The first time you visit any car auction can be pretty intimidating, while you can multiply that by ten in relation to sports car auctions. First off, your eyes have to cope with all the gleaming metal work that's lined up for the auction. There will probably be cars there that you've only ever seen in magazines or at the movies looking for new homes. You will wish you could afford at least behalf of them, but you can't and need to be practical.
Terrestrial Sports car auctions like any motoring auctions generally operate in the same way. The cars are driven into a small arena, the auctioneer provides a brief and sometimes colourful description of what's on offer before asking for bids. The auctioneer will usually suggest a starting price, and if the customers think it's a little too optimistic a lower amount will be suggested. When the vehicle reaches the seller's minimum the auctioneer let's the audience know, and then it's a free for all. If the car attracts high demand bidding could keep mounting, which is good news for both the seller and the auction as they receive a slice of the sale.
Car sales are paid either with cash, or by arrangement with the auction. It is usual for a deposit to be left and payment to be fully completed within 24 hours.
What Can You Find At Sports Car Auctions
People go to auctions sometimes out of curiosity but mainly to purchase something cheaper than they could ordinarily. Sports car dealers will regularly attend sports car auctions in order to maintain their stock of cars. So what you spot in the high street showroom might well have come from a sports car auction.
In the UK one of the largest car auction operations belongs to the British Car Auctions (BCA) group which has 22 auction sites across the UK. The kinds of cars found at the general auctions offered by the BCA may well include sport cars, although these are more likely to be supplied by private individuals rather than companies. The BCA does however include a variety of specialist auctions specific to classic and executive vehicles, which sometimes includes sports car auctions. An example of the vehicles you can find at these is shown here: BMW 530I 3.0 SE, Saloon, GREY, 4 doors, Manual Transmission, Petrol, 4,037 warranted miles; 12/09/2002 BMW M3 3.2 , Coupe, YELLOW, 2 doors, Manual Transmission, Petrol, 38,269 warranted miles; 10/09/2003 BMW X5 2.9 D SPORT, Estate, BLACK, 5 doors, Automatic, Diesel, 25,003 miles.
Finding good, quality used sport cars has never been easier, but the above does not provide an idea of how much you might pay. At Classic H&H auctions, one of Europe's largest specialist automotive auctioneers seller prices are indicated. An example of what you can find and what the seller would be hoping to receive is shown below:
1963 AC Cobra Le Mans Competition Roadster £700,000 - 800,000
1958 Austin Healey 100/6 -works demonstrator £40,000 - 50,000
1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28 £17,000 - £20,000
1992 TVR Griffith 4.3 £7,500 - £9,500
OK, so the Cobra is outside the bracket for most of us, but someone will still buy it, possibly sports car dealers?
The point is that whatever sports car you're looking for can probably be found at an auction site, and buying at one of these outlets could save you hundreds perhaps thousands of pounds. The risks of buying a lemon have also been greatly reduced, with many auctions now offering to provide checks, at a small cost, relating to a vehicle's heritage and mechanicals, thereby giving you the information you need to be comfortable with your purchase. In this day and age buying used sport cars at auction makes sense.