If you have any questions about buying or selling your classic car use our FAQs below.

Buyer questions Seller questions

Common buyer questions

How does bidding work?

With our Automatic Bidding, it couldn’t be easier. At any time in the auction, simply enter the maximum amount you would like to bid. If it’s higher than other bids and there is still time on the clock, you become the high bidder. We'll then bid on your behalf – enough to keep you in the lead, but only incrementing up to your maximum limit. If someone outbids you, we'll let you know by email so you can decide if you want to increase your maximum bid.

Can anyone bid?

Bidders have to be registered and have a completed bidding profile which includes an identification check using a credit card, this protects everyone from dreamers and tyre-kickers. No charges can be made against your card without your authorisation.

How much is the buyer’s fee if I win?

Zero, zilch, nada - you pay what you bid. There is no buyers commission or any hidden charges.

How can I see if there is a reserve or what the reserve is?

We never disclose a vehicle’s reserve however we do tell you when a bid is close or has exceeded it so you know when bidding that little bit extra might make the sale.
 As soon as the reserve is reached then the vendor is obliged to sell.

How can I contact the seller?

Look for the green “Contact Seller” button at the top of every auction. That will let you send a message directly to the seller. If you receive no answer, please contact us directly.

Should I view the car?

We always strongly recommend viewing any car, they can be complicated beasts. However we know it is not always possible to fit a visit into your diary, so we aim to write the most comprehensive listings on the web, and offer the opportunity to ask any questions of the seller during the auction. If visiting is impossible, why not ask the seller to see if he can use his smartphone on a live video (such as Facetime or WhatApp) while you direct them where to go?

How do I find out more about a particular car?

If you have a question about anything to do with the vehicle, please use the Contact Seller button to ask away. Remember to check all of the photos and text as we try to cover as many things as possible in the listing.

Can I comment?

Yes, please do. Our comments are designed to allow the community to have a discussion about the vehicle and assist both the potential buyers and the seller.

Should I bid last minute?

There isn’t really much advantage as we have eradicated last-second sniping - if anyone bids in the last 2 minutes of an auction we extend the sale by 2 minutes to allow any remaining bidders to continue to participate, this repeats until all bidding is complete. This makes it fairer to all buyers and sellers. In addition our Automatic Bidding allows bidders to place their maximum bid hours or days before auction end, confident in knowing that our software will keep them in the lead up to their maximum.

Can I trust the description?

The text is written by The Market, not by the seller. It is carefully written after discussions, photos and documents from the seller and other public sources. Whilst we try to cross-examine as much as possible, and intend that we are completely transparent with the description, please ensure you are happy with the vehicle’s condition.

Has The Market inspected the vehicles?

We do not always inspect the vehicles (but make it very clear when we have), we rely on comprehensive photo galleries, and will ask the seller to provide more photos of specific areas if they are missing pre-auction. We are able to take a keen look at Concierge cars when they are delivered to us, but like all other auctions, we do not conduct a professional inspection.

As a buyer, what is a Concierge auction?

Concierge is a premium service we offer to sellers which provides our professional photography plus storage of the car at our HQ in South Oxfordshire for viewings.

Can I buy a vehicle ‘subject to inspection’?

The answer is a simple no! By submitting a winning bid, you are making a legal purchase commitment (same as a physical auction). Remember, a winning bid results in a 5% + VAT non-refundable deposit being placed

How do I know the seller is trustworthy?

We take our reputation very seriously and use TRUSTPILOT for independent reviews. We intend to provide a transparent commercial experience and are aiming at enthusiasts who would like to be treated in the same way as they treat others. If a seller, or buyer, drops below these standards repeatedly, we will ask them to leave. But remember, we are not all complete experts, neither are we working with brand new vehicles.

Why has an auction extended beyond its published end time?

If a bid is received within the last two minutes of the auction, the countdown is reset to two minutes. This allows buyers to consider making further bids without panic! All further bids will reset the two-minute countdown. The auction ends when there have been no bids for two minutes.

What do you do with my email address?

If you register or add your email to our distributiuon list, we only send a simple weekly email which lists new auctions. We never use it for other purposes or allow it to be used by third-parties.

What happens at auction end?

At the end of the auction, if you are the winning bidder you will be asked to pay a 5% + VAT deposit. This is then deducted from the overall bid price and the remaining 94% is paid to the seller (via a method that you both agree on) before or at the time you pick the vehicle up. All this needs to take place within 7 days of auction end.

Which payment methods do you accept? Who do I pay?

The 5% + VAT deposit is collected by The Market, we can accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex or direct bank payments. The remaining 94% is paid directly to the seller in a mutually convenient method. We recommend a bank-to-bank transfer, and please remember that some sellers & buyers will be uncomfortable dealing with large quantities of cash.

What protection do I have if the car is not as I had hoped?

In placing your highest bid, you are legally committing to buy the vehicle. We provide very comprehensive photos and description of all parts of the car (good and bad), plus we offer the opportunity to ask further questions and to visit during the auction. Please ensure before bidding that you are happy with your understanding of the vehicle’s condition. If after all this, you find the car has significant issues that were not mentioned and has been misrepresented, such as major panel damage or an inability to change gear, then we will look into it on a case-by-case basis.

Can you help me with vehicle transport or storage?

Yes, absolutely, just contact us to allow us to provide you with a quote for international shipping, or get an instant online quote for UK shipping from our partner AnyVan. We can provide professional car storage through our partner Thames Valley Car Storage.

Can you help with car finance?

Yes, Classic & Sportscar Finance is our agreed finance partner. Please contact them prior to bidding – they can usually arrange the finance within 24 hours. Once the finance is approved, please bid as normal.

Where are you Terms & Conditions?

You can view our terms & conditions here. If there are any further questions, please contact us at any time by email (hello@themarket.com) or phone 01865 521088.

How do I know when an auction in preview goes live?

By clicking the Watch Auction button (or Star icon) on a Preview listing, you will receive an email as soon as that auction goes Live.

Common seller questions

How much does it cost to list my car in an auction on The Market?

Nothing, Zilch, Nada. We do not charge for listing any car.

How much do you charge me to sell my car?

We charge only 5% commission + VAT on a successful sale (minimum £250). Remember that we have no buyer’s commission which means that the seller receives 94% of the buyer’s ‘cheque’. This is market-leading and a huge difference compared to established auction houses, see how much you save by using our commission calculator. (For example, if your car auctions for £20k, we would return you at least £3,000 more compared to other auction houses)

It’s low-cost, so is the service low-rent as a result?

No. We create the most comprehensive and transparent listings on the web, and have worked hard to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. And our sales ratio is at least as good as established auction houses.

Do people really buy classic cars off an internet auction?

Yes, but it can only be successful if buyers can determine a vehicle’s true condition, and trust their judgement. Our results show that we are providing that kind of on-line experience.

Will The Market achieve the highest price at auction?

Of course, no auction house can guarantee the highest prices. However, please take a look at the results in our Previous Auctions and you will see some impressive results including a number of UK auction-record prices. Our in-house technology experience and expertise ensure that all of our auction cars are marketed much further and better than those of any other auction house. The Market effectively advertises your vehicle to thousands upon thousands through all the classic car websites, our industry-leading mailing list and significant social media presence. Plus our comprehensive and content-rich listings give everyone nationally, and internationally, the full picture, making them keen to bid wherever they live. And on top of all that, our extremely low fees all but guarantee we return more money to sellers.

How do you create my listing?

We work with all of our sellers to create professional listings using the Patina platform to allow the full vehicle history to be available online for review with unlimited photos, videos and documents. Our professional writers will work with you to find out more about your vehicle so they are able to create a listing that ensures its story is told in the best possible way.

Do we visit your car?

We do not usually visit, we use the power of modern IT to gain a deep appreciation of a car’s condition from extensive photography. We are happy to visit where other techniques are not helpful.

What do I need to provide to The Market?

We have created a highly efficient process to generate an auction listing. All we ask is that the seller takes over 50 photos of the car, giving the buyers all they need to make an informed decision. We ask for some general shots, and then loads of detail shots showing the good and not-so-good bits of your vehicle. There is no limit to the photos, we can accommodate hundreds if you are still taking informative photos!

Should I take photos of the service history as well?

Yes please. Individually photographing the vehicle’s documents is very important to buyers and makes a great difference to the auction price achieved. We are looking for any recent invoices, plus historical servicing/service books, MOT’s, and others that tell a story – it is not essential to include receipts for bulbs bought a decade ago!

So many photos! Really?

A good Gallery makes a huge difference to our auctions. It informs more buyers, it spreads the geographical reach of your vehicle (many of our cars are bought/sold from opposite ends of the country just because of the photos), and it prevents buyers from wasting your time post-auction. The photos can all be taken in just 30 minutes, not too much of a commitment for a proper sale is it?

Can you help with photography?

Of course we can, a good range of photos are what will sell your car so we want to help. We can send you our own guide, or we can put you in touch with one of a number of photographers that we have around the country, or you can consider our Concierge service – see next question.

What if I am not able to take photos? Or do not wish to host viewings? What is your Concierge service?

Choosing the premium Concierge service means that we do all the photography of the car and its documents using a professional photographer, and host all viewings for potential buyers. The cost is only £250 + VAT. Delivery to us in South Oxfordshire is not included, but we have a number of trusted transport companies who can provide a quotation. If you need the car cleaned and prepared, we know suppliers who can provide whatever you need.

How do we create our description?

We ask one of our team of professional writers to speak with you to learn everything about the vehicle and then create the independent description.

You seem to want to know all the faults. Is this really necessary?

Yes. We are intending to publish the most comprehensive auction listings. The vehicles are obviously not factory-fresh, and no-one would expect them to be perfect. If we ignored the faults, buyers would not have the confidence to bid; by describing the faults and photographing the blemishes, we know that we actually achieve higher auction prices. Every vehicle will have faults, and everything has a price; by being open, we ensure that both buyers and sellers know what they are dealing with.

What if I hide faults from you?

Many of our auctions are sold without the buyer having an opportunity to view. If the buyer then visits to pick the car up and finds the vehicle significantly mis-described, they will be seriously dissatisfied. This is the only scenario where we would consider returning their initial purchase deposit and cancelling the sale. We would not accept any further vehicles from sellers who repeatedly mis-describe.

Do I expect viewings?

You should be prepared to have requests to view your car, it can make a bid difference to some buyers. However we have noticed that our extensive photo galleries result in fewer viewings, and that those viewings are serious rather than tyre-kickers.

What if buyers want to know more?

All auctions have a ‘Contact Seller’ button which allows the buyer to contact the seller directly, asking questions and organising viewings. Please keep an eye on your email, and on the Comments section where buyers may also ask questions.

How long does it take to start an auction?

We can set up an auction in just a few days, and the auctions are usually set for around 7 days. There are no hard deadlines though, we run auctions every week and are ready when you are.

How do you ensure bidders are serious, and tyre-kickers removed?

Our results show that we have incorporated a number of techniques that ensure time-wasters are removed from the process: 1. All bidders have to register with credit-card details, 2. Bidders can ask questions and view the car throughout the auction, 3. winning bidders have to submit a deposit of 5% + VAT at auction end, 4. our comprehensive listings remove the likelihood of a buyer walking away because a vehicle is mis-described, 5. the accounts of disreputable buyers and sellers are closed,

How do reserves work?

We work with sellers to set reasonable reserves, and avoid vehicles with reserves that are unrealistic. Once a reserve is close to being met, or has been met then we make it clear on the auction listing. We generally cannot apply a reserve to any vehicle expected to reach under £5000.

What do you mean by “no sniping”?

It’s common in online auctions for some buyers to use software to enter a bid in the very last seconds of the auction to outbid others without giving them a chance to respond. If a bid is placed during the last 2 minutes of an auction on The Market, we extend the auction by another 2 minutes. This gives everyone a chance to place their bids and gives sellers a chance to sell to the true high bidder.

How do I get paid?

Once the auction closes the winning bidder will be asked to place a 5% + VAT deposit via The Market platform. The remaining 94% will be settled directly between you and the buyer via a method that you both agree on.

What happens if the reserve is not met?

If at auction end the reserve has not met then the auction will end with the vehicle unsold. We will try to make contact with the highest bidders to see if we can facilitate a deal and will even carry on marketing with a 'buy it now' price for a limited period. If the vehicle remains unsold and is stored with ourselves then we will request that it is collected.

Where are you Terms & Conditions?

You can view our terms & conditions here.

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