying for a sub-par van.

Take along your smartphone, or another device that can connect to mobile networks, so you can look things up on the web. You’ll also be able to conduct a HPI check to ensure a vehicle has a clean history, although this won’t be necessary if the auction house has carried out checks for evidence of theft or outstanding finance.


Van auction glossary

Reserve: The reserve is the minimum amount the owner will sell for, but it is not usually disclosed to the auction room until the bidding has concluded. That means that the top bidder will not necessarily walk away with the vehicle. Conversely, a van being auctioned without reserve could be sold for the price of the first bid!

Sold as seen: This means that what you see is what you get, faults and all. You generally won’t receive a warranty, either. Inspecting the van and reading any specifications thoroughly is especially crucial with these lots.

No major mechanical faults: This means that main parts such as the engine, gearbox and brakes are fit for purpose. It does not necessarily cover non-essential aspects such as the air conditioning or radio.


Before driving away

As with any vehicle, you must make sure that you are taxed and insured before hitting the road. If a van is being sold with existing excise tax, it will be transferred to you. You also need to ensure that the vehicle has a valid MOT certificate.

Good luck at the auction!

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