As lending institutions and local governments continue to search for ways to increase their income or recoup losses the County repo car auction has become more common. These types of options used to take place only a few times per year but now they can take place as often as every month. Depending upon what type of County repo car auction you attend the listings and availability of reliable and inexpensive used vehicles will vary greatly.
County Repo Car Auctions Can Actually Mean 2 Different Things
The term County repo car auction can actually mean two different things. It is important to understand this distinction because the type of auction will greatly affect what is available on the listing, how often it takes place, and what types of deals you may find.
1. County Wide Repossessed Car Auction
The most common usage of the term is to describe a repossessed car auction best sources vehicles from across the county, and sometimes neighboring counties, to create one large auction rather than multiple small ones. The vehicles are still sourced from banks, credit unions, and other lending institutions which have repossessed vehicles due to non-payment on alone by the previous owner.
Countywide repossessed car auctions are a great deal for car buyers because when lending institutions compete against each other to regain their liquidity all of the negotiation power is in the hands of the bidders. This typically means lower reserve prices as well as greater variety. Depending upon the size of the county these auctions may incorporate banks and lending institutions from surrounding counties as well. These auctions typically have a larger number of low mileage and late-model vehicles than other types of auctions because the majority of car loans are defaulted on within the first 2 to 3 years of the origination date.
2. Government Sponsored County Auto Auction With Seized Vehicles
There is another type of car auction which is now referred to as a County repo car auction although the term repo is used loosely in this case. Instead of vehicles which are repossessed by lending institutions these auctions typically feature cars which are seized by city and local government agencies. This includes cars which are seized because they broke the law as well as vehicles which were abandoned. As a result, the listings at these auctions may have a wide variety of vehicles also will have a greater percentage of lower quality vehicles. If the vehicle was abandoned on the side of the road there is little chance that it is roadworthy or will require no repairs in order to make it operational again.
There is still an excellent opportunity to get a great deal at government-sponsored County auto auctions with seized vehicles but it will take a savvier eye and better planning in order to find the best value available. Another thing to consider is smaller counties and local governments may actually group there seized vehicle auctions in with their fleet vehicle auctions. This can make things even more confusing and complicated for bidders because the fleet vehicles may offer an excellent value but look similar to seized vehicles.
What to Do
if you’re in the market for a reliable used car or late-model, low mileage vehicle that don’t want to pay used-car dealership prices both County repo car auctions and county government seized car auctions are viable alternatives worth considering. If you have no experience with auto auctions at all the best thing to do is attend one or two auctions before ever placing the bid. This will give you an opportunity to learn what the crowd is like in your specific location. It will also give you more time to get comfortable with the nuances of a live or online auction.