Finding Used Auto Parts for Maintenance and Repair

Finding a quality used auto part for your vehicle is one of the main components of maintaining and repairing your vehicle. So your vehicle has been giving you problems and now is the time to get it fixed but you do not want to pay the high fees associated with a new part. Well, you are not the only one studies have shown that 8 out of 10 people prefer to save money when getting their car repaired.

To find a used car part you can contact your local salvage yard and see if they have what you are looking for or you can go online to find a reputable used auto part supplier. The salvage yard industry has taken their business to the internet to provide individuals across the world the opportunity to find the part they are looking for. Online inventory lists have been set up to allow customers to find the exact used car part they are looking for and have it delivered right to their front door.

Many people find themselves asking if a used car part means they will sacrifice quality, reliability, and performance. The buying and selling of used auto parts is not something that just came along, actually it has been around well ever since the automobile has. Many used car parts come from automobiles that insurance companies claim as irreparable cars. Irreparable cars still have good quality parts on them that can be used, and some of these parts are only a few years old. A used car part is not something that sits on shelves for years or has been used for years, but rather a part that is quality tested and able to be used on another car.

The key in avoiding any quality issues is communication. Many reputable salvage yards specialize in selling used auto parts that have been tested for quality assurance. It is recommended to find the part you are looking for via the online inventory lists and give the salvage yard a call to confirm the make, model, and year of the used auto part you are looking for. Before purchasing your used car part make sure you find a quality salvage yard to purchase from. A quality salvage yard or used auto parts supplier will offer some form of guarantee on the used car parts ordered.

Selling Your Car at Auction – A Beginners Guide

With many people struggling to make ends meet and TV adverts with catchy jingles tempting you to sell your car for quick cash, it can seem appealing. Your car (next to your house) is probably your most expensive piece of equity and with this in mind, it can be tempting to sell it, purchase a cheaper make or model and pocket the difference.

Car auctions, whether they be physical or on-line, can be a good way of selling your car, safe in the knowledge that an experienced auctioneer has yours, and the auction house’s, best interest at heart. You may think that these things do not always necessarily go hand in hand but bear in mind that the auction house will take a percentage of the purchase price (buyers fee) as commission so it is in their interest to get you as much money as possible!

So, let’s start with the basics:

What is a car auction?

Car auctions have a long history within the automotive industry with many different types of business using them to either sell excess stock or purchase new stock for resale.

They are extremely popular in the USA and Japan and are gaining popularity in the UK where they are no longer seen as dirty places. This is mainly thanks to the industry making a concerted effort to change the reputation of the sector and make it more appealing to all people, not just those ‘in the trade’.

Car auctions sell cars, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, plant equipment, and some of them will also sell large goods vehicles and possibly caravans and motor homes.

Auction houses do not own the vehicles which they sell. They merely act as a shop front for many different types of seller. These can include leasing companies, fleet management companies, dealer groups, banks and financial institutions, governmental bodies, police, and of course private individuals.

Let’s look at each of these different sellers more closely:

Leasing Companies

Leasing companies rent vehicles to companies or private drivers for a set period of time (sometimes as little as 1 year) so the vehicles put into auction are usually young models with a good mileage and because the cars are usually leased from new, they may have only had one person driving them whilst going to a meeting twice a week! When the lease or rental period ends, leasing companies will enter their old stock into auction as their customers are more interested in leasing brand new vehicles. These companies are usually owned by banks or financial institutions.

Fleet Management Companies

These are similar to Leasing companies in that they lease their stock to organisations but differ in that they will supply their customers with a whole fleet of cars and manage that fleet on behalf of their client. Again, when the rental period for the fleet ends, the companies wish to take advantage of the capital wrapped up in their stock in order to replace it with new models.

Dealer Groups

If you have ever part exchanged your old car at one of the large, glass fronted dealers or showrooms, chances are it has subsequently been put into auction and sold. Dealer groups will also enter old or unsold stock (known as overage) from their forecourts in order to keep their showrooms looking fresh with the latest that the manufacturer(s) have to offer. Of course, buying a vehicle at auction which has been entered by a dealer group can be a bit riskier than the leasing or fleet companies as if someone has part exchanged their old car, you have to ask yourself why did they do it, what sort of person where they, how well did they keep it and how many previous keepers has it had?

Banks and financial institutions

Banks and financial institutions can fall into fleet and leasing companies as many of them have these elements within their respective corporate families and follow the same trends. However, banks can also enter cars into auctions that have been repossessed from their customers after defaults on loan or mortgage repayments. Obviously a car itself is of little or no interest to a bank, they are only interested in the value and the money which can be made from it.

Governmental bodies

Government bodies will run fleets of cars for their staff and key executives and will update this fleet on a regular basis with the old stock being put into auction. Separate Government departments will also enter a wide range of vehicles at auction from ex-defence Land Rovers or staff cars, to lawn mowers and diggers used on the local playing fields or in the local cemetery! Local Government may also enter cars into auction that have been seized by bailiffs follow non payment of bills such as Council Tax (depending on the Local Authority in question, these can be quite high end models).

Police

Police forces will auction vehicles seized from convicted criminals to either compensate victims, break up an illegal estate or regain public money gained fraudulently. The police also auction a variety of other items seized for similar reasons and may do this through an auction house or by holding their own property auctions. As well as these lots, all police forces will also run a fleet of undercover or unmarked vehicles and these will need to be constantly updated, with the old stock being put into auction to raise funds for the force.

Private individuals

This is the category of seller that we are really interested in. Private sellers can enter and purchase cars from auction and if their car is not sold first time round, they can tell the auction house to keep putting it in until they receive an acceptable bid. Be warned though, auction houses will charge you for each time they enter the car so if you have sold your car after a couple of sales, you may want to check your reserve price or rethink your options.

How does it work?

Most auctions work on the same principal; your prospective buyers bid against one another, raising the amount which they offer with each new bid they make until their competitors drop out and they are left as the highest bidder. All of your bidders will be in the auction hall (although an online element is becoming increasing popular) and all bids are made in the open. This type of auction is known as an ‘English Auction and its formula applies to the majority of vehicle auctions.

When your vehicle arrives at the auction centre, it will be inspected by the auctions technicians who will highlight any scratches, dents, scuffs, rust, etc and value the overall damage costs. It can be important to consider this when you think about your reserve as trade buyers will have a good idea of the vehicles value and of the damage costs and will factor this into their bidding. The damage cost will not be shown to any buyers, it is purely for the auction house’s records.

Your car will then be photographed and ‘lotted’, the process whereby your car is entered into a sale. It will be assigned a lot number and will be placed in the auctions yard to be viewed by the buyers.

At the same time, your vehicles details will be published online for buyers to look at before they arrive at the auction. This is a good way of building interest in your car and most auction houses will send our copies of their latest catalogues to their buyers.

You should do your best to ensure that you car is entered with all of the paperwork and material which you have relating to it:

  • V5c Registration Document
  • Hand book
  • Any other manuals (SatNav, radio, etc)
  • Service book
  • Historic garage receipts of details of work carried out
  • Locking wheel nut key (if your car has one)
  • Any other information or items that came with your car when you bought it

All of these things are important to buyers and if you were buying a car, you would expect to have everything that you could have relating to it so think of these when you enter your car.

Of course, you will also have to leave your key and any spares with the auction.

In the auction halls…

When your vehicle is lining up to be driven into the auction halls, buyers will start to look closely at the car, looking for any damage and they may open the doors to look at the interior. Buyers are not usually allowed to test drive cars or look under the bonnet so this process of final inspection is important to them.

Once your car is in place in front of the auctioneer, the cars details and any special features, such as extra interior features, alloy wheels, etc, will be read to the audience. The auctioneer will then start the bidding with an opening bid below your reserve. If there is a great deal of interest in your car, bids can rise fast with many people competing. Eventually, the auctioneer may drop the increases in size to amounts that the last couple of bidders feel more comfortable with. This could mean that you see increases of £50 for your car rather than the £500s you were seeing right at the start. The buyer with the final highest bid has now bought your car as long as their highest bid was over your reserve. At this point the buyer has entered into a legal contract.

If the final highest bid did not quite meet your reserve, the auctioneer may class this a provisional bid and the auction will then attempt to negotiate between you and the buyer. At this point, you can ask for more money or demand that your reserve be met. If you go too high and the buyer pulls out, the sale will fall through. It is a balancing act between what the buyer is prepared to offer and the minimum amount you are willing to accept.

If you reach an agreement, the sale will go through as normal.

If agreement cannot be reached, you have the option to take your car out of future auctions and keep it, or enter it again in the hope of getting a better bid. Hopefully this won’t happen and you will sell your car but if you have to consider this you should remember that many auctions are used by motor traders who attend most weeks and if they see the same car go through each week, they will be less inclined to offer a high bid. Auctions will also charge you for each time you enter your car, with some also charging storage after a certain amount of time and sales, so you should consider these costs when thinking of the money you intend to make from the sale.

How much will it cost?

The fee to enter your car in an auction can range from £15-£30 depending on the size and reputation of the auction house and will be deducted from the total sale value of the car. This fee will be payable each time you enter your car in to a sale if it does not sell.

On top of this, there will also be commission deducted from the sale price. This will be on an increasing scale and will depend on the sale price of the vehicle in question. Always check with the auction house before you enter your vehicle and shop around the auction houses local to you to get the best deal.

After the sale

Assuming that a deal has been reached or that your vehicle sold straight away, the auction will not give any of the vehicles paperwork to the new buyer until full payment has been made. Once this happens, the auction will pass all material relating to the car to the buyer.

Most auction companies will also deal with the legal change in ownership on your behalf and will communicate the sale to DVLA Swansea with the vehicles V5c Registration Document on your behalf, as you do not know the buyers details. Some auctions charge for this service so check at time of entry.

Car auction companies are usually pretty quick in sending you the money for your car and can be as quick as a couple of days after the sale, usually by cheque or bank transfer. The entry charges and commission taken by the auction will usually be details on a remittance advice sent to you once your money has been sent to you.

Other things to consider:

When you are thinking of putting your car into an auction, you may want to think of these things which can increase your chances of getting a sale:

  • Is the interior clean?
  • Having crisp packets, drinks bottles or cigarette ends n the ashtray is not appealing and you would not by a car like that so why would anyone else?
  • Do you smoke in your car?
  • If you smoke in your car, try to banish the smell of stale smoke as best you can. Smoking in cars can also lead to burns on seats, trim and just about anywhere else so be aware of them.
  • Have you got a complete or good service history on your car?

Buyers look at the service history on your car to see how it has been kept. A good service history usually mean that the rest of the car has been looked after properly. Main dealer stamps are highly sought in service history but your local approved garage will suffice.

Is there any tax left on your car?

Selling a car with tax allows the buyer to drive away with that car on the day they bought it. If your car does not have tax, they buyer will need to insure it, then sort out the tax before they can drive it. Since auction houses will not pass any vehicle documents to the buyer before full payment is made, this can lead to a great deal of hassle for the buyer as they will have to go away, sort the insurance, come back and pay for the car, go away and sort the tax (now that they have the MOT certificate), come back and finally drive away.

Trade buyers buying many cars will not worry about the hassle factor too much as they will get their new cars delivered by transporter, it mainly matters to them for the resale value which tax can add onto their forecourts.

When does the MOT run out (or does it even have one?)

Selling your car with MOT gives your car a boost in auction as buyers will just see it as an added expense if it does not have one. Your buyer will also need to have a valid MOT before they can ensure the car!

Are there cosmetic things that could be tidied or corrected before you enter it?

Are there stains on seats or interior trim that can be removed? Is there a brake light bulb that could be replaced? Are there stickers on the windows that could be removed?

Is it worthwhile sorting out that scratch before you enter it?

Getting a small scratch or dent repaired before you enter your car can increase the chances of it selling as it will not be noted on the damage report (as long as it is a good job!)

Do you have a spare key, SatNav disk, or old garage bills in the back of a cupboard somewhere?

You should do your upmost to ensure that you give everything associated with your car to the auction along with your vehicle. Things like spare keys add to the value and old garage receipts let your buyer know exactly what has been done, added, changed or mended to their new car as well as who done it.

Obviously, if your car has built in SatNav, you should include the disk for this along with any instruction manuals.

Remember, auction houses will inspect your car and so will our buyers sonly sort out scratches or other problems if you feel you can be a good job of it otherwise it just means that someone else has to redo your attempt meaning more cost and time!

This article is only meant as a guide as all auction companies have different processes, fees, client base and ethos but I hope that this article has given you some insight into the considerations of selling your car, van, lorry, tractor (or any other vehicle) at a car auction and if you do decide to follow this route, good luck!

How to Choose a Good Car Rental Provider

Renting a car can be a great way to get transportation when you do not have it available to you already. A lot of people will fly to the airport closest to their destination but will need to rent a car to get to their actual destination. While this is a great service being provided, some rental car companies are not great as others, but how do you know which ones are the best? What do you need to look out for when researching rental car companies?

Plog research implemented their American Traveler Survey which, Travel and Leisure magazine utilized their reader’s poll and J.D Power and Associates used a survey. All three of these resources have found that Hertz is the car rental company favored the most followed by Avis and then National. Many fans of Hertz say that they always get a low mileage car and great personal service. Fans of Avis love the fact that they usually always get a new car that is always clean, backed by great prices and wonderful people. Many people like National because they allow you to pick whichever car you want within the class-range you chose without charging you extra for it.

Those three car rental companies have ranked top notch against others because of how great and efficient they operate their business; they keep their customers happy and coming back. Great customer service, newer cars with low mileage, location, and rates are all factors that determine whether or not a car rental company is good. Great customer service and smiling representatives always make customers feel a little better because of all the positive energy and lack of negative service. Whenever you come across bad service at a car rental company, it makes you not want to come back because they make you feel as though you are doing something wrong when you rent a car. Having a newer fleet of cars boasting low mileage is important to because you do not want to have an old, high-mileage car that acts it’s age, having mechanical flaws and even breaking down. You, like most people will naturally want the cheapest rates you can get, but where some companies have cheap rates, they find small and menial things to charge you for after you have the car. A lot of companies will do whatever they can to make a few extra bucks, you must be aware of all the company’s guidelines so that you do not have some random hidden fees creep up on you.

If you are planning on renting a car then you must do your research first. Consumer surveys and other resources have shown that Payless, Enterprise and Dollar all rank poorly among other car rental companies, but some people will tell you that they have had positive experiences from those companies; it just depends on the particular company. Naturally though, all of the car rental companies that you always hear about that are award-winning and offer full service will be more expensive. That is why it is important to do your research of all the car rental companies available to you, that way you can ensure that you get the best rates, service and overall experience

Get Better Deals With Weekly Car Rentals

Did you know that you can almost always get a better deal by selecting a weekly car rental rather than several days? This is frequently true and your car rental agent may not tell you about the money you can save by taking this option.

Let’s say that you need to rent a car for a trip, either business or leisure, where you pick up the car on a Sunday night or Monday morning and will be returning the car sometime on Friday of the same week. You may look at the rates for the rental and base your decision in large part based on the daily rental rate for a five day rental. This is a very typical scenario that many people use for both business and pleasure trips.

But in that example, it is definitely worth asking what the WEEKLY car rental rate would be. What you will find a great deal of the time is that a weekly rate on the same car class would be as much as 25% to 30% less than the rate you would pay based on a daily rate for five days.

You should also always ask about specials or promotions that the car rental agency may have going on. For example, a typical agency may quote you say $200 for a weekly rate on an intermediate size car, but based on a promotion they are running that month, you may be able to get a full size car or even an SUV for about the same price. Wouldn’t it be nice to be driving an SUV at the same price you were willing to pay for a much smaller intermediate car? Or maybe for the same price you could be upgraded to a full size car that has a GPS built in.

To save even more money on a weekly car rental, you probably do not want to take the insurance that will almost certainly be offered to you. The agent may even try to “scare” you into taking the insurance they offer, citing how much you will have to pay if you are in an accident, even if that accident is determined to be not your fault. For the most part, this insurance can add as much as $10 to $20 per day to your car rental. Check with the insurance company you use for your own personal car, because in most cases that same policy will cover you in a rental vehicle. Definitely take the time to check with your current insurance company to verify this.

One last tip to save money on a car rental is to allocate enough time to fill the car up with gas before you return it. Most agencies offer a “fuel option” but what happens is that this assumes that the tank is going to be virtually DRY at the time you return it, and that is rarely the case, so what happens is that you have pre-paid for fuel that you did not use. Never allow the car rental agency to fill the car with gas because they typically charge as much as $6 per gallon or even more if they have to do it.

Weekly car rentals can be very cost effective and it is definitely worth checking out your options if you are planning to rent a car for several days.