Tips For Building Your Fleet At Auction

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Transportation for your business can be costly. A brand new full-size van, for example, can easily cost upwards of $40,000. That is why plenty of business owners opt to acquire their transportation methods at fleet auctions, where they can get quality vehicles at prices that may be substantially lower than dealer pricing. 

However, fleet vehicle auctions can be mixed bag. You pay for what you get, after all. To secure serviceable vehicles at auction, you will have to do some homework, including researching the cars and their history beforehand.

Another challenge lies in procuring the cars. If you are buying multiple fleet vehicles, the costs can add up. You may even need a loan or a similar solution. First Capital Leasing specializes in auction financing and auction leasing. This means we purchase the auctioned vehicles for you so that you can finance or lease them at uniquely advantageous terms. Auction financing or auction leasing can be a great procurement model if you want to enjoy your auctioned vehicles while retaining your capital upfront. Connect with us to take advantage of our 95% approval rate for our auction financing or auction leasing solutions today. 

How To Secure The Perfect Fleet Vehicle At Auction 

Hunting for your next fleet vehicle at an auction can be a financially savvy way of providing reliable transportation for your business… if you know what you are doing. Impulsively walking in on a public auction and buying the first car you like could mean you will end up with an undrivable lemon. 

Securing the better fleet vehicles at auction requires extensive preparation and vehicle knowledge. 

Here are the steps you should take to acquire a car at auction that can actually facilitate your business operations: 

Get your budget together: If you are going to buy multiple fleet vehicles for your business, you will need to have funds ready and available. While you can obtain a loan from an auto broker or a bank, you should also consider reputable equipment financing and leasing companies like First Capital Leasing. The latter often offers more flexible rates and individualized procurement and payback options.  

Research car auctions: Once your budget is sorted out, you can begin looking for auctions near you. Car auctions come in many forms. Some are exclusively online whereas some others are in-person. Some auctions are dealership-only. Your best bet is fleet auctions open to the public. 

You may have to prove that you have enough money to buy the cars before you can register to bid. 

Identify the vehicles you want before the auction begins: Most car auctions will have their inventory online. Take this opportunity to shop around and mark the vehicles you like the most. Do not hesitate to ask the sellers about their vehicles’ repair or accident history.

Research the make and model of these vehicles as well. Just because two models have the same mileage does not mean they are equally reliable. 

Thoroughly inspect the vehicles: Look up the vehicle identification number (VIN) and the car history report of each car you are interested in. The VIN of any given car is easily verifiable online, and it shows exact information about its year, make, model, and features. The car history report shows its accident history, ownership changes, and service records. *Please note, First Capital Leasing does not provide car history reports as part of your financing arrangements.

Cross-reference this information with what is provided on the auction site and eliminate from consideration vehicles that do not meet your standards.

This step is where you separate the diamonds in the rough from the lemons. A high-mileage car that was properly taken care of is probably more dependable than a low-mileage one that has been tossed around by its previous owners. Researching the vehicles’ history can be time-consuming and potentially expensive (car history reports are not free), but still much cheaper than trying to repeatedly fix a clunker. 

Bid for your cars: Most vehicles at auction come with a reserve price. If no bid reaches the reserve price, the vehicle will not be sold. Think of the reserve price as the minimum possible cost of the car.

Operate Your New Fleet With Confidence

At the end of the day, no matter how well you know your cars, buying at auction poses risks. If your newly acquired vehicle breaks down, you would want to have the funds to repair it. As such, financing or leasing your auctioned vehicles often makes more sense than buying them outright. 

This is where First Capital Leasing comes in. Our exclusive auction financing and auction leasing options mean that you can operate your auctioned vehicles with plenty of capital to spare. We make sure of that with our flexible payment plans and competitive interest rates. Does our proposition sound good to you? Call us at 403-255-5508 or fill out the online contact form to learn more about what we can do for you. 


Q: What happens when bids for a fleet vehicle do not reach the reserve price?
A: In that case, the fleet vehicle is not sold. However, you can still try contacting the seller directly after the auction to work a deal. 

Q: Are there fees I need to be aware of?
A: Yes. If you buy a fleet vehicle at auction, you will also need to pay taxes, a buyer’s fee, and a registration fee. 

Q: Can I get financing directly from the auction house?
A: This is usually not possible. That is why bidders obtain loans or financing or leasing agreements from equipment financing companies like First Capital Leasing. 

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