Top Tips for Scoring Your Dream Ford Truck at Auction

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Carlisle Auctions

Auctions can be the perfect place to score a great deal on your next Ford truck purchase. Here’s how to seal the deal you won’t regret!

There are many ways to buy a vehicle these days. You can do it the old school way and drive down to your local dealership, pick one out, and sign on the dotted line. Or you can scope out seemingly endless vehicles on any number of classified websites.

The most fun way to take home a new Ford truck, however, is via auction. The excitement, fervor, and controlled chaos of your typical automotive auction can be a lot of fun. And you can score a great deal in the process, if you know what you’re doing!

At the same time, some auctions may carry certain pitfalls that you’ll want to watch out for. Buying a vehicle under pressure can lead to some rash decisions that you might regret later. So, we did the legwork for you and scoped out some top tips on how to land the Ford truck of your dreams.

Know Your Limits

According to Popular Mechanics, the first thing to keep in mind is your mechanical prowess. Or lack thereof. If you aren’t proficient in major repairs, don’t buy something that needs them. Unless, of course, you’re willing to shell out to have the work done. Even so, be on the lookout for signs of poor repairs like overspray or an uneven stance. Keep in mind that it’s pretty easy to disguise imperfections with touch-up paint, body filler, and loads of polish.

Avoid Emotional Bidding

Do a little research ahead of time and know the current value range of the model Ford truck you’re looking at. It might be tempting, but don’t fall in love with any particular truck, because emotional bidding will bite you in the end. Set a price limit, and be prepared to walk away if/when it’s exceeded. Watch other bidders, too. People who bid on every single lot are often just there to artificially pump up the prices.

Learn Some History

If you’re looking at a particularly rare model, make sure the VIN matches up anywhere it might appear. Many have been burned over the years buying reproductions or impostors, because at auction, everything is sold “as is.” If possible, run the VIN through a site like CarFax to get some kind of history on the truck.

Also, pull the dipstick and check the oil and transmission fluid. These are telltale signs of proper maintenance. Many auctions don’t allow you to test-drive anything beforehand. But if so, take advantage. This is a solid rule confirmed by Diana Gerjes, general manager at Interstate Auto Auction in Salem, N.H.. She told The Penny Hoarder that even if you’re a seasoned mechanic, you should also be sure you’ve got some money set aside for repairs — and even towing costs. Gerjes also recommends bidding an odd number if you’re doing an online auction. After all, $301 beats $300 every time!

Want to polish up your bidding skills? Check out the annual  Spring Carlisle auction, happening April 18-22 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where over 500 vehicles are expected, and there’s even a dedicated “All-Ford Hour” during the auction.

So, follow these tips, and you’ve got a pretty good chance of scoring your next Ford — like this awesome 1969 Ford Bronco and gorgeous 1951 F1 pickup — without regretting it!

Join the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forums now!

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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