Guide to Buying at the Auction. It’s easy!

Buying a vehicle at Newark Motor Auctions is simple. It can also be fun, exciting and enjoyable.

If it’s your first time, an auction can also seem incredibly fast-paced and a little bit daunting. So to help, we’ve put together this useful step-by-step Guide to Buying at the Auction. It tells you all you need to know about the entire auction process, from start to finish.

Step one – View the cars

During these unprecedented times we want to make it as easy as possible to buy your next car. So, during our opening hours everyone is free to view all vehicles we have on offer. Please ensure social distancing is maintained and our new one way system is adhered to at all times.

You can see a list of all the vehicles available, online. This includes details such as the registration, make, model, mileage, plus any service history and MOT.

On those auctions where LiveBid is also available, you’ll also find detailed images of each vehicle, plus a condition report prepared by one of our experts.

Wherever possible, we’ll list vehicles with the correct mileage. If we’re unable to do this, you’ll see the mileage declared as ‘Incorrect’. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that the mileage is wrong. It just means the vehicle hasn’t been provided with a full service history, so we’re unable to validate the mileage.

For added reassurance, we run data checks to make sure the vehicle isn’t an insurance total loss. We also give every vehicle a full MOT history check - any discrepancies are declared at the sale.

Step two – Bid at the auction

Once you’ve viewed the vehicles and drawn up your short list, it’s time to take part in the auction. If you’ve registered as a LiveBid user, you can see and hear the auction live online, and bid with a click.

Currently, our auction is running slightly different. In a first of it's kind we are combing all the thrills of a live, physical auction, combined with online bidding. You will need to register via the Newark Motor Auctions app, or on the live bid section on our website.

To help you follow the sale, each vehicle is given a Lot Number and the vehicles will be auctioned in number order. Remember, vehicles are sold under the common law maxim, Caveat Emptor. This means ‘buyer beware’. Motor auctions aren’t covered by the Sales of Goods Act, and you buy the vehicle with all its faults – whether these are known or not.

However, to help you limit this risk, we always drive each vehicle through the hall, placing them in first and reverse gear. We’ll also demonstrate that convertible roofs and sunroofs are working. Plus, if a warning light is showing on the dashboard, our driver will indicate this by holding a red card out of the window. This way, you can take a look at which warning light is displayed, then bid accordingly.

Top Tip 1.

Set yourself a budget for the vehicles you want and keep this in mind whilst bidding. Auctions are very fast-paced events and it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement. You might be happy to bid more than your original limit, but remembering your budget often helps prevent getting too carried away.


Our auctioneers aren’t just there to sell vehicles. They’re also there to help you buy them, so make sure you listen very carefully when they read out all the information about each vehicle.

Top Tip 2.

Our auction hall is a busy environment, with lots of activity, so nods and subtle winks don’t work. Make your bid clear and bold.

As you bid and compete with other potential buyers, the increments will increase at the auctioneer’s discretion until the final ‘Hammer’ price.

Hammer price

The ‘Hammer’ price is the final, highest bid the vehicle receives. Usually, this means that the vehicle is sold and if you’re the highest bidder, you’ve won the car.

When this happens, the auctioneer will direct you to the Right Side of his rostrum, where you should give you details to the clerk and pay your deposit – 10% or £100, whichever is greater (we only accept cash or debit card payments; no credit cards).

Provisional sale

Occasionally, a car is sold to a ‘provisional’ bid. Many cars are given a reserve price by the seller. This is the minimum price they’d like the vehicle to achieve at the auction. If your final bid doesn’t reach this price, our auctioneer will point you to the Left Side of the rostrum.

Once you’ve paid your deposit, we will contact the seller on your behalf, tell them how much you have bid and try to negotiate the sale. We can usually get a decision in 24 hours. If the seller chooses not to accept your bid, your deposit will be returned.

Step three – Paying for your vehicle

Remember, there are no hidden charges at Newark Motor Auctions. So when you’re calculating the final price of the vehicle you’ve bought, it’s extremely straightforward; you pay the ‘Hammer’ price and a buyer’s fee and That’s it.

This fee includes a clear title insurance, covering your purchase price if the vehicle turns out to be stolen or on finance.

Top Tip 3.

Make sure you build the buyer’s fee (plus VAT) into any limit you set yourself before bidding on a vehicle. This way, you’ll be entirely clear on how much you want to pay.

Payment in full should be made on the day you successfully bid for your vehicle. Once this payment has been made, you can take the vehicle away. If you’re not taking the vehicle away on the evening of the auction, full payment needs to be made no later than by close of business the following day.

Payments can be made using cash or debit card. We cannot accept credit card payments.


Unlike many vehicle auction companies, we hand over whatever vehicle documentation we have, at no extra cost. We’ll need to see some written ID containing your name and address first (such as a utility bill, bank statement, driving license, etc.) before we can release the documentation – this is a DVLA requirement and we’re unable to make any exceptions.

Top Tip 4.

To make buying a vehicle as smooth as possible, bring your ID with you on the day of the auction. This way, once you’ve paid in full, you can drive away hassle-free.


We prefer that vehicles are taken away on the day of purchase. However, where this isn’t possible, we allow free storage for up to seven days.

Vehicles are left in our compound at the owner’s risk. After seven days, storage is charged at a rate of £10 per day and night. Please note that any storage fees will need to be settled in full before the vehicle can be released.


Naturally, we hope that you are completely satisfied with every car you buy at our auction. All vehicles are bought under the ‘buyer beware’ principle. However, we also value your custom. So if any vehicle isn’t as you’d hoped, we offer a few options to minimise the disappointment.

    Option 1 - Stoneacre Motor Group have generously offered to take any vehicle bought in part exchange, giving you the full final bid price against any retail deal at any one of their UK dealerships. Simply take your Newark Motor Auctions invoice with you, again, within 10 days of purchase.