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Bargains aplenty at repo sales, but tread cautiously

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Several factors to consider when buying bank-repossessed vehicles

There are bargains aplenty at car auctions but also several factors to consider when buying bank-repossessed vehicles, says auction house Park Village Auctions (PVA).

Here are some guidelines provided by PVA’s Clive Lazarus whose company regularly holds vehicle sales in Durban as well as Joburg:

* As repossessed cars are previously owned, it is important to consider the condition of the car. This includes the mileage, the appearance of the body, tyres, and the condition of the interior upholstery.

* If you are not familiar with vehicle engines, it is recommended that someone with mechanical knowledge accompanies you to inspect the vehicles before you start bidding.

* Establish your maximum bid beforehand. This should be based on your budget, taking into consideration any possible registration fees, and selling fees. The bidding can become quite charged and inexperienced bidders are easily caught up in the hype of the moment.

* Do not be intimidated by the fast-paced bidding; take time when placing your bid.

“As banks are merely looking to recover the remainder of the unpaid loan, the cars on auction are often sold at wholesale price or according to their trade-in value. But it is important to keep in mind that these vehicles are sold ‘as is’ – voetstoots – and are not accompanied by any guarantees or warranties,” says Lazarus.

Bargains can never be guaranteed on car auctions but when dealing with companies trusted by banks and respected by buyers, substantial cost savings are usually achieved by buying a car repossessed by finance houses. 

Volumes of vehicles on offer

KwaZulu-Natal residents who are keen to acquire new vehicles will be spoilt for choice with at least four auction houses planning large-scale vehicle sales in the province this month.

The sales will take place:

* March 18 in Durban (Aucor).

* March 19 in Ladysmith (Maritzburg Auctioneers).

* March 22 in Maswazini (Maritzburg Auctioneers).

* March 23 in Durban (Maritzburg Auctioneers).

* March 26 in Prospecton – Sars auction (Auction All).

* March 27 at Eshowe Vuma Reserve (Maritzburg Auctioneers).

* March 28 in Durban (Tirhani Auctioneers).

For more details, see the auction companies’ respective websites. 

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