Before you come to buy
There are differences when buying at auction compared to buying from a dealer or even privately. Please read these FAQs carefully. By bidding at auction you are making a commitment to buy, so make sure you understand the process and what your responsibilities are.
BCA recommend you visit three or four auctions before you actually buy, just to get used to the pace and the environment, which can seem intimidating at first. Once you feel comfortable in the auction surroundings, you are less likely to make a hasty buying decision and more likely to find the vehicle that really suits your needs.
Before you come to buy
- Before travelling, please check that your chosen Auction Centre is holding a sale open to the general public that day. You can check online, ring our Customer Services centre or ring the Auction Centre direct. You don’t need to register in advance.
- Use our "Vehicle search" to check we have vehicles for sale that interest you. You can navigate through 1,000s of vehicles by make, model, engine size and much more! Please click here to register for BCA’s Vehicle search. You can also use the “Sales Catalogues” section to view the full listings for each Auction Centre. A full catalogue will be available on the day of the sale to purchase at the Auction Centre and you can download this month’s sales guide.
- BCA accepts a range of payment methods and there are handling charges for cash and credit cards. Remember there will also be additional buyer fees and administrative fees on top of the hammer price.
- If you intend driving your potential new purchase away on the day, it is your responsibility to ensure the vehicle may be legally driven on the highways, including Road Tax, MOT and Insurance. BCA can arrange delivery direct to any UK address for a competitive fee.
- Compliance – certain major customers require purchasers to provide additional information to prove their identity and therefore we would always recommend bringing your driving licence and utility bill with you when making any purchase at auction.
At the auction
- Vehicle details – A printout will be placed on the windscreen identifying key information such as make, model, documentation and also any important declarations (please read these carefully). There may also be a condition report or BCA Assured mechanical report (if applicable).
- Vehicle exterior / interior - The majority of vehicles are graded prior to the sale, you can find out more about grading here. It is the buyers responsibility to check the vehicles overall exterior condition - paintwork, trim, tyres - and the interior e.g. seats and carpets before the sale. All of our vehicles will be available for external visual inspection approximately 1 hour prior to the sale and internal visual inspection just before the vehicle is driven through the hall. However, please be aware we do not offer test drive facilities due to health and safety regulations.
- Service history – Information relating to service history will be included on the vehicle information sheet displayed on the windscreen of the vehicle. The auctioneer may also announce the service history information, along with details of whether services were carried out at a main dealer (often referred to as franchised dealer) or other source. The presence of a service history does not indicate that manufacturer recommended service intervals have been met or that manufacturer recommended work has been carried out.
- Legal ownership - BCA guarantees good title in perpetuity. If a question of legal ownership comes to light (outstanding hire purchase or credit on the vehicle, a stolen vehicle or an undeclared insurance write-off) BCA will refund the buyer the purchase price and any fees paid. This is not transferable to subsequent owners.
- Bid clearly by raising your hand - The auctioneer will take your bid and, if other people are also bidding, will ensure you have ample time to make further bids should you wish. There may also be online buyers bidding. Their bids will be displayed on large screens in the auction hall.
- Selling description - Listen carefully to the auctioneer, who will read out the details of the vehicle before starting the bidding. The description by the auctioneer is legally binding and overrides what is printed online or in catalogues.
- "No major mechanical faults" - If the vehicle is described as "no major mechanical faults" this means the vehicle should not have any major faults in the engine, gearbox, clutch, brakes, steering or transmission. Any claims are limited to being reported within 1 hour of the auction ending.
- Specified faults – The auctioneer reads out particular defects notified by the seller.
- Sold as seen - The vehicle is sold with any faults it may have. These may include faults to the engine, suspension, drivetrain and gearbox. BCA will not accept any complaints about mechanical or cosmetic condition or roadworthiness after the vehicle is sold.
- Sold with a warranted mileage - The mileage has been warranted as correct by the seller. If, post-sale, the mileage is believed to be incorrect, it is the buyers responsibility to report this suspicion with evidence to BCA within five working days. The vehicle does not have to have service history present to be sold with warranted mileage as the seller may have carried out other checks to provide assurance.
- BCA Assured report – This is an independent multi-point vehicle check carried out by the AA at BCA and is sold on the description contained in this report. The AA Inspectors make over 30 checks on the vehicle to make sure as a buyer you have accurate information and complete transparency of the mechanical condition of the vehicle. BCA Assured covers a range of features from the condition of the tyres, to engine running, to a VOSA approved brake check. This is not a full mechanical inspection and does not warrant the condition of the vehicle once it is sold. For BCA Assured Terms and Conditions please find out more here.
- When purchasing a car from BCA the VAT is inclusive of the hammer price. VAT is not accounted for separately and VAT is not added on to the hammer price. If you purchase a commercial vehicle VAT is added on top of the hammer price as an additional fee.
- All cars that are entered through BCA are sold either as "Marginal" or "VAT Qualifying" please see below the meanings of these descriptions.
This means that no VAT can be claimed back on the vehicle by a customer that is VAT registered.
This is where a customer that is VAT registered, purchasing the vehicle for a qualifying purpose, is able to claim VAT back on the vehicle, as it was originally bought by: Leasing and Contact Hire Companies, Daily Rental Companies & Taxi Firms/Driving schools for business use.
Terms and Conditions - Full BCA Terms and Conditions can be found here
- Payment – This will need to be made within 24 hours of the auction ending and can be paid via cash (up to a maximum of £8,000 in a rolling 30-day period per customer), debit and credit cards (MasterCard and Visa), and Telegraphic Transfers. Please note cash payments incur a 1.25% + VAT handling fee. Until this payment has been made you will not be able to remove the vehicle.
- Buyers fees - BCA charges a fee for purchasing a vehicle; this is referred to as the Buyers Fees. The Standard Buyers Fees are available at all BCA Auction Centres.
- Compliance – Certain major customers require purchasers to provide additional information to prove their identity and therefore we would always recommend providing your driving licence and utility bill when making any purchase at auction.
- V5/Log Book - Because we act as an agent for the seller, we are obliged to notify the DVLA of any change of ownership or keeper and to provide new name and address details when we sell a vehicle. Therefore, when you have completed your purchase, we will update the V5C registration document before we hand over the vehicle to you. We then forward the relevant part of the V5C registration document to the DVLA at Swansea on your behalf. You will be charged a fee of £26 (incl VAT) for this service.
- BCA Assured fee - If the vehicle you purchased has a BCA Assured report you will need to pay a fee of £42.50 ex VAT.
BCA reserves the right to refuse to accept cash or other payments and/or require additional information before accepting payment (regardless of the amount involved).
- Collection – Once you have arranged payment and registration documents for your new vehicle we ask you to remove it within 24 hours.
- Keys - You will be issued with a Pass Out slip for the vehicle you have brought and can collect the keys from the Key Office.
- Storage fees - Storage fees of £17+VAT per day (or part of day) will be charged if the vehicle is not removed within 24 hours of the auction ending.
- Delivery – For a competitive delivery quote please contact the Auction Centre directly where you purchased the vehicle.
For any further information please contact Customer Services on 0344 875 3480 or Email email@example.com
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