Car Auction Tips for first time Bidders

Get a free quote today

to find out costs and procedures involved in shipping your car from Australia to New Zealand.

Posted on 21st October 2019




Never been to a car auction before?  You’ll find them in most major cities with large auction houses typically running like a well-oiled machine.  It’s a good idea to pop along and see how a car auction runs before bidding so you have an idea of what is involved, how much time you will need to allow for and great chance to ask the staff any questions.  Here are some other tips to ensure it’s a positive experience…


Do your homework

Ahhh, the internet. Isn’t it a great tool for finding out pretty much EVERYTHING.  Once you have a car in mind you’d like to bid on, we recommend researching reviews, used car price guides and the vehicle’s history.  If you have a vehicle identification number (VIN) you’ll be able to find its history online. 


Know little about cars?  Take someone who does

if you don’t know your transmission from your brake fluid find someone who can help you. If you don’t have the confidence to ask straight-talking car questions - it will show.  Take it for a test drive and if you like the way it drives, we recommend a pre-purchase check.  AANZ conduct independent pre-purchase vehicle inspections in New Zealand while RACQ and VIA offer the same service in Australia. 


Stick to your budget

Auction is the perfect place to get caught up in the moment and pay more than you intended to. The auction business thrives on it.   If you are actively bidding against another serious buyer, it is very tempting to ‘push the envelope’ (the one with the money in it!).   Know the car’s worth and try to keep a cool head when bidding.  You may not get it for a bargain, but you may buy it for a good price.  Know the point of when to stop bidding, otherwise what was the point of the auction?


Start the bidding low

Bidding will only go up, so start well below your top price. There’s no way of telling what the reserve is so don’t assume it is high.  Perhaps the seller needs a quick sale, perhaps not. 


Consider what car you need

A Mustang convertible isn’t going to help if you have 3 kids and a dog.  Many auction houses such as Turners in New Zealand have a great online tool where you choose your price, age, km, engine type and even safety ratings so you can drill down on which cars meet your criteria (saving you hours of endless scrolling). 





Our easy - 3 step shipping process

Advise pick-up location
Documents & shipping
Delivered to your door

Tell us the pick up location and we'll arrange a date & time

We handle all customs & shipping including insurance

Enjoy your toy, after it's delivered to your door anywhere in NZ.

Get Started

Related articles

Build your own Hyundai at Home with your Kids!
Posted on 16th September 2020
Wondering what to do with the kids during the school holidays?  Hyundai might have the perfect answer!  They’ve developed a build-it-yourself push go-cart with free plans for any parent wishing to tackle this project with their child/children (Dads- you have to share). Hyundai got the idea in the early days of Covid19 when families all over the world were spending more time together at home.  They saw it as an opportunity for kids to continue learning and for families to connect.
Read more

Stink Bug High Season is Here!
Posted on 24th August 2020
At times, unwanted travellers come in on imported vehicles and vehicle parts. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) are currently working a list of requirements to prevent the brown marmorated stink bug from entering New Zealand shores.  Vehicles parts and machinery are considered ‘risk goods’, especially when coming in from high-risk countries (landing in New Zealand and Australia) between 1 September 2020 until 30 April 2021. 
Read more

Australian Tourist Hotspots (which aren’t ‘Sydney or Melbourne)
Posted on 21st July 2020
Remember that Australian tourism tv advert a few years back – “So, where the bloody hell are ya”?  Well, where everyone is, is at home thanks to a worldwide pandemic. Australia, like most other countries, is forgetting about overseas travel and looking to rediscover what wonderful attractions can be found at home. Here are some hotspots which aren’t Sydney or Melbourne and will welcome you with open arms to help generate a stable economy.   
Read more

New Zealand School Holidays Adventures
Posted on 1st July 2020
With school holidays about to start, we've collated a list of ideas that doesn't involve skiing but can help boost local business and give you some options if you’re planning to get away.
Read more

Increased measures - Takata airbag recall.. Read more.