Buying a lorry or other HGV at an auction may be a great way to get the vehicle you want at a realistic price. You just need to make sure you do your research first so you end up with a vehicle that will work hard for you on the road – rather than an unreliable truck that ends up costing you more than a newer vehicle would have, in terms of lost revenue and repair costs etc.
Here are some FAQs on buying a lorry at auction:
How do I find an auction near to me?
There are a number of specialist commercial vehicle auctions across the UK. Many are situated near motorways for easy access. You can do a search online for auctions in your area.
Many of these websites will enable you to view forthcoming lots as well as download brochures.
Can anyone bid?
Each auction will have its own set of rules. Typically, you will need to be aged 18 or over in order to bid. You can check out the requirements on the auction company’s website.
Will the vehicle come with a V5C?
Not necessarily. You should always assume that a V5C document is not available – this will be confirmed however when the bidding starts.
How do I get a V5C?
You can request a new V5C from your nearest Post Office via form V62, or download it from the Government website. This could take up to 6 weeks to come through, which means you may not be able to tax it until the proof of ownership arrives.
How can I view the vehicle?
Many auctions will provide catalogues online and / or on the day. Once you have selected those vehicles you are interested in, you can walk around the auction before the bidding starts. This will allow you to physically inspect those you are interested in.
How do I find out about whether there is an MOT on the vehicle as well as mileage etc?
These details will typically be in any catalogue supplied; in a note on the vehicle’s windscreen pre-auction; plus the auctioneer will run through these when the bidding starts.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Check to see whether the auction house has carried out a background history check on the vehicle (often known as an HPI check). This confirms that there is no outstanding finance on the vehicle, or any other police or insurance interest on it.
If I win a bid, what happens?
Rules vary depending on the auction you buy from, but typically you will need photo proof of your ID; your address; plus a 10% deposit.
When can I collect the vehicle?
Again, this depends on where you buy it from, but usually you have up until 5pm the next day to pay the remainder of the balance and collect the lorry or van. Note that additional costs may also need to be paid, such as the buyer’s premium (typically a percentage of the sale cost or a fixed fee, payable to the auction).
In some cases, if you are a cash buyer, you may be able to drive the vehicle away the same day – make sure you have adequate HGV insurance arranged before you do.
What happens if I fail to collect the vehicle?
You will typically be charged a storage fee. So, if you want to nab yourself a bargain whilst expanding your fleet of lorries, going down the auction route may be the solution.