An auto auction can be an inexpensive way to get a lightly used car or a nerve-wracking, resource-depleting means of buying the rare vehicle of your dreams. In either case, it's never dull and it strips away some of the pressure, formality, and bureaucracy of the dealer-based buying process. It also offers slightly less protection than more traditional car buying, so whether you're attending an auction run by government, law-enforcement, or for collectors, you have to beware getting shortchanged when the gavel falls. The folks at auto ratings site Kelley Blue Book, used-vehicle analysis site CarGurus, auto insurance and valuation site Hagerty, and auto auction house Barrett-Jackson have a few recommendations for those looking to make a bid.
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