There are several ways to source a vehicle at an auction. Before you bid at auction you should have registered (which will generally require a valid driver’s license and/or credit card if applicable) and you should have your finance arranged.
There are many Government auctions held in the US. Government auctions can be both online auctions where the bidding and action all takes place on the web and live auctions where people bid in person. Many different types of vehicles are auctioned. At government auctions you might be able to find a motorcycle, a tow truck, or even a postie van! Vehicles can also include boats as well.
Another popular type of government auction is the thousands of fleet vehicles that the US Government sells every year. Vehicles include police squad cars, SUVs, and vans that are retired after each year of duty. In fact, there is a federal agency that deals exclusively with fleet vehicles for the government, known as the United States General Services Administrations (GSA). This is the organization responsible for buying the new fleet vehicles that are to be leased to other federal agencies and departments. When the leasing period expires the government must get rid of these in order to make room for the new cars again. This is how the general public can really benefit as those leased vehicles represent fantastic savings. The vehicles typically how low miles and are well maintained and service according to Government policy.
Government vehicle auctions aren’t the only auctions; there are also local vehicle auctions.
Local vehicle auctions enable you to visit the site live since local auctions are found within your geographical area. This enables you to see the car live and bid on the car in person. Keep in mind that not all local auctions are open to the public. Also, note that you may have to pre-register with the local auction facility which will enable you to receive more information on how that particular auction site operates and have any questions answered. The auction site will most likely have assistance for you so that you can get familiar with their particular rules and standard bidding procedures. Make use of this opportunity.
You can do much of your research and source vehicles at auction online so make the most of this valuable resource.
Buyers do get an opportunity to inspect vehicles prior to a live auction. You should contact the respective auction company to find out when inspections are allowed to be done. Usually inspections can be done on the day of the auction but often there is an opportunity to inspect in the days leading up to the auction.
Unfortunately there is no warranty on vehicles sold at auction. They are sold on an “as is” basis. We highly recommend you conduct a thorough inspection using a qualified mechanic prior to auction.
Make sure you rely on your intuition. If you feel good about a vehicle and have done all your research and checks then go for it and bid. If you don’t feel confident then pass on that vehicle as there are always many more cars coming up for auction. Make the most of it!