Car Auction Sites: What Is The Point Of A Reserve?
Written by Beatriz Berbet

3 min read • Published August 22, 22

In the world of auctions, there are many types of items that can be auctioned off. This includes cars, which can be sold through either private or public auctions. Regarding car auction sites, it’s possible to have a reserve price: the lowest amount a seller is willing to sell their car for. Check out this blog article for more information on what this means and how it might affect your car-buying experience!

What is a reserve?

A reserve is the minimum price a seller can accept for their vehicle. If the final bid on the car is below the budget, the seller is not obligated to sell the vehicle. However, if the last bid meets or exceeds the reserve, the car will be sold to the highest bidder.

Reserves are standard on car auction sites, protecting sellers if the final bid falls below their desired price. For buyers, accounts can add uncertainty to the auction process, as it’s difficult to know how high bids will need to be to meet the seller’s reserve.

Who can be contacted when the reserved amount is not met?

If you’re looking to buy a car at auction, it’s essential to know that the seller usually sets a reserve price. This is the minimum amount they are willing to sell the car; if the bids don’t meet this amount, the vehicle will not be sold. So, what happens if the reserve isn’t met?

The answer depends on the auction site you’re using. For example, on, if the reserve isn’t met, the seller can either accept the highest bid or reject all bids and relist the car. If they choose to get the highest bid, the buyer will be notified and given 48 hours to pay for the vehicle. If payment isn’t received within that time frame, the buyer will forfeit their purchase, and the car will go back up for auction.

Other auction sites have similar policies, so it’s always important to read the terms and conditions before bidding on a car. That way, you’ll know what to expect if the reserve isn’t met.

Tips for sellers, buyers, and bargain hunters for car auction sites

You should know a few things if you’re considering buying or selling a car on an auction site. Here are some tips to help you get the best deal possible:

For sellers:

  • Make sure your car is in good condition before listing it. A detailed description and photos will help attract buyers.
  • Set a realistic reserve price. Remember, you may not get the total amount you’re asking for, but you don’t want to set the reserve too low and risk your car not selling.
  • Pay attention to the fees associated with selling on the auction site. They can add up quickly!

For buyers:

  • Do your research before bidding on a car. Know the fair market value for the make and model you’re interested in so you don’t overpay.
  • Pay attention to the seller’s feedback score. This will give you an idea of their reputation on the site.
  • If possible, inspect the car in person before bidding. If you can’t do this, ask for plenty of photos and details about its condition.

Best Car Auctions Sites

If you’re looking for the best car auction sites, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll look at some of the best auction sites and what makes them so great.


A reserve on a car auction site is the lowest price the seller will accept for the vehicle. The fund is typically set at a price below the estimated value of the car to ensure there is room for negotiation. The vehicle will not be sold if the highest bid fails to meet or exceed the reserve.

Beatriz Berbet

Marketing & Social Media Intern

As a Marketing and Social Media intern, Beatriz takes care of social networks and is responsible for making people know more about Savings.Club on the internet. When she's not working or at university, you'll find her with a book and a glass of wine.