Classic Car Auction Guide
New to auction
Whether you are new to buying or selling with Brightwells, we would like to welcome you and hope this simple guide may be of some help. Whether you choose to read all or none of it when you come to one of our events you can get all the support you need by approaching any member of Brightwells’ staff and explaining that you are new to our auctions. Our team will gladly help you through the simple processes.
Buying your vehicle
Brightwells’ Classic Car auctions are fully detailed on our website. Auctions are an exciting way of buying and Brightwells make the process as easy as possible whilst providing the surety of a 150 year old nationally recognised company. The following is a simple guide to getting the most from your visit to Brightwells.
Prior to attending a particular sale
Request an auction catalogue or view the catalogue online at www.brightwells.com. Here you will find the list of vehicles being offered for sale and these are known as lots, each lot having its own particular number. Against each vehicle will be a valuer’s estimate of its likely selling price along with a record of date of registration, mileage and its validity and other details of the model and specification. Remember, estimates are only offered as a rough guide and vehicles may be sold for more or less on the day of the sale.
Be sure to turn up on one of the viewing days or on the sale day well in advance of the likely time of sale of your lot number. This will give you plenty of opportunity to inspect the vehicles you may be interested in as well as to register as a potential buyer if you feel it is appropriate. Always remember if you have any difficulty, any member of staff will be delighted to help and within the vehicle auction department we have two members of our team specially designated to assist new buyers.
Check the catalogue for our commission rates applying to the particular sale and bear in mind that these rates are also subject to VAT. Don’t forget that you will need to purchase a catalogue to obtain entrance to the auction hall on sale day.
At the auction
In order to successfully bid you will need to register prior to any of our sales. This is a simple process, the sales are normally held at our Leominster Easters Court premises where the auction centre is on the left hand side of the driveway. The entrance is through the front reception office and you will be able to register here. You will then be allocated a buyer’s number by which you will be identified during the auction.
Check the timing of the sale. Most of our sales last for several hours. Take a guide from our staff about when your lot number may come under the hammer (up for sale) but remember this is only a guide, so leave yourself some extra time. Our refreshment area is conveniently located in the cafeteria where you can listen to the sale whilst waiting for your lot number and enjoying a cup of coffee!
If you are completely new to auctions, ensure you listen to other lots being sold so that you can get used to the bidding process. During the sale our auctioneer will call out the lot number of the vehicle being sold and the bidding will start somewhere below the lower estimate. Our clients have many different ways of signalling a bid, some of which are more eccentric than others! The easy way is to clearly raise the paddle that you will be given with your buyer’s number on it but waving or nodding is fine for those who are slightly more confident. Don’t worry about the possibility of accidentally having a bid taken when it wasn’t intended, our auctioneers are very experienced and as well as the normal signal our auctioneers are looking for eye contact.
In a busy auction room and particularly where the bids are progressing quickly, make sure your gestures are confident enough to attract the auctioneer’s attention. If the auctioneer is busy with two bidders, don’t worry, as soon as one of those two bidders drops out he will look round the room to check for other interested parties. If the bidding is still below your limit this will be your chance!
When the auctioneer considers there are no higher bids, he will close the process, normally by banging a small hammer on his rostrum and will confirm with you your number if you are the successful bidder.
When you have successfully concluded bidding on your lot or lots, return to the registration office where you can pay for your purchase and obtain the necessary release documentation to allow you to take your purchase away. Arrangements for vehicle collections after sale day can be made with our staff but generally vehicles will need to be removed on the day of the sale and where this does not happen storage charges may be applied.
Valuing your vehicle
In all of our vehicle auctions you may register with us the lowest price you are prepared to accept for your vehicle, this is called a reserve.
You may wish to get one of our valuers to assist you in determining the value of your vehicle. We are delighted to provide this service which is available by appointment during normal working hours or by special arrangement outside of working hours or off site.
When you decide to sell
Decide your reserve price, if you feel it is appropriate to have one.
Obtain the dates of forthcoming sales.
Be sure that you have checked the sale details for commission levels and costs and bear in mind that VAT is chargeable on both these items.
Ensure that you have made contact with our entries team and that you have furnished them with your personal details, details of your vehicle and all necessary documentation.
Deliver your vehicle or arrange a collection with our team to Easters Court preferably two days prior to sale day, otherwise in good time for the sale.
You may like to request a short or full valet of the vehicle which is available at an extra cost from our preparation department.
We will notify you of the success or otherwise of the sale of your vehicle and if successful you will receive a cheque in full payment less commission and costs after 14 days or when the paperwork has been processed.
Finally, if your vehicle is unsold you may wish to remove it from the premises. Any of our staff will advise you on these arrangements. Again, please make sure you remove the car in good time (normally within two days) or storage charges will be incurred.
We hope that this brief guide is of help to you but do remember we are always on hand to give you any support that you may need and you can make contact either by visiting us or by telephoning 01568 611122 and mentioning to our receptionist that you are new to vehicle auctions. Whether you are a buyer or seller we do hope that your auction experience with us here at Brightwells is enjoyable and fruitful.