Before you bid on and buy a vehicle through salvage car auctions like AutoBidMaster.com, make sure you factor your total cost into your budget, not just the sales price of the vehicle. You need to take into account auction fees, documentation fees, vehicle shipping costs, and so forth.

Let’s start with the basics.

Auction Fees

The auction fees you pay on each vehicle are determined by your membership level.

Basic members pay 10% of the vehicle’s sale price or $299, whichever is greater.

Advanced members ($199/year) pay 6% of the vehicle’s sale price or $299, whichever is greater.

Premium members ($349/year) pay 3% of the vehicle’s sale price or $299, whichever is greater.

So, there are sweet spots for each membership in which you’ll save on fees, even with the annual membership rate. On a side note: basic members can only bid up to $4,000 and are limited to one vehicle purchase before upgrading.

After that, there are Copart Auction Fees that also depend on the final bid amount, as well as a documentation fee which covers title reassignment and mailing costs. All of these things are listed on every lot page: under the field where you enter your maximum bid you’ll find the “Fees Calculator” which will tell you the total amount you’ll pay at that price.

At the end of the auction, you’re looking at a combination of the vehicle’s sale price (your final bid) + Copart Auction Fees, AutoBidMaster Transaction Fees, and Documentation Fees.

In certain cases, like vehicles listed with “Biohazard/Chemical” damage, there may be additional fees. Just look at the “Fees Calculator” for a full breakdown of your total cost at your final bid.

Vehicle Shipping

That’s not all that you have to consider though: you’ll have to factor in vehicle shipping. Every lot listing on AutoBidMaster has a vehicle shipping quote calculator from EasyHaul.com, a company we’ve partnered with for years. If you’re looking for vehicles from an online car auction based in Kansas City, and you live in California, your shipping quote will be much greater than if you’re buying a vehicle from an online car auction in Oregon or Arizona, for example. To cut down on shipping costs, you can use the search filters to specify locations to find a vehicle that’s closer to you.

So, all in all, you can find all the information you need on the vehicle’s listing page. All the associated fees at your max bid are listed under the “Fees Calculator,” and if you add that to your vehicle shipping quote that’s located on the right side of the page, you’ll have your final price.

Keep in mind that vehicles accrue storage, and that amount depends on the salvage yard that’s in possession of the vehicle. Most yards start charging storage two days after the vehicle is awarded, and storage fees are the responsibility of the buyer. So make sure to pay for your vehicle and shipping as fast as possible to avoid racking up storage fees and late payment fees to keep your total price in line with your calculations.

And one more thing, this isn’t necessary but HIGHLY recommended: run a vehicle history report through ClearVin.com.

Advanced and Premium members get free ClearVin reports, but for anybody else, a single ClearVin report is $8.99. You might wanna add that to your total, it’s worth it.

So, now that you have a better idea of how much a vehicle’s total cost will be at the end of an auction, take a look at our available lots and start bidding!