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Dubai: Thinking of buying a new car but want to find the best deal possible? Buying a car at an auction may be the most affordable option compared to shopping at a car dealership, as you can even buy some of the most coveted supercars in the UAE at a discounted price.

So, if you are on a tight budget and are planning to buy a car from an auction, here is all you need to know about the process.

Step 1: Register an account and pay a security deposit

To take part in an online auction, you must create an account with an auction house. The UAE has various auction houses, which conduct auctions online.

To register, you must give your email address and mobile number, and create a username and password.

While you do not have to pay a fee to participate, you will have to make a security deposit. The amount for the security deposit differs for each auction house. However, it is important to note that your bidding limit is linked with the amount of security deposit. Depending on your security deposit, your purchasing limit will be set by the auction.

The deposit is refundable, unless you have outstanding payments with the auction house.

Step 2: Check the car

Buying a car at an auction, regardless of your budget, requires meticulous research and background checks to ensure that the car you are buying is worth your money. Cars available in the auction do have accident histories, at times. So, it is the buyer's responsibility to investigate, verify and inspect the car before bidding. It is also important to check with the auction house, if they offer any form of warranty, especially for brand new cars.

Go on to the auction house’s website or, better still, visit their inspection yard to look for vehicles depending on your budget, bidding limit and preference.

While you are inspecting the car, you may want to note down the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This is a unique 17-digit number that reveals the car’s manufacturer, where it came from, the engine details and the accident history. Want to know where you can find the VIN? Read here.

Once you have selected your preferred car, find out when it goes on auction and for how long the auction will stay live.

Step 3: Participating in the auction

Once the auction is live, you can log in and place your bid.

It is important to note that during the auction, while you may increase your bid, you cannot withdraw or cancel a bid that you have already made.

If you place the winning bid, you can then proceed with the payment process.

Important note: Some auction houses may have a policy in place, where the auction is conditional to the provider’s approval. This means that buyer needs a final approval from the vehicle provider. So, if the owner does not wish to accept the final bid, he or she is entitled to pull the car out even after the auction has ended and a final bid has been made by an interested buyer.

Step 4: The payment process

Payment options available to winning bidders include bank deposits, bank transfers or credit card payments. You can also use your security deposit, in part, to pay for the vehicle in some cases.

If your bid at the auction was unsuccessful and did not win the car, you can request to have your security deposit refunded by the auction house.

Step 5: How do I get the car registered?

Once you have made the payment, the auction house will then provide you with the necessary paperwork for the vehicle’s ownership. Handing over of the documents may take up to a few weeks, depending on the specific auction house you are dealing with.

However, registering the car with the transport authority in your emirate is a separate process and the auction houses are not typically involved in it.

Information you should consider before buying a car at an auction

Before you decide to buy a car at an auction, here are some details you should consider before going forward:

• You can bid in the auction outside the UAE.

• If you win the bid and wish to export the car to any country, you can do so.

• You cannot cancel your bid.

• You can send someone to bid or collect on your behalf, but they must have a power of attorney.