How much better can I expect auto auction prices to be vs. regular used dealership prices?
Maybe hundreds to thousand less. Remember, auto auctions are usually As-Is, and not guarantees. The reason they are at the auctions is because dealerships don't want older cars with problems. So you can get them cheaper as you will be doing the reconditioning yourself vs if you bought from a dealership and they got the car running and inspected and paid for the reconditioning plus markup. Are you handy in repairing cars?