Home > Car Culture >  

Online Auto Auctions are Thriving During Pandemic

Enthusiasts Vehicles Are Still Hot Commodities

1952 jaguar xk120 roadster ex clark gable on grass

During Pandemic Online Auto Auctions Thrive

The COVID-19 pandemic has found a lot more people at home, on the internet and with time on their hands. It has also made a lot of people tighten their budgets as uncertainty is abundant. Even with the world on lockdown, it seems that many car enthusiasts are searching for, and buying, interesting used cars however. During this pandemic online auto auctions are thriving.

1952 jaguar xk120 roadster ex clark gable on gravel driveway rear three quarter view
This 1952 Jaguar XK120 once owned by Hollywood film icon Clark Cable sold for $276,000 on 4/10/20.

The popular online auto auction site Bring A Trailer just released some stats for the first half of April. They reveal some interesting things about enthusiast car buyers.

Bring A Trailer auction activity through the first two weeks of April (and % change from April, 2019):

  • Total # of bids: 16,265 (+35%)
  • Value of lots sold: $13,571,969 (+35%)
  • New users: 7,573 (+49% )
  • Average auction views: 14,552 (+4%)
  • Average auction watchers: 785 (+24%)

What do these stats tell you? They tell us that the BaT auction site is growing and that automotive enthusiasts have more time on their hands right now. They also tell us that in our digitally connected world it’s easier than ever to buy your next vehicle online. More and more people are also becoming more comfortable with the online car buying process.

One thing these stats don’t show, but we’ve noticed, is that super high-quality examples of unique, rare and/or sought after vehicles haven’t really seen a price decrease. On the other hand, we’re starting to see a downturn in the middle of the market on more plentiful and less pristine enthusiasts cars. There are great deals to be had right now on common models of your favorite used sports cars. Have a look around the online auctions for Mustang, Corvettes, 911 and the like.

2007 spyker c8 laviolette in driveway sold during pandemic on online auto auction
This 2007 Spyker C8 Laviolette sold on BaT for $310,013 ON 4/1/20.

Shopping Therapy

We’d argue that it’s therapeutic to envision buying your dream car. Uncertain times and financial hardships help us focus on what’s important to us, and the passion we all have for interesting fun vehicles burns strong.

Sure many of us can’t buy our dream car during these financially tough times. We can however dream of a brighter future with us behind the wheel of something fun on a beautiful curvy road. Has there been a better time to shop around, from the comfort of your couch, for your next automotive passion project?

1987 alfa romeo spider quadrifoglio sold at auction during pandemic
This 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio sold on BaT for $9,077 on 4/16/20.






Bryon Dorr
About Bryon Dorr

AutoWise Editor-in-Chief Bryon Dorr has been a life long automotive enthusiast. From the supercar posters on his childhood walls to the massive Hot Wheels/Matchbox collection, Bryon has been dreaming about automotive adventures his entire life. For the past decade, Bryon has pursued a career in automotive photography and journalism. He's worked for a wide range of the top outlets in the overland, off-road, adventure motorcycle, and general automotive media.