Should You Take The Risk Of Buying An Auctioned Vehicle?

Should You Take The Risk Of Buying An Auctioned Vehicle?

Are you looking for a new vehicle, perhaps as a second car, for business, or even as a gift for your loved ones? Have you considered auction vehicles? 

As the name suggests, vehicles that are being put on auction. Usually, these are cars that were repossessed by the authorities or the banks (for various reasons), and put on auction at a cheap price through a third party service provider, such as G-mart.

But where do these vehicles come from?

Usually, the cars that are put up on auction were seized from their original owners due to two reasons; 

  • The first being that the original owners were defaulting on their loans, causing their vehicles to be repossessed, 
  • Second is the cars were compounded by authorities such as the Road Transport Department (JPJ) or the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).

To further illustrate the process of how vehicles get auctioned off, here are the full procedure;

  • A debtor defaults on their vehicle loan and is served with a pre-repossession notice by the bank. The pre-repossession notice serves as a warning to the debtors and their guarantors that the banks intend to repossess their cars if they continue to default on their loans. Fourteen days after the initial pre-repossession notice is served, the bank will then serve the debtors and their guarantors with a second notice.
  • After 21 days of the first pre-possession notice and the debtors still haven’t cleared their overdue amounts, the bank is within its rights to repossess the car. However, there are several factors that stop repossession agents from repossessing a car, which is;
  • If the debtor has paid over 75% of their overdue amount, banks cannot repossess the car without approval of the court.
  • If the car is placed in a gated area.
  • If it’s a public holiday or after 9PM at night.
  • Repossessing agents do not hold a Procurement Agent permit that is issued by the Ministry of Trade and Cost of Living (KPDNKK).
  • After a vehicle is repossessed, the bank will issue the owner of a car with a notice to notify them that their car has been repossessed, and another notice informing them of how much they have to pay to get their vehicles back from the bank
  • If the total amount (including other charges from the bank) is not paid, the car will be slated for disposal. The owner of the car will be served with vehicle disposal notice, and the vehicle will be auctioned off.

In other cases, some vehicles are also auctioned off by the authorities as a result of unpaid compounds.

Should you get an auctioned vehicle?

Now that we know where auctioned vehicles come from, and the process of how a car lands on the auction block, it’s time for us to answer the question; should you get an auctioned vehicle?

The answer to this question is, only with careful consideration and extensive research.

This is because although you might find a bargain at the auction block, buying auctioned vehicles carries with it some huge risks, such as;

  • No warranty

Auctioned cars are almost always sold in an ‘as is’ condition, meaning that there is no warranty or any form of guarantee for the condition of the vehicles. This means that after buying an auctioned vehicle, any type of repairs or work you have to do on the car will be done at your own cost.

You are also not allowed to test drive the vehicles, so you might want to carefully research the condition of the car before making the purchase.

  • Unreasonable bid price

Generally, the experience of buying a vehicle at an auction is wildly different compared to buying it from a dealership or a showroom. In an auction, the bidding process can happen very quickly, and it is also very competitive. In this condition, it is very easy for buyers to get swept higher and bid higher than what they want to. In fact, it is not uncommon for bidders to get so carried away that they end up bidding a higher price than the normal market price, which beats the purpose of buying an auctioned vehicle.

To help you combat this, here are some tips that you should keep in mind when bidding;

  • Set and never go past your budget
  • Do your research beforehand to understand the market price
  • At risk of unscrupulous sales tactics

Although most auctions are very upfront and honest about the condition of the vehicles, there are some auctions that resort to underhanded sales tactics. Which is why again, you have to do your research and carefully study the vehicle you’re interested in, as some sales agent might be concealing the true condition of the vehicle.

How to bid on an auctioned vehicle

We’ve covered what auctioned vehicles are, and also things you need to consider before bidding on an auctioned vehicle.

Now let’s get to how to bid on an auctioned vehicle. Here’s what you need to do if you want to bid on an auctioned vehicle;

Before auction day

The first step is to find these auctioned vehicles. Different organisations have different ways of listing their vehicles, which means that you will have to carefully comb through different avenues. For example, banks typically use a third party auction organiser such as Gmart, while authorities like JPJ, PDRM and even state city councils usually list their auctioned vehicles themselves, which means that you will have to check their Facebook page or websites.

After you’ve found the listing of a vehicle that you’re interested in, you can now make preparations to inspect the vehicle. For third party auction organisers, usually they have a storehouse where you can just drop by at any time to inspect and carefully study the vehicle you’re most interested in. But keep in mind that the same method does not apply to auctioned cars from the authorities. Instead of inspecting the vehicle whenever you want, authorities usually host an open day for everyone to come and inspect the vehicle.

Bring along your mechanic while doing the inspection so you know the car’s condition inside out. Also, don’t forget to make sure that the serial number of the vehicle matches the one in the grant.

During auction day

  • After inspecting the vehicle and ensuring that it’s in good condition, you can now bid on the vehicle. Unfortunately, you can’t place your bids right then and there. Usually, how it works is that the auction organiser will set a date for the auction to commence. On that date, you will need to come to the auction site and compete with other bidders to obtain the vehicle you want.
  • Always check the rules and regulations of each auction you participate in, as the conditions might be different. Some auction houses charge higher deposits than others, while some only allow cash payments. You don’t want all your hard work to amount to nothing, so keep track of this.
  • You need to pay the deposit during registration for bidding, and you will be given a numbered card that you can raise to indicate your bid. If you’re unsuccessful in your bid don’t worry, as your deposit will be refunded fully.

After winning the auction

  • Now that you’ve successfully bid and won the vehicle you wanted, there’s still some things left to do. The first one is to receive a contract that confirms the price of the vehicle you won, and the amount you need to pay in the period set.
  • You also need to ensure that the vehicle passes a PUSPAKOM inspection to make sure that the car is roadworthy. The inspection can be done on the auction site at a set price.
  • It is important for you to ensure that the inspection is done on site, as if the vehicle you won is not road worthy, you can demand your deposit back. However, some auction houses will not refund your deposit if the inspection is done off site.
  • After your vehicle has been deemed roadworthy, you will need to make the rest of the payment towards the bank where the vehicle was originally financed. Once you’ve settled all the payments, the original financier of the vehicle will give you all the documents needed for you to complete the ownership transfer process.
  • Now all you have to do is go to any JPJ office, and complete the ownership transfer process.

Auctioned vehicles should only be bought after careful consideration

Although the prospect of buying an auctioned vehicle might be rife with the potential of a huge bargain, the most important part about buying an auctioned vehicle is due diligence.

The risks associated with buying an auctioned vehicle are plentiful, so before you commit to a purchase make sure you know the car inside out.

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