Classic car auctions are held all over the UK and specialise in auctioning off modern day, collectable and vintage classic cars from all eras.  In this article I’ll list the largest and most popular classic car auctions in the UK.

If you are looking for your first classic car, or alternatively are a seasoned enthusiast and looking for the next classic to add to your collection then buying at auction may be right for you.

However, like buying anything at auction, you have to be careful and know what you are doing.  You don’t want to purchase that dream car only to find out later it’s held together with chewing gum!

So please do your research, and if you are after a certain make of car then do all the reading you can to find out known trouble spots to look out for.  For example, Triumph Stags are particularly prone to overheating so my first port of call would be to check the oil filler cap for signs of water on the inside and make sure the water reservoir contains just that – water!

Tips for Buying a Classic Car at Auction

You may not have a long time to check the car on the day, so the following are generic areas to action that shouldn’t take longer than 15mins to run through.

  • Check for rust all over and under the body
  • Take a magnet with you and test parts of the body to make sure no filler exists
  • Are the tyres a good brand and the same make all around (a good indication the car has been cared for – cheap tyres = unloved)
  • Check the engine and VIN numbers match the log book
  • Make sure the gaps between the doors and panels look right and are consistent, e.g. the left side match the right
  • Peal back rubber seals to look for signs of respray / accident damage
  • Is there excessive welding underneath, e.g. plates / botched welding
  • Check for excessive smoke when the car starts and give it a good rev to check further
  • Listen for potentially costly noises, e.g. a rattling water pump could be costly but a fan belt sequel is an easy / cheep fix
  • Ask the auctioneer for the service history / receipts – do they all look right verify the mileage
  • Check the condition of the interior and press every button to make sure all the electronics work
  • Lift up carpets in the boot and cabin to check floor pans for rust or signs of accident damage, also are they all the correct colour
  • Is the owner at the sale – if so then seek him/her out to ask questions to, e.g. how long have they owned it, how has it been cared for, garaged, work done.  Does the seller seem genuine and have a genuine reason for selling their classic car at auction?


Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers

Frequency: Approx 6 a year.
Where: South West
More Info:
Twitter: @charterhouseAV
Description: Charterhouse Classic Car Auctioneers hold sales at the Bristol Classic Car Show three times a year and also a summer sale at Sherborne Castle.  The company also run sales in April and September in the Bath & West Showground.

Anglia Car Auctions

Frequency: Approx 5 a year.
Where: Kings Lynn
2014 Dates: 25/01/2014 | 05/04/2014 | 14/06/2014 | 23/08/2014 | 01/11/2014
More Info:
Description: Anglia Classic Car Auctions are held at their main site in King’s Lynn and have been running classic sales since 2005.  They are now one of the top classic car auctioneers in the UK with around five sales a year.


Frequency: Approx 6 a year.
Where: Sandown Park, Esher Surrey
2013/14 Dates: 17/12/2013 | 25/02/2014 | 29/04/2014 | 24/06/2014
More Info:
Description: Barons is one of the top auctioneers in the country specialising in highend and prestige cars.  They run about 6 events a year from their centre in Sandown Park.

Coys Car Auctions

Frequency: Approx 11 a year.
Where: Various locations in the UK including NEC Birmingham, RHS London, Ascot and Blenheim Palace
2014 Dates: 11/01/2014 | 18/01/2014 | 11/03/2014 | 28/03/2014 | 26/04/2014 | 09/05/2014 | 11/08/2014 | 11/10/2014 | 02/12/2014
More Info:
Description: Coys are a prestigous auction house and have sold some of the most expensive classic cars in the world.  Their event calendar runs throughout the year and includes European locations, e.g. Netherlands, Germany and Monaco.

H&H Classics

Frequency: Over 10 a year.
Where: Various locations in the UK including Pavilion Gardens and the Chateau Impney
2014 Dates: Not published yet
More Info:
Description: H&H are dedicated to cars since 1993 and are now one of the top auction houses in the UK.  All their lots are listed online with description and photos.

Bonhams Classic Car Auctions

Frequency: Over 15 a year.
Where: Various locations in the UK including Goodwood, Beaulieu, Greenwich and Oxford.
2014 Dates: Not published yet  – one on 16th Jan 2014 (Scottsdale)
More Info:
Description: Bonhams hold regurlar sales throughout the year, in fact they are one of the largest houses in the UK.  They regurarly achieve six figure sums for their cars from locations around the globe.

Silverstone Auctions

Frequency: Approx 10 a year.
Where: Silverstone Race Circuit and other locations around the UK including Car Fest and NEC.
2014 Dates: Not published yet
More Info:
Description: Silverstone Auctions are one of the newer auctioneers on the scene, however, they have quickly grown into one of the top classic car auctioneers in the UK.  They held events at Car Fest earlier this year with amazing sale results.

Brightwells Classic Car Auctions

Frequency: Approx 6 a year.
Where: Various locations including Easters Court in Leominster
2014 Dates: 05/03/2014 | 14/05/2014 | 16/07/2014 | 24/09/2014 | 26/11/2014
More Info:
Description: Brichtwells Classic Vehicles hold events throughout the year with a good mix of of both collectable and vintage cars.

Emma Jones
This article was written and published by Emma Jones.  Emma works for Trade Classics as an in-house journalist and copywriter and has many years’ experience in the classic car sector.  Why not write a reply on this article below – she’d love to hear your thoughts on her thoughts!Also, don’t forget to check out the classic cars for sale here on Trade Classics.Google+

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