Tips for buying a car at auction

The Easter period is an excellent time for visiting an auction and capturing a used-vehicle bargain, according to British Car Auctions.

The used-car retailer said there is often a surge in ex-company cars that become available around this time, as old ones are traded in for newer models. And it added private car buyers shouldn't be put off by preconceived perceptions of the auction environment.

Tim Naylor, public relations manager at BCA, said: "Buying at auction, for the first time, can be a daunting experience, but with a little bit of knowledge and guidance it can be a great experience. Our new website can help used-car buyers do some window shopping before they even leave the house."

BCA's top tips for buying at an auction include:

:: Do your homework – know what you want before you go to an auction and have an idea what the car you are after is worth

: Know the terms and conditions – each auction house has its own rules on how you can buy, what the fees are, etc. Familiarise yourself with these so that you don't get surprised later on

:: Check the exterior and interior condition of the car, as these elements are sold as seen. If you don't know much about cars, then bring someone who does

:: Set a budget and stick to it.

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