The idea of buying a car at auction still holds fear for most car buyers, but I’ve recently come across an auction with a difference. is a reverse auction in which dealers, brokers and supermarkets bid for your custom. All prospective buyers have to do is register the car they’re looking for and the price they’re prepared to pay with AutoeBid, then sit back and wait for the bidding to begin.

A spokesman for AutoeBid told me that under the scheme, all money is paid into an escrow holding account, which the buyer controls. Once the buyer has inspected their new car and is happy with it, they can issue a password to release the money to the bidder.

With discounts as high as 30% possible and an average price cut of 10%, it may well be worth a go.

Successful buyers pay a finder’s fee of 1% of the purchase price, or £250, whichever is greater.

Recent deals I’ve spotted on have included a Peugeot 307 2.0-litre HDi SE 110bhp five-door offered for £13,284, a £2,916 saving over the list price. Or there was a Vauxhall Zafira 1.6 16v Design for £12,376, a massive 20% saving on list, and a Mazda RX-8 (228 bhp) coupe for £21,120 – £880 less than the list price for this popular car.

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