Why can’t you drive salvage cars away from the yard?

Once you’ve bought a salvage car from one of our online car auctions, it stands to reason that your next priority will concern how to get it off our yard, and back to your home or business premises. It’s a simple problem that - at first - seems like it has a simple answer. It’s a car after all, why not just drive it? Well, there are several issues with that, most of them to do with safety and legality. The circumstances are a little different in physical auction houses, but either way you’ll have to deal with the same issues. Here, we explain a little more about them. 

What happens at an auction house?

Once you buy a car at auction, the biggest auction houses give you 24 hours to settle in full, and provide storage for three days as you organise what you need to in order to drive your car away. After that, you’ll be looking at the business end of some pretty hefty fees. The cars are often mechanically sound, so the biggest obstacle to getting them out of the auction house is usually the paperwork - in other words, tax and insurance. 

To meet these requirements, most people buying from auction houses get specially formulated temporary insurance, sometimes referred to as ‘drive-away insurance’. This type of insurance normally provides cover for just a few days - enough time for you to hop behind the wheel and get your purchase home so that you can get an annual policy in place. If the auction car you bought is taxed, has a valid MOT and you’ve got insurance - one way or another - then you’re free to get it home. However, if you haven’t had time to arrange insurance, an MOT test, or you don’t have the V5C, you’ll have to work out some other way of getting it home. Some companies will offer you an option to have it removed and transported, usually at a charge.

What happens at an online vehicle auction?

When you buy a car at an online car auction, there are similar considerations to contend with. First of all, there’s the physical damage to consider. While you can find some great deals on used salvage cars in great working condition, there are also lots that won’t be in any fit state to drive home. That might be because of a twisted chassis, non-functioning headlights, or worn brake pads. Many of these issues can be fixed if you’ve got the mechanical skills and knowledge to do so, but until they’ve been sorted, you can’t safely (or legally) drive the car on the road. 

Auction Mallet

Again, there’s also the matter of MOT, tax and insurance too. Many of the vehicles we stock here at RAW2K don’t have a valid MOT certificate, precisely because they’re classed as salvage, which means driving them off the yard is often impossible. Also, vehicles are assigned their salvage titles precisely because insurers have decided they’re not suitable for cover anymore, so anything with a salvage title is automatically going to be impossible to drive away.

So, what are your options? Well thankfully, there’s no shortage of transport companies which can help you get your new purchase back home, or onto your business premises. It’s often a simple matter of dispatching a collection vehicle to our yard, and then the vehicle can be loaded up and brought on its way back to you. This is rarely a free service (unless you’re very lucky, or you know the right people). Happily though, the savings you’ll make on your salvage car are often more than enough to cover the difference.

In fact, you can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds on our fantastic range of auction cars right here at RAW2K. We’ve got models from globally recognised manufacturers like Peugeot, Ford and Audi, and our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis - so if you don’t find what you’re looking for at first, make sure to check back often! Who knows what you might find…