Buy an Auction Car at Government Car Auctions
Have you ever considered what happens to the cars and trucks that the government no longer uses? The U.S. government and local city/state/county governments auction off their surplus vehicles to the public via in-person and online auctions. These auctions include cars, trucks, SUVs, tractors, boats, and more. Police and sheriff departments will also occasionally auction off their old police cars. Anyone 18 and older can bid on these auction cars at government auctions. The auctions are free to attend so ignore any sites that try to get your personal information or ask for payment upfront. Employees of other government agencies can even purchase automobiles from the auctions unless their specific agency prohibits them from doing so.
How to Find Government Car Auctions Online or Near You
The condition of the vehicles for sale will depend on which type of government auction you attend. GSA Fleet Vehicle Sales, for instance, sells cars that have only had one owner, are well maintained, and have low mileage. These are automobiles government employees have used and are no longer needed. The government cars they auction are lightly used and in good condition.
Before heading to the auction site, you can visit their website and download their list of cars that are up for sale. When attending these auctions, potential buyers should have their eye on a few cars and bid on them, as you may not be guaranteed to win the bid. The public is allowed to inspect the features of the vehicles for auction, like the radio, air conditioning, heater, etc. But they are not allowed to be test driven by anyone attending. Each car will go to the highest bidder, whether they be attending on-site or online. They sell thousands of cars and trucks a year to the general public.
Other Government entities, like the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Secret Service, use a contractor called CWS Asset Management & Sales to auction off forfeited motor vehicles. These cars and trucks have been taken from criminals, abandoned, or seized from individuals who did not pay their income taxes. When a car at these auctions is purchased, it must be towed off the property as it could be unsafe. A licensed mechanic should check out all vehicles sold at these types of auctions before the buyer begins driving them. Expect these cars to need some mechanical or even some bodywork.
Many police departments around the country auction their own seized vehicles and also their surplus police vehicles at auctions such as NYPD auctions. Use the button below to find the best government car auction sites.
Are Government Car Auctions Good? Are They Legit?
A car or truck from a government auto auction could be an excellent alternative to buying from a used car lot. The prices are much lower, and if you bid in an auction, you can trust that the vehicle is in good condition unless otherwise stated in its description. Finding a car or truck with only one previous owner and low mileage is sometimes a grueling hunt, but with a government auction, you can almost guarantee this is the case.
If you are a mechanic that likes to buy and fix vehicles, then bidding at the auctions that sell seized cars could be ideal. Though it may not be road-ready, there could be potential for fixing up and reselling.
Ultimately, government car auctions are free to attend, online or in person, and it could be an excellent way to find your next used vehicle. They could be worth checking out when given a chance. You need a bit of extra patience at government surplus auctions because they are sometimes not held frequently or may have less cars for sale than typical wholesale car auctions.
Guide to Government Surplus Car Auctions