Why Having a Trusted Car Spotter Is Essential

December 1, 2016

Team ACV




Why Having a Trusted Car Spotter Is Essential

ACV facts & figures

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What Is a Car Spotter?

There are a few different meanings of the term “car spotter.” In the context of dealerships, a car spotter is often focused on choosing high-quality vehicles for a dealer. Such spotters are sometimes called “car bid spotters” to differentiate them from hobbyists.5 Hobbyist car spotters are often on the hunt for rare and interesting finds, including vintage and exotic supercars, like Bugatis, Porsches, and Ferraris.3

What Is The Goal of Car Spotting and Why Is It Important to Car Dealers?

The more sets of qualified eye you have looking for potential cars for you to buy, the better your dealership’s chances for success. As you might know, it can be a good idea to bring another trusted buyer with you when you goto big auctions, simply because you can’t be in every lane at once. And since car inspection is such an important part of the buying process, having at least one trustworthy and reliable car spotter is essential.2

Nowadays, a lot of the high volume groups that constantly need to buy place bidders in each lane to watch every car all day. In both situations, buyers are simply trying to see and evaluate more inventory than they could process alone.

Why Is Trusting Your Car Spotter So Essential?

Trusting the car spotter who is working for you is paramount to success. You can’t take just anyone with you to the auction and expect that they will be able to find potential vehicles that you would be interested in.

Any car spotters you work with need to understand your business and be dialed into finding what you like and buy. Then they need to be able to describe each car to you transparently and efficiently so that if you know what they are looking at, and if they buy it, there are no surprises when you see it for the first time! It can take years to find the best spotter and establish that level of trust and confidence in their vehicle inspection.

Having these car spotters filter through thousands of cars, only telling you about the ones they know you would like and then describing them accurately is crucial if you want to succeed as a dealer. It is impossible to be everywhere at once so having reliable car spotters can make the difference between finding the right car or missing it entirely.4

What to Consider When Choosing a Car Spotter

Given how much responsibility car spotters have, choosing the right people for the job is essential. Ideal candidates need to be trustworthy but must also possess the technical skills required to do the job. Great spotters need to know cars. They need to be able to quickly zero in on what constitutes quality inventory and identify red flags before you place your bid. This requires significant automotive knowledge. Critical thinking and analytical skills are also must-haves. Spotting rust damage during an inspection is great. Being able to weigh that information against prevalence, reconditioning costs, and market demand that’s a level above. That’s the magic bullet that makes car spotters such assets judgment and meaningful communication. It’s what also makes good ones so hard to find. 

What If You Can’t Hire Your Own Car Spotter?

At ACV, helping dealers accomplish this goal is in our DNA. Our vehicle condition reports are different from the rest of the industry because we understand how important it is for you as a dealer to be able to quickly get to the facts about a car so you can make an informed decision. That’s why we train our car inspectors to communicate with you in a personalized way that you can understand easily and trust fully. Especially when you’re buying auction cars online.

Think of every car listed on ACV Auto Auctions as being vetted by your own personal spotter who is combing through thousands of cars and describing them to you. And it’s all free of charge! Your buying ability doubles every time we add another inspector to the field and your chances of finding and buying the right vehicles for your inventory just increased dramatically.

Ready to source great inventory with confidence today? Start by simply registering here. We look forward to working with you at ACV Auctions! Happy hunting!


  1. Car Spotting Definitions. (n.d.). English Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.encyclo.co.uk/meaning-of-Car_spotting/
  2. Linkov, J. (2021, June 3). How to Inspect a Used Car. Consumer Reports. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.consumerreports.org/used-cars/how-to-inspect-a-used-car-a1377126659/
  3. MotorTrend Group. (2021). Carspotting By MotorTrend – MotorTrendGroup. MotorTrendGroup - The Largest Automotive Media Company In The World. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.motortrendgroup.com/carspotting-by-motortrend/
  4. Tom’s Automotive. (2018, May 29). Seattle Pre-Purchase Car Inspections - Buy Your Used Car Confidently. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://tomsautomotive.com/purchasing-used-car/
  5. Sorren, M. (2019, May 13). What’s A Car Bid Spotter? Matthew’s Job On “The Bachelorette” Is Actually A Real Thing. Bustle. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.bustle.com/p/whats-a-car-bid-spotter-matthews-job-on-the-bachelorette-is-actually-a-real-thing-17869908