Buying a collectors’ motor car at auction

Thousands of collectors' cars are sold each year at auction – no awkward haggling or part exchanges to consider. Just bid and buy. Our team is here to support you and offer guidance – don’t hesitate to contact us in advance of the sale, or whilst on view.

All lots are offered ‘as seen’ ie. no warranty or guarantee is offered or implied. Before you bid, we recommend you inspect the lot thoroughly and encourage you to view the car’s history file at the Documents Desk. All lots are available for inspection on the viewing and sale day, where you can hear them starting up and running. There is no ‘cooling off’ period. All bids are final on the fall of the hammer and you are contractually bound to complete your purchase.


Bonhams MPH’s printed catalogues can be purchased in advance, or on the sale day and are charged at £15 including p&p, or £10 on the door. All information and additional photographs can be viewed on the online catalogue. Each catalogue admits two people entry on viewing and sale days.

Our catalogue subscriptions team can be contacted on +44 (0)1666 502200 or [email protected]

Ways to take part

Register to Bid

You can bid with us any number of ways: in person at the auction; by telephone; by leaving an absentee bid; or bidding live via our in-house online platform. Unlike other auction houses, no extra charges are made by us for any of these services. At the time of registration, please ensure you have photographic proof of ID (driver’s licence or passport) and proof of address such as a bank statement or utility bill. We will also require debit or credit card details in order to authorise your account. Click here for the registration form.


Bidding in Person

You are able to pre-register for the auction by completing the online form. This will generate a paddle number which you can use on sale day. You can also register in person when you arrive at the auction.


Telephone bidding

If you are unable to attend the auction, one of the Bonhams MPH Team will call you and act as your ‘hand’ in the sale room. We will call you prior to the lot coming under the hammer and relay to you how the bidding is progressing and we can quick jump in to bid on your behalf , giving you the best chance of success should you decide to bid. To register for a telephone bid please complete the online form. As a back-up option, should you not be contactable for any reason, you may consider leaving us a covering bid; this enables the clerk to bid on your behalf to secure the lot for the lowest amount possible and you won't miss out due to any technical difficulties.


Absentee bidding

Should you be unable to attend or follow the auction, or simply wish to set a formal limit for your bid you can submit an absentee bid. The bid amount, excluding buyer’s premium and VAT will then be used by the clerk to secure the lot for the lowest amount possible.


Online Bidding

Watch the auction live and take part as if you are there in person via our own online bidding platform with no additional charges. You can watch and listen to the auction, then simply bid by pressing and confirming the bid button.

How fast will the auctioneer go?

We aim to sell approximately 30-35 lots per hour, each car being driven through the sale.


All lots are sold as seen, no warranty or guarantee is given nor implied. You are strongly encouraged to view the vehicle and supporting documentation ahead of the auction. The information provided in the catalogue and in the 100-point condition report are done so to the best knowledge of the vendor. You should satisfy yourself as to the condition, completeness and originality of any lot prior to bidding. At the fall of the hammer, a contractual agreement is made and you are legally bound to complete the purchase of the lot.

Charges and Payments

As with other auction houses, Bonhams MPH charges a buyer’s premium of 12.5% + VAT on the successful hammer price. This will be automatically added to your invoice.



Should you be successful in purchasing a lot you can pay by debit or credit card in person, by cash up to £3,000 in person, or by bank transfer. Cheques are not accepted. For overseas buyers, payment must be sent in GBP. VAT at the prevailing rate (currently 20%) will be added to the buyer’s premium.

Lots will only be released once payment has been received in full.


Purchased lots are available for collection during and immediately after the end of the auction. You are reminded that on the fall of the hammer the lots are at your risk and you should therefore have insurance cover in place.

In any event, lots must be collected no later than 12 Noon the following Monday after the sale. Should the lot not be collected, it will be transported at your expense to a storage facility by EM Rogers. Representatives of our insurance partner Hagerty and EM Rogers are on hand to offer whatever support you may require. Please ensure you sign and return the buyer collection form/agreement, ensuring you have all paperwork, keys and any spare parts.

This sale guide should be read in conjunction with our Seller’s Conditions of Business and Buyer’s Conditions of Sale.

Terms and Conditions can be viewed here