Commercial Vehicle Auctions: 5 Tips for Bagging a Bargain


Commercial vehicle auctions can be a great place to buy a trusty workhorse without breaking the bank, but be careful; the last thing you want is to be lumbered with a banger. With vast experience of commercial vehicle auctions we have managed to pick up a few tips along the way. Here’s our quick guide to the most important elements to look out for.

An MOT – The longer left on a vehicle’s MOT the better. If you can find a vehicle with a good few months left on the MOT, then firstly you know you have at least a few months use of the vehicle, which may be all you are looking for depending on the LCV’s price. Secondly, if it has passed its MOT recently, then there’s every chance it can do so again without too much expense. If the MOT has expired then be very careful. It may be that the vehicle has failed the MOT, in which case the expense required for it to pass may outweigh any saving you make by buying the vehicle at auction.

The bodywork – Of course there’s the dreaded R word – RUST! Rust can lead to added expense, particularly over the wheel arches, as welding work, which is really not cheap, will need to be carried for the LCV to pass its MOT.

As well as rust, you should keep your eyes peeled for any sign of extensive repair work. Poor paintwork will seriously damage the resale of the vehicle if that is your plan. Aside from that, look along all four panels to make sure they are aligned correctly. If they are not then it is a sure sign that work has been carried out, and probably not to a very high standard. The last thing you want is to end up paying for the mistakes of previous owners.

Tyres and wing mirrors – Such problems are simple to remedy but more expensive than you might first think, as anyone who has ever bought a replacement wing mirror, particularly a modern colour coded mirror, will certainly know to the detriment of their wallet. Tyres in themselves are not too expensive, but if you need to replace all four and the LCV was only purchased for a cut price, then think carefully about whether it makes financial sense.

Noise – Turn on the engine and if anything sounds fishy then leave that vehicle well alone. If the turn over sounds uneven or the engine produces a rattling noise then fixing such a problem could prove to be extremely costly.

Head gasket – A blown head gasket is every vehicle owner’s worst nightmare. In the majority of cases when a head gasket does go it will cause damage to other parts of the engine. Not only that, the head gasket is particularly difficult to get to, so labour costs alone will quickly reach a couple of hundred pounds. One way to check for head gasket leaks is to check the oil. If water has mixed with the oil then a creamy substance will be present on the dipstick. Also, check the exhaust – If the fumes look white then you’re much better off turning around and walking away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *