The question of how to transport your purchases home depends largely on how far from your home base the auction is held, the type and size of the item you have purchased and the intrinsic value of the item in question.
Small, lightweight items present no problems and can easily be placed in the boot of a car or even carried home on public transport. However, many people who attend auctions on a regular basis find that they often face the problem of how to get more bulky items home. After all you do not want to pay storage fees and run the risk of damage after you have paid for your goods.
Also if you are a trader you want to get your goods back to base and sell them on at a profit as quickly as possible. Even as a private buyer you want to get whatever you have purchased home and into use as quickly as possible.
For that reason you tend to see a lot of large estate cars and light-weight vans parked outside auction houses. An estate car such as the old Volvo 240 is highly popular among auction goers as not only has it a prodigious capacity, it is easy to load and very comfortable for long trips to and from auction houses. Vans are popular too as although they are less comfortable than an estate car for long journeys they have larger capacity, particularly for bulky items, and being without windows and highly anonymous are more secure. Add to this the fact that you can pick up a second-hand estate car or van at auction and you can see what a winning formula you have.
As you edge towards the professional trading side of the business you will begin to find that a larger transport set-up is required. Loading, unloading and storage may become a major issue and the size of the lots – say 50 second-hand computers or 100 office desks – precludes the use of an estate car or small van. Insurance too is an important issue and your merchandise must be adequately covered while it is in storage or transport. Usually the best way around this problem is to find and build a relationship with a small haulage company. Indeed many auction houses can recommend such companies that they use on a regular basis themselves.
Motor auctions are another issue. Buying a single vehicle is usually not a problem as you can arrange to get someone to give you a lift to the auction, then you can drive the vehicle home yourself. In the worst case you can always tow it home using your own car. However, insurance is a very serious issue indeed as it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle without proper insurance cover.
If you are a professional motor trader then you probably have a garage policy that will cover this adequately. As an occasional auction buyer this may not be the case and you will have to make arrangements with your regular insurance to provide cover for as long as necessary. If you take a motor vehicle out onto the public highway then it must be roadworthy – the police take a very dim view indeed people driving dangerous and unroadworthy vehicles on the Queen’s highway. Far better to use a car transporter or a specially designed trailer.
Finally, the issue of value comes into question. If you buy a particularly expensive item – such as a piece of fine art or even a vintage car then you are well-advised to seek the assistance of a specialist transport firm to get your goods home. Ask the auction house for their advice if you need to, they will be more than pleased to help and many of the larger auction houses have arranged special deals with reputable haulage companies on behalf of their clients.