Buying a lorry at auction tips

Photography by Nigel Green at
Photography by Nigel Green at

Buying a lorry at auction tips

Whether you are buying your first HGV, replacing a vehicle that has outgrown your present haulage needs, or looking to expand your vehicle fleet, one of the methods for finding what you need is to buy at an auction.

As well as the advantages, however, buying at auction may also have its pitfalls. The following therefore, is designed to help you avoid the more common of these:

  • it might sound like an obvious piece of advice, but it helps enormously to go prepared;
  • some of the preparations you might make for a typical auction, for example, are described on the website of Pro Truck Auctions based in Doncaster;
  • for instance, it is important to pick up and study the auction’s catalogue in good time and identifying the vehicle in which you have a possible interest;
  • an important safeguard suggested by Trucks Autotrader is to check whether an HPI check has been done on a vehicle by the auctioneers – this makes sure that there is no outstanding finance on the lorry and no issues related to its insurance, ownership or interest from the police;
  • having spotted those likely candidates, a close physical inspection of each vehicle is necessary;
  • having narrowed down your choice of vehicles, it is important to decide your maximum bid price for each lorry – and to stick to that limit when the bidding heats up;
  • when the auction open and bidding starts, you need some form of identification and proof of address in order to enter the bidding;
  • as you make any bid, you also need to be certain that you have the necessary deposit to pay if you are successful – this is generally 10% of the winning bid price, but it is important to check before the auction starts;
  • as each lot is introduced by the auctioneer, you might hear additional information about the vehicle – naturally, it is important to listen closely and take any such additional detail into account when entering the bidding;
  • immediately after the hammer falls on your successful bid you need to see the auctioneer’s clerk to provide your details;
  • you also need to provide the price of the deposit and any commission charged in auction fees (which are again likely to be levied as a percentage of the winning bid price);
  • typically, the whole of the remaining balance of the purchase price has to be paid no later than five o’clock on the day following the auction;
  • before driving away the vehicle you have just bought it is important of course to ensure that it is covered by any HGV insurance you already hold or to arrange cover specifically for that new vehicle.

Buying your lorry at auction may prove an attractive and economic way of adding to your vehicle fleet or buying your first HGV. Each auction house has its own particular rules regarding the conduct of the auction though – so it is important to understand these clearly before you even think of entering the fray.