Guide to Buying & Selling

We appreciate that your first visit to an auction can be a daunting experience and, to some, it may seem a very complicated operation. In an effort to quell your fears and show you how easy and convenient buying and selling at auction can be, we have put together this guide. Contained in the following guide you will find straightforward answers to the questions we are usually asked by first time visitors.

Firstly, the key items to bear in mind when visiting an auction are choice, convenience and price:


As auctions are not tied to a particular make the choice of vehicles available at auction is tremendous and the 100+ vehicles offered each month at Exeter will include all popular makes and models. However, if the vehicles on display do not meet your requirements, it could be that it would be more appropriate for you to visit on another day.


Buyers - It would take weeks to view the number of cars available at one auction if you were to travel around and view privately or on the forecourt.

Sellers - It is quick and easy and avoids repeated advertising costs, time wasters and the other hassles associated with selling privately. Your vehicle will be viewed by hundreds of prospective purchasers all at one time.


The price realised at auction will be the market value of the vehicle which is, generally speaking, "trade price" and will, of course, differ from the price which would be displayed on the same vehicle at a retail outlet.

The notes contained within this guide are for guidance purposes only and do not form part of any contract.


A Sale By Auction Is Not A Consumer Sale. All Auction Sales are conducted in accordance with our Conditions of Entry and Sale which are displayed at the Auction Centre - copies are available on request. Please ensure that you have read and fully understood these conditions before buying or selling at auction.

When Are Your Auctions?

Exeter Car & Van Auction is held twice a month, on selected Wednesdays and the auction finishes from 12 Noon. We accept entries any weekday that we are open and the vehicle will be entered into the next available auction. Please endeavour to get your vehicle to us in good time to ensure that there is time to catalogue and advertise the vehicle.


1. Is The Auction Open To The Public?
Anyone can attend the auction to view the vehicles; you do not need to be involved in the motor trade.  We do not charge an entrance fee.

2. Do I Need To Register Before I Can Bid?
You will have to creat an account with or before you can bid.  You don't need to create an account to browse the online listings.  To access these sites please select the 'bid now' links from our auction diary pages. 

3. How Are Vehicles Described?
Vehicles are sold "As Seen" and you are advised to check carefully the descriptions displayed on the windscreen of each vehicle or as listed in the online site.
Vehicles can be found in the large parking area to the front of the auction building.  These vehicles are sold with no warranty whatsoever being given by the seller.  They are sold with all their faults (which may be numerous). It is up to you to determine their condition.  No complaints on "As Seen" vehicles will be entertained.
The vehicle descriptions will also tell you the MOT expiry date, whether, in a small number of cases, there is no registration document with the vehicle, whether you will have to pay VAT on the bid price - usually only in the case of commercial vehicles, whether the odometer reading is warranted as accurate - unless the odometer reading is warranted by the vendor to be accurate it should be considered incorrect and should be disregarded.

4. Can I View The Vehicles?
We are open for viewing weekdays from 9am to 5pm.  Prior viewing of vehicles is highly recomended as relying solely on images or videos may not provide you with enough information for you to decide if the vehicle meets your requirements.

5. What Else Should I Do Before Bidding?
Decide exactly how much you want to spend, bearing in mind that you will have to insure and tax the vehicle before you can put it on the road.  Also don't forget that there will be auction charges on top of your bid price.  Commercial vehicles may also attract VAT on the bid price.

6. How Do I Bid?
Visit or You will find our auctions listed there. If you wish to make a bid you will need to create an account with them before your bid will be accepted.

Tip:  You can view the MOT history of any vehicle for free on the GOV website. Just type in the registration number and you should be able to see the current MOT and the records going back several years.

7. What Do I Do When My Bidding Is Successful?
If you are the highest approved bidder you will be emailed an invoice which will give you the payment process.  Once paid you will be able to collect the vehicle by arrangement with the auction.
We accept cash, bank transfer or debit card. Credit cards are not accepted. (There is a charge of 1.2% (inclusive of VAT) on cash payments). 

8. Is There Any Additional Amount To Pay On Top Of Your Price I Have to Pay?
In addition to the bid price, a service charge is payable which includes participation in the Title Protection Scheme in accordance with the terms of this scheme as displayed (copies available on request). The Title Protection Scheme affords protection to purchasers against the following risks:
Where the vehicle:
is proved to be stolen.
is the subject of an outstanding HP or other finance agreement.
It is a condition of the Title Protection Scheme that purchasers cross-check the vehicles identification numbers with those given in the registration document and notify the Auctioneers within 24 hours of purchase if there are any discrepancies, if any number appears to have been altered or if any number is not in the usual place.
The amount of the service charge is dependant on the purchase price of the vehicle - details of current fees are as follows:

Currently the following rates apply:

£20 per vehicle up to £99

£55 per vehicle £100 to £299

£75 per vehicle £300 to £499

£95 per vehicle £500 to £699

£105 p/vehicle £700 to £999

15% per vehicle £1,000 to £2,800

£420 on vehicles £2,800 and above

*** All The Above Are Inclusive Of VAT ***

The service charge is payable on every vehicle purchased


9. When Can I Take My Vehicle Away?

Having paid for your vehicle and been issued with a receipt, you may collect your keys and documents and remove your vehicle from the auction premises.
NOTE: It is an offence to drive a vehicle on the road without a Road Fund Licence, current MOT certificate (if applicable) and, of course, Insurance so, if necessary, you may wish to make arrangements for the vehicle to be removed by transporter.
We offer a delivery service if required. For further details please click here.

Currently the following rates apply:
Entry Fee: £20.00 per vehicle per auction (Inc VAT)
Selling Commission: 8.4% of the Hammer Price (subject to a minimum charge of £50.00) Inc VAT

(Trade commission rates are available on request).

The selling and buying fees for Commercial Vehicles, when sold within one of our twice monthly Car and Commercial Vehicle auctions, are the same as the fees quoted above for cars.

For Sellers Commission is charged at 18% on the first £100.00 and 6% on the balance per lot.  (Min £2.40 per lot, £2.40 on unsolds)
For Buyers there is a Buyers Premium of 12% (Plus VAT) on all lots but there is a maximum Buyers Premium of £350.00 (Plus VAT) per lot. There is also an 'Internet Fee' of 2% Plus VAT. 

*** All the above fees are per lot unless otherwise stated ***

Please also see our fees page

Please also see our frequently asked questions page

We hope that we have been able to answer many of your questions above.  If you wish to speak to any of the auction staff then please ring our auction centre on 01392 425481 during normal office hours