Won a Car at Auction? These Are the Auction Car Transport Tips You Need to Know

Won a Car at Auction? These Are the Auction Car Transport Tips You Need to Know

Winning your dream car at an auction is exciting. In some cases, you can pay, sign some paperwork, get the keys, and drive it out of the lot. That’s arguably the best-case scenario.

But sometimes you need auction car transport services to get possession of your car.

Not all cars sold at auction are operational. Even if they are, it’s unlikely that they’re fueled, checked, and ready to drive. Then you must consider your location. Many auction houses hold online auctions, meaning you could buy a vehicle from out-of-state.

If that’s the case, you’ll definitely need a professional transporter to pick up and deliver the car to your doorstep. To make this process easier and stress-free, the following tips provide all the information you need to arrange transport before and after placing a winning bid.

Get Clear on the Auction House’s Shipping ProcessTip No. 1 – Get Clear on the Auction House’s Shipping Process

It’s not uncommon for auction car transport to be arranged by the auction house. Many collaborate with trusted shipping services and provide transport for a fee. But they don’t always commit to fulfilling every auto transport auction request.

It all depends on available routes and distance. If you want the car shipped in the same city as the auction house or the same state, many should offer this service. But shipping out-of-state directly from the auction house lot might require a third-party shipping service.

Get clear on how the auction house does business to avoid wasting time or paying for temporary storage.

Tip No. 2 – Use Enclosed Car Auction Transportation

If you went to an auction to buy a car, it’s likely a vintage model or a collectible. It’s probably more expensive than your everyday car and could even be in poor condition or non-operational. Any of these factors indicate a need for special attention.

That means you need specialized shippers with reliable equipment who can protect the car and drive it safely from the auction house lot to your home.

Your best solution is enclosed transport. Auction cars can be protected by an enclosed trailer because it keeps them safe from the elements. They can provide multiple strapping options and even additional crating if necessary.

Road debris and damage from collisions pose less of a risk. In addition, carriers are more likely to honor auto transport bids from auction buyers who want enclosed transport instead of open carrier shipping. Those can skyrocket a carrier’s insurance premiums if something goes wrong when transporting an expensive vehicle.

Tip No. 3 – Prepare Ahead

You could get a quote for car auction transportation months in advance. Sure, you might not know if you can snag the car from other bidders, but early booking can result in significant discounts.

Another reason to prepare in advance is to get a decent estimate of the transportation costs. Shippers will factor in the distance from the auction house to your desired drop-off location. They calculate the costs of moving a car of that specific weight, size, and condition.

Even better, planning ahead could help you secure prime season car shipping. Auction houses can hold an auction at any time, and don’t plan their schedules around what’s ideal for you to get a good rate on shipping.

Waiting until the end of the auction to contact a carrier can lead to major delays, especially in the summer and other high-demand periods.

Tip No. 4 – Keep and Share the Right Information

Auto auction shipping services can pick up your car, whether bidding in person or winning an online auction for your favorite vehicle. But entering the premises and being allowed to pick up your car usually requires some specific information.

For example, the auction house informs buyers of the lot number corresponding to your car. Shipping companies need that number to locate and load the vehicle without wasting time.

The buyer number is also required for the shippers to prove that they’re legally allowed to take the car out of the lot and move it to a new location.

Another document that could come up, depending on the auction house, is the release form. It’s provided by some auction houses as additional proof that the buyer’s payment cleared, and they can take the car into their possession themselves or use a third-party transporter.

Additionally, you could also share the car’s VIN number and describe its condition in detail.

Other relevant information for shipping companies is anything to do with the car’s condition. If the car starts and drives, loading it onto a trailer is easy.

However, the car may start, but its steering is faulty. Maybe it doesn’t have wheels, or perhaps nothing about it works. In these situations, carriers need to be prepared with special equipment to lift, tow, and secure the car in the trailer.

Tip No. 5 – Coordinate With the Auction House

As you’ll see on many car transport auction sites, auction houses don’t stay open 24/7. Hence, coordinating with the carrier and auction house is key to ensuring a smooth pickup.

Ask the auction house for a gate pass and forward it to the carrier. Learn the schedule and set a time with the carrier for a prompt pickup.

Remember that some auction lots charge for every day the car remains in storage after being purchased. This is true of most vehicle salvage auction lots. But while those don’t charge large fees, luxury auction lots could incur premium prices.

Good coordination can prevent delays and unnecessary payments.

Tip No. 6 – You Can Use Open Trailers for Multiple Cars

Placing multiple auto transport bids to secure auction car transport for more than one vehicle isn’t always the best option.

Experienced carriers that arrange shipping to and from auction houses are familiar with the conditions of some of these vehicles. They know that cars aren’t always maintained, drained of fuel and oil, could have leaks, or be too fragile to pack tightly in a tiered enclosed trailer.

Your request to have enclosed transport for two or more successful bids could be denied. In that case, an open trailer can be a reliable solution.

You can take your vehicles from the lot on the same date and have all of them delivered simultaneously. Furthermore, protective covers can be used to shield the cars from the elements and road debris. Open carriers might not seem appealing, but they prevent cars from leaking fluids or damaging each other. That’s a safer shipping environment for long hauls carrying multiple vehicles.

You Can Use Open Trailers for Multiple CarsTip No. 7 – Check the Carrier’s Insurance

Auto transport insurance may be mandatory for all carriers, but that doesn’t mean every carrier is a good fit to fulfill every request for car shipping. Auction cars can be expensive, fragile, and require loads of extra care.

Not only does the carrier you pick for auto car transport need reliable and specialized equipment, but also great insurance. A lot can happen on the road and during loading and unloading procedures.

Scratches, dents, and even total loss are always possible. But the average car shipping company probably doesn’t have as much insurance to cover significant damage to an expensive vehicle.

Thus, asking the carrier about their insurance and liability coverage and their confidence in handling luxury, antique, and collectible cars is essential.

You can even pay for additional coverage, if you want, and some carriers can arrange that through a broker.

Tip No. 8 – Don’t Delay Payments

Some auction houses may accept alternative payment methods and schedules. However, if you want to ship your car from the auction lot to your home after winning the bid, it’s best to pay for the car in full.

Many auction houses will want to keep the vehicle in storage until proof of final payment. This is a smart business move on their part.

If you’ve already arranged transport, it’s best to ensure that your payment cleared. Otherwise, your carrier might be denied entry access to the lot.

These scenarios can lead to long delays in securing a second transport at a time that’s convenient to you, more money spent on storage, and plenty of stress.

Tip No. 9 – Be Extra Careful when Securing International Auction Car Transport

Some people buy cars at foreign auctions. It’s easy enough to do when traveling or even sitting in the comfort of your home monitoring the auction on your laptop.

But international shipping is a tricky business. Transporting a car from a foreign country requires compliance with the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act of 1972, the Clear Air Act of 1968, and the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1996.

If the car isn’t older than 25 years, getting it into the country is simple. The problems begin when a newer model raises compliance issues with the aforementioned Acts.

Experienced shippers can let you know if the vehicle requires modifications prior to shipping, certifications, etc.

International carriers may also secure proper cleaning services before it leaves the auction house and reaches U.S. customs. Foreign cars won’t pass customs if residue from foreign soil is detected as it may contain various contaminates.

Besides, customs clearance requires plenty of paperwork. Carriers can help you fill out the proper forms and pay customs duties and import taxes on your behalf.

They can take the car to the nearest port from the auction house and ship it to a port closer to you back home. This is to minimize shipping distance costs.

There’s a lot that goes into buying and shipping cars at international auctions. Auto shippers can help you navigate through the process so you can enjoy your dream car sooner, not later, and avoid spending a fortune.

Tip No. 10 – Opt for Earlier Pickup

There’s no denying that coordinating with the shipper and auction house is important. But at the end of the day, every shipping company aims to please the customer.

Therefore, if you want to set a specific time, the carrier will likely oblige if they have free operators and vehicles.

However, many people make the mistake of scheduling pickups towards the end of the day. This helps them synchronize with getting home from work.

One would assume that arranging a pickup right before the auction lot closes or in the last hour is the best approach. In reality, closing hours are the busiest time for every auction lot. It’s such a popular choice among winning bidders that it actually makes everything slower.

Consider that it can take up to one hour to clear the gate, check the paperwork, and load the car on a trailer. That’s when there’s enough room for everyone to move around the lot. It can take twice or three times as long if the lot is busy and other shippers are trying to fulfill their orders.

But auction houses are unlikely to extend their working hours to accommodate late arrivals, which means your delivery can experience delays. Arranging early pickups is often better, and asking the auction lot manager about their high-traffic hours is highly recommended.

Auction Car Transport Made Easy

Shipping a car won at auction is probably a no-brainer over arranging transport yourself. It’s not like you’re buying a brand-new car from a dealership. A lot can go wrong, from running into mechanical and electrical issues to the risk of damaging the car on the road. Besides, bidding on an out-of-state car can make DIY transport even more expensive.

Learning to coordinate with the auction house and an experienced carrier and how to provide the proper information and paperwork is key to securing efficient and safe transport.

If you need help in this situation, don’t hesitate to contact Shipvehicles. We offer a wide range of vehicle transportation services, including international shipping. Reach out for more information or to get a quote today.