GSA car auctions are one of the oldest and most reputable auto auctions held in the United States. The General Service Administration sells off thousands of vehicles every year for prices that are much lower than actual market values. The GSA acts as a leasing agency to a number of government agencies. It purchases vehicles en-masse, leases them out to government agencies for a period of three to five years, and auctions off the vehicles once their lease expires. Each year, the GSA sells of more than twenty to twenty five thousand vehicles at auctions that are open to the general public. In the year 2007, the GSA plans to sell off around 35,000 vehicles between the months of April and September.
The GSA holds both live as well as online auctions. The major advantage of buying at a GSA auction is that you manage to get used vehicles at values that are at least 25% to 30% lesser than their actual market values. These vehicles are generally well maintained, have a low mileage and chances of the customer being cheated on purpose are nil. Another major advantage is that unlike other auctions, you are not required to pay a buyer’s premium when you buy at a GSA auction. If you want to know about buying a car at a GSA auctions, then read on:
Buying at Live GSA Auto Auctions
The majority of GSA vehicles are auctioned off live at in-lane public auctions. You can find out about when and where GSA auctions in your area will be held. In order to participate in the auction, you will be required to register with the auctioneer at the time of the auction. There is no registration fee. Once the auction starts, vehicles will be put on the lot and the auctioneer will keep calling out bids till the vehicle is sold. Most vehicles are sold off within a couple of minutes, so it is a good idea to attend a couple of auctions for practice before you actually bid in one. At some places, the GSA will also hold a mock auction or two before the real one begins in order to familiarize potential bidders with the auction process. Find out if any mock auctions will be held and make it a point to attend them. Another thing that you should do as a rule before bidding at any auction is to attend the preview and check out the vehicles being auctioned off properly.
Auction previews are generally held a day or two before the day of the auction where potential customers are allowed to physically inspect the vehicles on the block. While you will be allowed to inspect the vehicles and start them, you will not be able to take them for a test drive. Therefore, it is extremely important that you take along a friend or a mechanic who can inspect the vehicles for you and tell you about their actual condition and any major repairs that a vehicle might require. You should also get hold of the vehicle identification numbers of the cars or trucks that you might be interested in and run a vehicle history check on them before taking the decision to bid. Checking out used car price guides like the NADA guide or the Kelly Blue Book is also recommended so that you get a good idea about the actual worth of a vehicle before you bid for it. Base your maximum bidding amount on the condition, history and guide price of a vehicle and take care not to exceed it during bidding frenzy. Make sure that you have enough cash in the bank or on your card to pay for your car if you manage to win your bid.
Buying Online at GSA Auto Auctions
Of late, the GSA has started putting certain models for sale on their website. Vehicles being auctioned off online are listed on the auction page along with certain status symbols that indicate the current situation of the vehicle. All you need to do in order to bid for a vehicle online is click on the vehicle that you want to bid on so as to be taken to its individual online sale site. Once you know all the details about the vehicle being sold, register and place your bid. While online auctions are definitely more convenient to attend than real life ones, keep in mind that you will be able to get a much larger selection of makes and models in GSA’s live in-lane auctions.