How to buy a car

How to buy a car online? You’ve decided to buy a car. Whether this is your first car or the next upgrade, the process of buying a car can be exciting but also overwhelming. Buying a car is likely the second largest expense you will ever make after purchasing a home. And if it’s your first time or it’s been a while since you’ve gone through the car-buying process, understanding how to buy a car is likely a daunting task for you. But remember, buying a car can also be an enjoyable experience, especially with the AutoBids online public car auctions.

Some of the biggest mistakes people make when buying a car are trading in an older car at the dealership or buying a brand new car. By planning out your purchase, you could potentially save yourself hundreds to thousands of dollars on your next vehicle. Stay clear of all the potential dealership fees or other platforms paying half the value for your car! With AutoBids you pay minimal fees compared to other dealerships and online platforms. Plus you can find auctions that are going for cheaper than the actual price of the car!

With our 6-step guide, you’ll navigate through the process prepared and well-informed on how to buy your first or next car.


Assess your needs

Do you need a regular Sedan or do you need a big SUV? The first thing you should do before diving into the car-buying process is determining what type of car you need and want. Making a list of what you need and want is a good starting place to help you narrow down the kind of car you should shop for. With AutoBids advanced filters, you can easily find whatever it is you are looking for!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you narrow down your selection:

How many passengers do you need to carry?
Do you need space for a family? Or possibly the option for larger equipment?
Type of driving
Do you plan to commute often? If so, consider a fuel-efficient model.
Do you plan to do a lot of winter driving? If so, all-wheel drive will be a better option.
Special features
Are there any particular features you need or want? For example, Bluetooth, heated seats, leather seats, backup camera, navigation system, remote start, sunroof, etc.
Short-term or long-term use
Do you plan to change models closer to the end of the warranty? Consider a newer model and get the best out of its prime years.
Do you plan on having this car for the long run? A reliable car is one for you. Look for the provided safety features.


Do some research

There is no right or wrong decision when it comes to buying a car. It all depends on your situation, long-term goals, and the needs that serve you. There are advantages and disadvantages to every car and the price changes with those advantages.
Whether you are looking for something for everyday use or something classy, AutoBids has a variety of cars for your needs! All the research you need to do can be done on our website. From mileage to horsepower, you can find the details on each car. You can compare the prices of the same make and model by doing a general internet search. It is likely you will not find cheaper options than our public car auctions!
YouTube is also a great way to look into a car. Many honest car reviews are available on their platform. Make sure to find a reliable review with a good amount of views. Informative videos are better for research purposes.

What to look for in a car

You’re looking to find a car that will last you a long time

Does it have a “Greenlight” guarantee on AutoBids? You can have unpleasant surprises on other platforms but not with our Greenlight guarantee.

It fits your needs, such as being spacious enough for the whole family

Mileage, every car has its life, and it is important to find a car that is not about to die


Choose to buy a new or used vehicle

Besides deciding on how to pay for your car, you also have to decide on whether you are looking for a brand-new car or a used one.
A new car will have a low odometer reading, a fresh new car smell, but a higher sticker price. Used cars will have an inconsistent range of quality, so more attention to detail and safety requirements are needed. You should never buy a used car without an inspection or check the vehicle history. But the good news is that you might save yourself thousands of dollars if you find a good car for a good deal.
Especially with our Greenlight program, you have the AutoBids guarantee. With used cars, this is really important because you never know what you are going to get. Especially with public car auctions, you can expect a bunch of surprises on a used car. But, when you are buying a car with AutoBids, you can take advantage of our 5-day policy with our Greenlight cars. If there is anything that was not advertised you have the option to return the car!


Determine a budget

Once you’ve determined what kind of car you are looking for, you need to set a budget to establish how much you can afford to spend.
Consider all the costs of a car - not just the sticker price!
A mistake many buyers make is forgetting that the cost of buying a car is beyond just the sticker price of the car. Other costs to consider may be:

Gas - does this car require premium gas, or is it economically friendly?
Auto insurance - fancier cars usually have higher insurance premiums
Maintenance fees - this is especially applicable to older cars
Renting a parking space
Registering the car

Consider all of the costs of driving a car to avoid getting buyer’s remorse.
AutoBids has cars for all budgets! Try to win an auction lower than the price of the car, you never know you might get your dream car for really cheap on AutoBids!


Buy a car!

Now that you have found the vehicle you are interested in, according to your needs, it’s time to find a price that fits your budget. The buying process is a tedious task for many buyers. However, if you come prepared, you will be able to find a great price.
To be prepared, make sure to look at three listings you are interested in. Have printouts for each car to get a comparison. This will help you visualize all three cars and make it easy to compare/
Ensure you ask about all the information to the seller. These could be anything related to the car that is not clear in the listing or some aspect you need more details on. Contact the seller and clear everything on your mind. Having learned the details will help you in finalizing your decision.
Bidding on a car is a fun process but remember don’t get carried away. Stick to your budget and only go over your budget if you can afford it and you absolutely need that specific car.
It is important not to get carried away emotionally in the process, nor should you focus just on the price to make a decision. Other factors go into a car sale. The salesperson at dealerships will often get you to focus just on the monthly payments but increase the interest rate, add-on features, or hidden costs. However, with AutoBids you do not have to deal with pushy salespeople. You can make an informed decision until the auction ends, that should be plenty of time for you to make up your mind!
Remember, if you don’t like the deal, you can always walk away. There is never an obligation to buy if you are not comfortable!


Close the deal and take ownership.

You’ve found the car, you’ve bid back and forth and finally won the auction. Now it’s time to actually take ownership of the car. You can talk to the seller regarding the next steps in taking ownership of the car. Set up a meeting place with the seller. Some sellers are willing to bring the car to your place so you can just ask them. If not, find a place that is close to both you and the seller.
Don’t get too excited yet! If the car is under the Greenlight program, have it checked by a car care professional near you. This will help in making sure that there are no unpleasant surprises with your car.
Make sure to check under the hood, the transmission, and other essential parts of the car. If you encounter any problems after buying the car please contact our customer service as AutoBids is here to help you during any part of the buying process.
Congratulations! It’s now time to enjoy the car you can call your own. Don’t forget to drive safely, or you’ll increase your insurance premiums!


Jennifer D'agostino

January 25th, 2022