How to Buy a Car that’s Safe and Reliable

| Updated on March 21, 2024

When it comes time to buy your next car, you should think about things other than price. You should consider whether the car you’re looking for is safe and reliable. You have many car buying options available to you if you would like to purchase autos straight from US auctions. There are a variety of auto auctions you can find, such as online salvage auto auction sites like SCA or In addition to salvage auctions, SCA offers clean title cars too. Insurance auto auctions are a great place to find cars that won’t cost you a lot of money.  

Here are some things to look for when searching through an online auto auction site for a safe and reliable vehicle:

Car Reports – Many online car auctions give you a lot of information on the listing page. You’ll find information on the year, make, and model, as well as a list of the damages the car, may have and whether or not the title is a salvage title. The auction will have photos of the car from all sides and include details about any damage on it. If the car has been deemed “totaled” by the insurance company, it’s often given a salvage title, and you have to repair it to meet your state’s requirements to get a tag and rebuilt title.

Some cars with salvage titles don’t need much repair work, so check the listing to see if the damage is major and includes mechanical parts or if it is something like bent sheet metal and missing body parts that are easier to fix. Sometimes, you can get a car at an auction that needs very little work to get back on the road.

Condition report – The auction will issue a condition report that tells you everything you need to know about the state of the motor and other mechanical parts. There may be more reports available, but you might have to pay for them. It depends on the auction site as to how much information is free to you. If you want more information on a vehicle, you can hire a third-party contractor to do a physical inspection of the car.

Which Cars are the Most Reliable and Safe?

With so many cars and trucks to choose from, how do you know which is the most reliable?

There are several companies like Consumer Reports, Market Watch, Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds, and Car & Driver whose whole businesses revolve around test-driving cars and doing independent evaluations about the drivability, performance, and reliability of the vehicles.

According to Consumer Reports and several other publications, the Toyota and the Lexus are first and second when it comes to reliability. They have the best record for the least amount of problems with the engine, transmission, and electronic parts. Consumer Reports is an unbiased non-profit reporting agency that surveys owners and compiles the results for consumers and journalists.

J.D. Powers awards Lexus the number one spot, but since it’s a Toyota product, the top spot still goes to Toyota.

When it comes to safety, the top spots are split between Honda, Acura, and Toyota in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick awards. IIHS tests crashworthiness, crash avoidance & mitigation, and seat belts & child restraints. IIHS is an independent, non-profit organization that is dedicated to reducing injuries and deaths from motor vehicles.

Now that you have an idea of which cars are the most reliable and safe, you know what to look for at an auction site.

Here are a Few Things to Remember When Bidding on Cars at an Auto Auction:

·         Know what you’re capable of fixing — auction cars may come with damage, so know your mechanical limitations and budget for repair parts.

·         Look at all of the photos and read the condition reports — gather as much information as you can be based on the description, photos, and reports. Hire an independent contractor to do an inspection.

·         Know approximately what the car is worth — read Edmunds’ reports, and Kelly Blue Book reports, and check with used car listings in your newspaper to get an idea of the price of the car.

·         Understand what “As Is” means — know that there is no warranty on the vehicle when you buy it.

·         Set a bidding limit — don’t spend more money than you want to by getting into bidding wars. There will always be another car that comes around.

·         Read newsgroups and manufacturer’s websites — you will find a lot of information about the model you want by reading the manufacturer’s site, as well as reading what real owners are saying about their cars and trucks.

Why You Should Buy A Safe and Reliable Car At An Auto Auction? 

Now that you know the important points to consider while bidding, you must have a clear idea of why you should buy a safe and reliable car at an auto auction rather than the dealership. The main reason is that you will end up saving a lot more than any discount at the store. You can bid on your favorite car at the auction at a much lower cost than the actual price. Of course, the cars you will find here will be used, but if you have a great eye for finding the gem, then you can grab a good deal. Remember to analyze everything beforehand to make sure you do not end up losing more than gaining your favorite car.

Can You Find a Safe and Reliable Car at an Auto Auction?

You most certainly can, but you will have to do the due diligence and work towards finding the right auction on the car that you want. Please note that finding a trusted online auction site is the most important step of all. Most auction sites like SCA have a search function that lets you search for the year, make, and model vehicle you want. These features help to find extra details about the product or the card you want to bid for. The only thing you need to do then decides how much you want to spend and join in on the bidding. 


More than the looks, buying a safe and reliable car is important, but that does not have to break your bank or exhaust all your savings. Thanks to the new ways of purchasing cars through online auction platforms. Purchasing your favorite vehicle from these online auction portals can be a game changer for you as you will end up saving a lot of money. Make sure that you learn everything about online car auctions before bidding. Search for a car that is safe and reliable and also has a fair deal. Set your budget beforehand, so you do not spend more money than you decided. Also, the most important thing is to understand and learn about the condition of the car that you want to bid for. You must know the model number, year of purchase, any problems with motor parts, and other important details.

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